Over the recent months, schools in Mpumalanga have started to go back part-time. But due to restrictions, our regular programs are still largely impacted by Covid 19. However, two new programs have become essential to the community we serve. One, the food parcel program and the other, an expansion of our pregnancy support service. Both have seen large increases in demand due to the Covid 19 pandemic. In the meantime our staff are still providing after school homework support. And the Brothers For Life program continues to thrive under the leadership of Space. He also manages the Litsemba Centre.
The food parcel program goes much deeper than providing nutritional food. It is our natural response to our relationships in the community we’ve been serving for 15 years.
It involves researching the needy families and households, and sourcing and securing the necessary food supplies. Often other needs are noticed as well, and our staff try to find ways to meet their needs such as getting identity documents for children who can access government grants. We see this level of care as essential, but it is expensive both in time and financial resources. Some of the food is donated locally, but most is purchased. The groceries are packaged into food parcels, bearing in mind the needs and sizes of each family, to ensure a balanced and healthy diet is provided. Families are an average of 8 people and some are up to 22 people in a 2 roomed house. Once they are packaged these parcels are delivered to the homes. Many times the path or road is just a dirt track with deep potholes and treacherous pits leading to a shack in the backwoods. Our amazing team has stuck to this weekly routine since June last year. Like all our programs they need your support for transport, vehicles repairs and the food itself.
Schools For Schools:
The Schools For Schools program has made rapid progress the first three months of 2021. New schools in both Canada and South Africa have joined the program, and we anticipate even more growth as we plan towards September 2021. Two new schools in South Africa have begged us to start our programs there as there is such a need.
In addition, we have added a new volunteer. Pavel Reid has joined us to supervise the anticipated expansion and to take care of onboarding new schools here in Canada. He's joining our existing Schools For Schools team - Nick, Dan, Amy, Mbongiseni, Heather, Oromyia and Khadjia.
If the concept of International dialog between students from a variety of countries appeals to you, please contact Nick Short for more information. We're looking for some major sponsors for this expanding project.
The Litsemba Pregnancy Care Program opened its doors recently at the Litsemba Centre and has been meeting an ever-growing demand for its services. This program provides much needed counseling and support to girls who have difficult choices to make about their pregnancies. Girls are taught parenting and income generation skills. Our vision is that each young lady becomes like family to us. Our intent is to support them and their children until they are able to support themselves. This program is run by Senath (Young woman's Program coordinator).and Smangele our Social Worker.
Reachout Online Auction:
Over the past 15 Years Reachout has hosted events and galas each year. With Covid 19 persisting this year, we are instead hosting an online Auction. The auction will open on April 25th 2021 and be open for 5 days.
We have assembled a good selection of items all starting at 40 % of retail. So bargains are to be had on vacations, wine, great products and services, and the best coffee beans from Vancouver's top coffee roasters.
This fundraising strategy is truly a win/win/win situation. Donors get to promote their goods and services, or make use of otherwise vacant vacation spots AND they get a tax receipt for doing so. Buyers get the product, service, or vacation experience while at the same time supporting our ministries. And finally, the vulnerable children and youth in SA continue to benefit from our loving staff and programming.
We need a good turnout of people registering for this online auction. Please register here (on the register link) before the 25th April 2021.
The actual auction will go live on the 25th April 2021 when you will be able to view the auction items available. Between now that the 25th we will be announcing items to be available via social media. Check out our Instagram, twitter and Facebook accounts.
On the 1st of May 2021 one of our tenants at Ekukhanyeni Property will be moving away. This opens up an opportunity for an individual missionary or family to come and serve in our programs and have a house/accommodations on site. If this is you, please pray about this opportunity and if the lords leads we can set up a Zoom meeting with Heather Stephens in South Africa to discuss this ministry in more detail. This would be an initial 12-month commitment with annual renewals after that.
Our 2021 financial goals target for programs and ministries is $200,000. For the first 3 months we have raised $37,000. Thank-you so very much for your support!
Hope Clubs in Action
Our Hope Clubs have had to change the way they operate as a result of Covid-19. Classrooms were formerly so overcrowded that 50-70 children were being packed in each room. With Covid, schools have had to accommodate these children but without more classroom space, so many children are attending rural schools one day a week. This means their education is severely curtailed. As a result, our Hope Clubs have also had to divide into different groups, as the maximum number allowed in a classroom is 20 children. The wonderful outcome of this is a more one on one relationship between our leaders and their children. The support system has deepened in its impact. It also means we have been able to identify the children with the greatest need.
Reachout To Africa:
When Reachout To Africa kicked off back in 2005 little did we know that 15 years later we would still be following our mission to serve and support vulnerable children and youth. Reachout To Africa as touched and changed the lives of thousands of young people in Southern Africa and quite a few here in Canada as well. None of this could have happened without the financial support and donations of many many Canadians. The impact of Covid 19 since March last year has changed in some ways the work and programs we support overseas. During this time schools have closed, businesses have laid off staff, many people have got sick with Covid and always it's the same outcome, kids that have suffered the most.
Please consider making a charitable donation at this time to ensure that our food parcels and programs continue to support needy families, child headed households, single mums and children and youth clubs sponsored by Reachout To Africa via Mamkhulu.org.
Please make a secure donation by clicking on the link below. Both we and the children and youth that we serve will be truly grateful for your help.
Registration Number: 840045074RR0001
Phone: 604 307-1069
It is time to celebrate & persevere in generous giving!
A child’s laughter -- it is such a delight! Bringing peace and happiness to children is one of the most wonderful joys in life. Now what about children who are vulnerable and suffering? Bringing them relief and hope for a happy future -- this too is meaningful, bringing us a deep understanding that we are doing the right thing.
And with thousands of similar organizations around the world, why focus your generosity on Reachout To Africa? Your financial support goes directly to the programs we provide to kids and youth in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa.
These programs, developed and run by our local staff, help these children with a hand up in training, education and personal support when in crisis, ensuring they are safely on their way to responsible and secure futures.
We still have a way to go to reach our annual funding target. We need to raise the remaining $46,000 before the end of the year to ensure that all our operational commitments are met. Hope Camps and Clubs Due to COVID 19 there have been no Hope Camps during 2020.
Being a very responsive organization, our partner Mamkhulu.org very quickly and smoothly switched the program focus from the usual weekly school program to providing food hampers for the kids and their families at home. This involved doing more research into the needs of each household, sourcing the food from local markets and farms, packaging the food and delivering it to the needy families. Our programs work because we are in direct contact with the children and families in our clubs, we visit them and phone them regularly, we listen to their needs, we respond directly to these needs. We do not work through third party providers. Although Hope Camps play an important follow-up role in the ongoing care of those most vulnerable kids attending our Hope Clubs, we have not been able to operate any Camps this year but we have continued to serve those identified orphaned and vulnerable kids in our local community.
Major Milestones for Reachout To Africa
Reachout To Africa is celebrating our 15th Anniversary this year. We hosted an international Zoom meeting earlier this month connecting our Canadian volunteers, donors and supporters together with our South African Mamkhulu.org staff and supporters.
This was a great success. We are planning the next year, 5 years and 10 years for Reachout To Africa and hope you will continue to be alongside us as the future unfolds.
Schools For Schools
The Schools For Schools pilot program is touching some 1600 BC students! This program raises awareness and encourages philanthropy, spiced up with wonderful success stories of the kids and youth in South Africa.
In 2021 we will be expanding to more schools both here and in South Africa. The program links Canadian youth in schools with their peers in South Africa. The goal is to make this international youth program available to schools across Canada and eventually to include more African countries.
Thank you for your generosity
These exciting initiatives require funding and we ask you to consider supporting us as we continue to work with children and youth in our programs. Over the 15 years we have sent 200+ self-funded Canadian volunteers to South Africa to participate in our programs there.
We have raised more than $3.5 million dollars since Reachout To Africa was founded to support our volunteers and the local staff, the programs of Mamkhulu.org and the purchase of the Ekukhanyeni property in South Africa. We have seen the results year after year. The successes of our youth and leaders in South Africa are stunning and we congratulate each one of them as they pursue their chosen careers. We are extremely proud of them given the challenging circumstances they have overcome.
Your support has made a real difference in these young people’s lives.
If you’re able to help us this year, the board of Reachout To Africa would value your financial support. Make an online donation via our donation page: Here
Cheques can be mailed to our address posted below.
On behalf of all our Canadian volunteers and directors, our South African Staff and Leaders, and especially on behalf of the children who are being fed and loved, we wish to thank you for your past support and donations.......and we wish you all a Merry Christmas.
With sincere appreciation,
Judy Rothwell – Chair Nick Short - CEO
November 30, 2019
We are very thankful for your partnership and generosity! With your support over the last 15 years we have helped more than 15,000 orphans and vulnerable children and youth in South Africa to have a better life and a brighter future. Through Reachout to Africa, along with its South African sister charity, Mamkhulu.org, you have been a partner serving children and youth on a daily basis, giving a hand up or helping them to recover from significant traumas and challenges.
Hope Campsare held 6 weeks each year during school breaks at our property, Ekukhanyeni “Place of Light”, which was purchased in 2017. Annually 160 - 200 campers are identified as the most in need of help through our schools and Hope Clubs. Our staff and youth leaders, many of who were once campers themselves, lead the Hope Camps. They are supported by Canadian volunteers of all ages who come to South Africa for 4 weeks with a heart to help in any way they can. The campers arrive Day 1 with great anticipation and fear of the unknown. Through the next 5 days of programs, they find many new friends and relationships, receive counseling, health advice, 3 meals a day as well as new shoes and clothing and participate in sports, drama, crafts and other activities. They leave with smiling faces and a new beginning. All cases of abuse are followed up immediately with additional help and support.
During the rest of the year, most of our programs are held at the schools or at our drop-in Litsemba Centre, in the township of Daantjie including:
Our Financial Needs:
We are very thankful for the donations to date but we have fallen short. We would very much appreciate your help. We would also appreciate if you would share our story and needs with your friends and contacts.
Please consider making a DONATION now to support the children. Every dollar donated will be used for Hope Camps, Clubs and programs. A charitable donation tax receipt will be provided. Payments can be made by a cheque payable to Reachout to Africa, or you can pay by credit card. We can also receive in-kind securities if you prefer an additional tax advantage. We would be happy to answer any questions or assist you further as needed.
THANK-YOU for your support and for taking the time to consider our request. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
CEO Reachout To Africa
SAVE the DATE! Postponed until the Spring NICK’S SPECIAL BRAAI!
Nick Short is organizing a special “braai” with roast lamb and pork in the Hillside parking lot! Oh you don’t want to miss this one! And by the way a “braai” is South African for barbeque except in this case the lamb and pork are roasted on giant spits! Delicious! Hope to see you there!
SAVE the DATE! Saturday, October 13, 2018 6:30pm ARBUTUS CLUB DINNER AND ANNUAL FUNDRAISER! Hey we just had so much fun at this event last year we had to do it again! Hope all of you who came last year will come again and bring your friends. Amanda Wood and Diana Lines, celebrated singers in our very own Vancouver community, will be our guest entertainment. And if you all remember the food from last year, it was outstanding!!
HOPE CAMPS are scheduled again in late November 2018. Anyone wanting to volunteer for the camps for a life-changing amazing experience please contact Nick Short, Judy Rothwell, or Dan Mitchell.
Mamkhulu.org - Ministry report:
There is so much going on with Mamkhulu.org on a daily basis it is impossible to tell you all the good news. However, here are a few of our favorite highlights to give you an idea of who we are and what we have been up to!
*Canadian volunteers did a spectacular job of helping with the Hope Camps and we are so grateful to Travis, Mary, Laura, Clifton and of course our fearless leader Nick! Two new social workers at the camps learned a lot from their experience and the Hero Book which the campers do during camp, and this helped them with their own lives. They have a passion for helping people and found it a great experience. They both were very actively involved in the camps and gained the trust of the kids. We thank them for their help and we hope one of them will be hired by Mamkhulu.org shortly.
*Travis reports that during the month of July the Grove Spar, a local grocery chain, put on a very generous food drive event for our ministry. We were named the charity of the month and at the end of it we received two full truck loads of donations! Our staff created food parcels which were distributed to 45 families who are struggling with food shortages and living in poverty. The project was supported by 19 staff and volunteers, who went to the store every day to ask for donations which were matched by Spar. One family needed a wheelbarrow to carry it all home! Not too shabby! This was such a generous donation and the children were so stoked! In addition, the youth leaders made some good contacts while at Spar, with government departments such as the Lottery Fund. The Lottery Fund has invited Mamkhulu.org to make a grant application and this is in process. If we are successful, the money will be used for a long term feeding program at our Litsemba Centre..
*Baby clothes were distributed to 15 single Moms.
*Local knitter’s group donated several bags of children’s warm blankets, beanies, and jersey’s.
*Mandela Day, July 18, our President’s Award team ran a special “Beauty” Day for 80 kids from various schools. A professional hairdresser volunteered and taught the youth how to wash, cut, and style the OVC kids hair to boost confidence. Most of these children don’t have anyone to help them with their hair, as it is a lot of work and cost for families. Great fun was had by all!
* The President’s Award programme is the youth skills programme that develops individuals through community service, sports, skills, and adventure experiences. It is a huge success. One example is a youth who came to us in 2014, as a young, quiet girl, with little confidence, and was having challenges with her ID, study permits, etc. Now she is a camp leader, in matric and doing well, and one of the members of the committee of the President’s Award.
* Hope Clubs are for children who are orphaned and vulnerable and we offer support, discussions, help with school work, and mentoring. All the children passed their school terms! We are running Hope Clubs in 8 schools with 7 youth leaders, who are paid a small stipend. The leaders also do home visits. There are 515 kids attending these clubs weekly, and leaders do 30-40 home visits per month. In addition, there is a full time youth leader at one school, Lugebhuta High School with 400 learners per month.
* Teen Mother Clubs: There are 12 teen moms and their children. We assist young women who are vulnerable and distressed. We empower one another to look forward to their future and to build skills. One example is a teen mom who we assisted to take their child to a local day care centre so that she was looked after. Before this the child was running up and down the streets, neglected and dirty.
* SIMUNYE BOYS TO MEN (Formerly known as Brothers for Life)
Simunye means “all of us together”. This group began in 2011 with boys who were dropouts into drugs and crime. We started a research programme to find out who the boys were and how we could help them. We now have 3 groups Simunye Boys to Men made up of young men. These boys were not behaving well at school, not good students, and were creating problems. Now they are running a boys club at school, no longer skipping classes, and doing well for themselves and the school. They help the school with latecomers, they wear their school uniforms, in and out of class. They have run campaigns and participated in events at school. For example, 6 of them painted the school on Mandela Day. These boys have been changed from being a force for bad in the schools to a force for good.
* The Litsemba Centre is a drop in centre rented at a very low rate to Mamkhulu.org for the kids in the community. There are many programmes that take place there, all of which are supported by our staff and volunteers. It has also been a place where needy boys, who have no other place to live, can have a temporary place to stay. Presently Sipho, an orphan, is living in the centre and working as a paid caretaker. He also participates in the programmes that are held at the centre. There are now 2 churches involved in the centre, running Saturday programmes where they provide food for the kids, do repairs, storytelling, crafts, art, dramas, some sports, and give Christmas parcels to our orphans and vulnerable children. One company has donated seedlings and clothes to our centre and camps every year since we started running our gardening programme. They have also taught our kids how to plant and do gardening at home. Teachers come to the centre to get help for some of their kids and call us when children do not go to school, so our staff can go to the home of the child to find out what is happening.
*We have a Clothing Bank at the Litsemba Centre and give away about 100 kg of clothes away each month.
* Camps: Twice a year, Mamkhulu.org runs psychosocial support camps for 80 orphans and vulnerable children. We train 20-30 youth leaders each time, who come to lead the camps and activities. In July we had 82 kids who came to camp and many kids were followed up after the camps by our staff and 2 social workers. The kids who gave their lives to the Lord at the camps were a highlight. They were encouraged to start going to their local churches, Sunday schools and Hope Clubs at school.
* EKUKHANYENI Christian Retreat Center:
The team would like to celebrate having the Ekukhanyeni property because we now have a wonderful, well-equipped place to run our camps, train our youth leaders and profitable businesses which will help sustain our ministries in the distant future once we have finishing paying off our bond. We also want to celebrate Reachout to Africa for their continuous support for Mamkhulu.org and its children and youth. The staff appreciate so much all the help that has been given over the years, all the volunteers who have come to participate and all the people who have contributed to us having a home for the ministry.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will make a difference in the lives of children and youth in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
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