Looking back on the past two years of 2021 and 2022, Baphumelele has faced some challenges and great success. In this newsletter, we highlight how we are turning some of our greatest struggles into stories of triumph.
Baphumelele Educare Centre
The Baphumelele Educare Centre was established in 1989 and has served thousands of children in the last three decades. Having had the building built in the early 1990s, the early childhood development services we offered had taken its toll on the building. The building was old, dilapidated and we had outgrown the building as it was no longer complying with the changing regulations of the local authorities. In November 2021, we received a generous donation to renovate and extend the building. The build has taken 12 months to complete, and we are excited to be starting the 2023 academic year in a new building with 9 fully renovated classes that will serve children aged 6 months to 6 years, providing quality early childhood development education.
Children’s Home Cluster Houses
Similar to the Educare centre, the 12 cluster homes that provide short- and long-term residential care to orphaned and abused children, the homes had become unhabitable, dilapidated, wasted with overuse and had the old roofs made of asbestos. The local government had declared the houses unhabitable because of asbestos has been deemed illegal in South African because of the dangers it poses to humans.
Of the 12 cluster homes, two have received donations to have the roofs replaced, 4 homes are still needing to have the roofs removed and replaced with compliant roofs. The other 6 homes have tiled roofs but need major renovation of floors, kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms for the children.
Fountain of Hope Centre
The youth skills development centre is standing like a sentinel of hope for the youth of Cape Town, in the Philippi farms and Khayelitsha area. The Fountain of Hope Centre is a home to 22 youth with a long waiting list we cannot yet service. The youth are young people transitioning out of residential care and needing independent living skills and job readiness preparation. The centre offers farming skills, soap production, disposable and reusable sanitary towel production, computer skills and soft skills for the workplace to the young people. With the main aim of ensuring that these young people can graduate from the programmes and flourish in the world of work.
The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the conditions we faced. The centre was producing fresh vegetables and supplying restaurants, this has stopped. Post-pandemic and we are working to rebuild a network of suppliers so that we can increase our self-generated income for sustainability.
Indeed, Fountain of Hope has followed its name by providing hope for the youth it serves and will continue to do so. We hope that in 2023, we will finally receive our compliance certificates for the new facility so that we can open the facility to more young people. We hope that this action will also allow us the opportunity to finally receive government funding as the centre currently runs on donations and the little self-generated income from the products we make.
BAPHUMELELE MEDICAL SERVICES
The respite care centres are still thriving and operating at full capacity with 32 adult patients at the Bonita Respite Care Centre and 27 children at the Clemens Respite Care Centre. Both these facilities provide critical palliative and step-down medical services to children and adults who are HIV positive and or living with debilitating chronic illnesses and disability.
Due to the partial subsidy that we are receiving from the government for Bonita, we cannot render the proper services that we had envisaged for the most vulnerable members of our society in their time of great need. The ongoing wear and tear of our facilities and ongoing petrol hikes has meant a reduction in the ambulance services, home visits and supporting the transition back into the family as part the family reunification programme. We continue to build on our strong past of helping hundreds of people regain their dignity and health as they take the steps to gain control of their illness and lives. The centres have become safe havens of choice for many patients and their families.
BAPHUMELELE OUTREACH PROGRAMMES
Baphumelele’s Child-headed households, Soup Kitchen, Hope Charity Shop and Bakery continue to serve large numbers of community member’s daily giving meals and skills to people who daily would go hungry without the food we provide. The pandemic has worsened the hunger crisis that people face and there has been a pull to grow these programmes as demand increases. These programmes are purely volunteer run and exclusively operated on in-kind donations and small financial support from individuals. The past year has not been without challenges, notably, we struggled with buying food, paying staff stipends, infrastructure maintenance and transportation. In our 35 years of existence, we have survived the hardest years that were exacerbated by a global pandemic, but we continue to strive ahead knowing that many people cannot do without the vital services we provide.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” By shining your light on our work, you not only support our continued services but helping individuals thrive and moreover may we ALL shine the light to Baphumelele orphans and save lives wherever we are. You too can help make the next 35 years of Baphumelele possible by making a once-off or ongoing monthly donation here.
Thank you to our supporters and community for ensuring/ making sure we thrive. Yours in development,
Baphumelele Team January 2023
Thank you, Thank you for taking your time to read our Newsletter, Enkosi kakhulu.