Johannesburg – This week saw the official welcoming of autumn in the southern hemisphere, and to commemorate the season, the Johannesburg Children’s Home is seeking to raise much-needed funds.
The NPO, which is one of the oldest of its kind in Johannesburg, is set to have an array of goods available for sale at the fair, with all proceeds going towards the running of the home.
“It's a morning, which is a fundraiser for the home, and we will have pre-loved books and clothing and products produced under our Imvelo Experience brand on sale as well as vendors from the community hosting stalls,” the Johannesburg Children’s Home’s head of operations Fiona Duke told The Saturday Star this week.
“We will also have picnic packs on sale, and it will be a relaxed morning spent at the home in a lovely setting.”
Duke explained that The Imvelo Experience creates sustainable funding opportunities for the organisation, and that the Book & Food Fair is one of the fundraising strategies that they have implemented over the years.
With the next edition of the fair expected to take place in September, the autumn edition on April 1 will coincide with the home’s Imvelo Experience, which was officially launched at their 130th birthday celebration in December last year.
“Whether you’re a customer, a guest, corporate or community volunteer, our re-imagined social enterprise in support of the Johannesburg Children’s Home will leave you with a lasting memorable experience,” Duke believes.
Apart from books, food and beverages, Duke added that there will be jumping castles, among other things, to entertain youngsters on the day.
The Johannesburg Children’s Home was officially opened in 1892 in Fordsburg, Johannesburg, by Jane Margaret Von Brandis.
Since then, the home has provided much-needed care for vulnerable and orphaned children in Johannesburg. It has since moved to Observatory and has grown into a professional Child and Youth Care Centre with the addition of an Early Childhood Development Centre called Funda Ngo Thando.
This addition to the home currently provides early childhood education for over 40 children between the ages of two and five years old.
“A need for a well-structured nurturing environment was identified within the community to give children a stable solid foundation-phase schooling opportunity,” said Duke.
Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Children’s Home also cares for 64 orphaned and vulnerable children ranging from the age of three to 21 years old and provides them with much-needed residential, educational, developmental and therapeutic care.
“The children in care of the Johannesburg Children's Home have experienced severe trauma and through the court system have been placed in the home's care,” said Duke.
She added that each child is individually assessed and appropriate measures, such as therapies and educational needs, are put in place to ensure that the child has a successful exit plan when one day leaving the home.
Duke said that the Johannesburg Children’s Home relies on donations and funding from the community and government but needs additional sustainable funding to match the ever-increasing financial needs of providing quality care for the children at the home.
“The home is very well managed but funding is tight in the difficult economic climate and apart from the fair, people can support the home by donating money or food and cleaning materials.”
She said that the Book & Food Fair is one of the ways that they raise money for the home and that their vision is to continually strive to deliver memorable experiences for their guests and customers through their diverse range of enterprise offerings.
“Our mission is to build a financially sustainable and productive social enterprise that provides high-value products and services that contribute to our children as key beneficiaries on their journey to becoming responsible citizens, whilst positively impacting our environment and contributing to our local economy,” said Duke.
If you are interested in hosting a stall at the Autumn Book & Food Fair, entrepreneurs and vendors are invited to contact Sandra on 011 648 1120 or at [email protected].