Children’s homes get some help

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Young people and children are undoubtedly amongst the most fragile and vulnerable members of South African society and without help, those left destitute by poverty, orphaned by disease and violence, and victims of abuse, cannot fend for themselves.

There are many children’s shelters and orphanages across the country giving these children homes filled with love and compassion, but they need financial support to continue their work.

chums 1The organisation is driven by a firm belief in young people’s potential and the huge role they are destined to play in shaping the country’s futureChubby Chums, a child protection organisation, aims to assist children’s shelters to provide continuous care through funds and support.

Founded in 1999 by Martin Barnard and Tony Graham, the organisation has grown to incorporate 30 children’s homes across the country.

The organisation is driven by a firm belief in young people’s potential and the huge role they are destined to play in shaping the country’s future.

“I feel ecstatic to know that we’ve made some contribution in the children’s lives . . .” says Barnard, “. . . and knowing that we can be there for the children when they need someone

“Chubby Chums is about breaking the circle of violence, of abuse, neglect and exploitation that children often get caught up in. Child protection is everyone’s business. Government cannot do this on their own, they need all the stakeholders they can get,” he adds.

After a visit to one of the homes receiving Cubby Chums’s support, an organisation sponsor who prefers to remain anonymous said; “Whilst talking with the older children, although they were happy too, I noticed that behind many of those faces lay stories of pain that none of us could ever imagine.

“Chubby Chums have done so much to help these children, not only by getting donations, but also by including these children and homes in their own lives.”

THE CHUMS’S CHILDREN’S HOMES

The Tembisa Home & Daycare Centre, in Kempton Park, Gauteng, is one of the 30 Chubby Chums affiliates; staff members care for some 120 children who have HIV or Aids, aged between three months and seven years. Poverty in the area is increasing the number of vulnerable children.

Apart from feeding, clothing and seeing that the children’s everyday needs are taken care of, Chubby Chums, together with a local church, has built a crèche for the children at the home and in the community.

Vuyani Safe Haven, in Graaff Reinet in Eastern Cape Province, joined the Chubby Chums collective in August 2004 when Barnard visited the centre.

chums 2Chubby Chums, a child protection organisation, aims to assist children’s shelters to provide continuous care through funds and supportSince his visit Vuyani, with help from Chubby Chums, has put together a number of social development programmes; it has introduced gumboot dancing to entertain tourists and sells beadwork to sustain the centre.

The haven intends to open a new hospice unit and a baby sanctuary but needs help buying safer metal cots as wooden cots pose health and safety risks; bacteria breed in cracks and splinters develop as the wood wears down.

The metal cots, manufactured in Tshwane, Gauteng, cost R3 604 each.

To donate towards buying the cots or to find out more about the organisation, visit its website, or call (011) 825 7773.