Cape Town - Children at Elukhuselweni Educare Centre in Khayelitsha became the first to receive pairs of flip flops and nutritional packs as the Samaritan’s Feet SA and its social partners celebrated the first day of spring.
In collaboration with Youth4Life, Outside Bowl Africa and Western Cape legislature speaker Masizole Mnqasela, the initiative, which forms part of the #Journey Of Hope Project, saw 10 000 pairs of flip flops and 10 000 nutritional packs distributed to the most needy children at 200 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in the province.
Samaritan’s Feet SA chief executive Elanie Fourie said the Journey of Hope project aimed to spread of the message of hope.
“Together with other NPO’s,companies and individuals, we are joining hands to travel throughout the Western Cape to the rural areas and bring hope to the most vulnerable communities.
“The project's objective is to ensure that children can continue their education without interruptions due to the lack of basic needs such as shoes and sanitary pads.
“We also distribute socks, Christian literature and Bibles. Parallel to this we offer a human trafficking awareness programme and youth leadership training.This will empower youth workers to reach a minimum of 100 teenagers in every district in the Western Cape, and will become our community bridges between schools and communities,” she said.
Fourie said that the value of the programme already exceeded R2.5 million.
“We will be visiting 16 schools every month over a six-month period and will do the necessary training in schools and communities to ensure we impact the lives of those who desperately need guidance and support,” she said.
Madri Schuch, of Youth4life in Strand, said by registering with the programme, ECD centres ensured that they were good Samaritans.
“Most ECDs were committed and helped us to make this day possible. Thousands of volunteers assisted and ensured that 10 000 children benefited. All programmes started on Spring Day and most of them will be completed on Friday.
“After receiving more than 2 000 photos already, I am overwhelmed and grateful that our province has so many committed ECD centres and teachers that care about our children and our future. The Western Cape is in good hands,” she said.
Mnqasela said working with social partners was the only way that communities could relate to the work done by Parliament.
“We dream that every pre-primary learner in the Western Cape will walk away with a new pair of shoes, hope for the future and inspiration to pursue education. We want to level the playing field and ensure that education is fashionable.
“The only way we can ensure that the society we live in is a better place tomorrow is to leave it far better than we found it,” he said.