It all began as a small initiative aimed at making a big difference to the life of a young African child with big dreams but few opportunities. Little did we know that the seeds sown by this small act of kindness would soon grow into a project which would provide education and care for a significant number of African township children, supported by sponsors from across the world. Ten years since its creation, this year the SOS Africa Charity has reached another significant landmark; over the coming months we will expand our scope of support from Mafikeng, our birthplace, to reach out to children from one of the poorest regions of the Western Cape: http://www.sosafrica.com/news.htm?id=265.
This development has been made possible by the incredible backing the charity has received both locally at its fundraising headquarters in Somerset, England and thanks to our growing international support base. During our most recent fundraising event, a sponsored Zip Wire from the top of Cranmore Tower, 300 brave individuals from across Somerset raised an incredible £16,000 for the SOS Africa Children. Since it opened in April this year, SOS Africa’s charity shop, known locally as ‘the shop with the Giraffe’ has raised enough money to pay for over 80 years of education! Internationally, the charity has generated 36 long-term sponsors from across all five continents. From sponsored full-body waxes to Kilimanjaro climbs, independent fundraisers have also generated invaluable funding!
As a consequence of this invaluable support, in addition to the many children already supported in Mafikeng, in January 2014 in partnership with ‘Agape,’ an organisation which has been working in the community for over 20 years, SOS Africa will begin providing education and care for 10 deserving children from the Western Cape region. These children will attend Grabouw Primary and High School, in class sizes of only twenty, which will give them the opportunity to reach their full potential. After school these children will attend an SOS Africa Aftercare Centre where they will receive a meal, mentoring and homework support.
This initiative will be led by Western Cape resident and the latest edition to the SOS Africa team, Anna Lusty: “Starting SOS Africa in the Western Cape has been a real adventure and it has been wonderful to be involved with such a professional organisation. Selecting the first children to take part in the programme has not been an easy task but we now have ten wonderful children under the SOS umbrella and we are excited to see how they blossom and grow over the next few years at their new school. SOS Africa is giving them the opportunity to break free from the poverty cycle through education.”
For those of us who have been lucky enough to be part of SOS Africa Charity since its birth, we are delighted by this recent development. Ultimately it is our long-term aim to be able to establish pockets of support to provide education to children from Africa’s poorest regions. If you are interested in sponsoring a child in Africa, we are currently looking for both full-time and part-time sponsors for the latest editions to our ever-expanding SOS Africa family in the Western Cape.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of the charity’s development for enabling us to reach this landmark – your generosity makes the seemingly impossible possible; for both the charity and its children, big dreams can now be realised.
Dr Matt Crowcombe, SOS Africa Director
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of SOS Africa, on Thursday 14 November, 2013. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/
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