By very definition, to have compassion is to give attention to those among us who are suffering or enduring the most hardship. That was exactly the mission of fifteen American volunteers from the Columbia, South Carolina Church of Christ who joined us in June.
The volunteers arrived in South Africa in an effort to extend an arm of kindness and a listening ear to the needy women and children within our Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes. Not only did they want to bring love, but also wanted to experience, learn and document, about our Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes, in hopes of sharing them the United States and abroad. The group played and danced with young children in our partnering preschools. They shared, embraced and cried with the mothers in our Parent Support Groups. They also had the opportunity to visit and share their hearts with some of our SHIELD programme families in their homes.
Living conditions for young families in the areas where HOPE worldwide SA works are extremely challenging. One volunteer said: “I was stunned and saddened to see the enormous amount of trash piled throughout the settlements. Sewage water ran down the roads and pathways to the shacks. Children played alongside these sewage and trash filled paths. Some without shoes.”
Despite all of the poverty and desperation, the group encountered as they navigated the township of Diepsloot, they were also inspired to see the life-transforming power of the Parent Support groups that ran throughout the week. “It was so encouraging to sit with a group of South African mothers who are learning how to diffuse anger and frustration brought on by poverty and stress, and with that, understanding how to effectively parent and nurture their children through advice given by the HOPE worldwide SA’s Parent Support Group.”
Our US friends were deeply moved by the experience and we hope you will also join us in showing care and support for these precious children and their families.
Invest in ECD today!