St Michael's School Blog

Raising money for Nancy’s house

THANK YOU TO ALL THE CHILDREN WHO CONTRIBUTED TO OUR FUNDRAISER FOR NANCY AND PRISCILLA’S HOUSE.  We raised £162 today – which equates to R3,150 (South African rand)… financial support are always so much appreciated in these two houses where day to day life is a constant struggle.  

SIHAMBANA is a  non-profit company (NPC) with the aim to generate funds to help poor and/or disabled children. The Xhosa word means ‘we walk together’– our mission is to find partners to accompany us on the road of caring for and helping less privileged children.

Masincedane, home for intellectually and physically disabled children, and Priscilla’s Home Care, home for children without parental care, are the main focal points of the project. Support is given to other families or individuals on an ad-hoc basis if and when funds are available.

At St Michael’s we want to foster the value of love and encourage the children to pay forward, especially as we have so much to be thankful for.

On Wednesday, the 11th of December, the children were invited to come to school wearing their own clothes in a return for a donation, which will be donated to this charity.

We want to do our little bit to make a difference in the lives of these children and therefore any donation will be much appreciated.

Here is a bit more information about Nancy and Priscilla’s house in Nyanga, a township in South Africa…

Life in Nyanga

Nyanga has the doubtful reputation to be one of the most violent townships in South Africa: in the previous year, Nyanga police station recorded more murders than any other police station in the country.

The streets of Nyanga: houses and shelters are built wall to wall up to the side-walks, the streets are full of pedestrians and taxis. No privacy, no gardens, no lawns, trees are few and far between, very few areas for children to play or for inhabitants to relax. Old corrugated iron roofs and walls, rusted window frames, bundles of electric cables… but a modern satellite dish on nearly every roof.

Butchery in Nyanga: in the main road, almost opposite the police station. Every day, loads of animal heads are delivered here by trucks, and boiled in large black drums, on a small hill of ash that grows higher and higher. Mamas queue to buy meat for the week.

Many houses and shelters give testimony to the poverty, the struggle to survive, the severe lack of space, but also to a make-your-own-plan attitude to life. And the majority of people, actually all of them, are friendly and greet with a smile.

The take away food shop on the corner …

Masincedane, ‘let us help one another’

Nancy Rwexana’s house, her personal property, shines like a beacon in the dark. It is a home where 20 severely disabled children live full time. Here they are cared for with love and empathy by a team of seven women. Five of them work during the day and two are on duty at night.

Each day many bottles of milk are prepared, food is cooked, and children are fed. Large bundles of bedding and clothes are washed daily. The washing line is on the sidewalk (there is no other space) where the sun and the wind of Cape Town can dry the washing.

Some of the children need intensive physical and medical care. One of these is this little water head boy whose biological mother only visits him once or twice in a year.

Attention is given to education and intellectual stimulation so that the capacity of each child can be developed optimally.

But, large structural changes were needed in 2019…
To qualify for a subsidy from the National Department of Health, a facility has to comply with absolutely ALL the department’s requirements. According to health and safety measures you may not walk through a kitchen to access the bathroom. To rectify this, some breaking and building had to be done. An old part of the roof was leaking and had to be replaced with a new corrugated iron roof. A lot of work; a lot of money!

In 2018 Nancy had received R15,000 for her 3rd place in a countrywide competition for facilities like Masincedane. She used this money as a starting point to build a fund for the improvements to the house. Her brother kindly agreed to do the construction work for a fee that she could afford to repay. A lot of things had to be organised and all the children were temporarily placed with other families.

Priscilla’s home care

Eight children, mostly boys, of school going age, all without parents who can take care of them, are being raised at 43 Makateng Street. Apart from these orphans, Priscilla Ligwa’s house also provides a temporary shelter to three adult members of her family that do not have any other place to stay at the moment.

What does the future hold for these children?   We can’t change the world, but we can make a difference.  Helping these children is making a difference their lives.


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