Kleinmond is located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. It lies 25 kilometres northwest of Hermanus and 110 kilometres east of Cape Town on the Atlantic Ocean. The city has slightly more than 7,000 inhabitants, 4,000 of whom live in the township.
We want to help in this slum with corrugated iron huts, no running water and no paved roads.
Our project “A Care Center for children in Kleinmond” has been given the beautiful name “iThemba elitsha”, which means “new hope” in Zulu.
This is our goal: We want to get the children and teenagers off the streets and out of the clutches of drug dealers and gangs. We want to offer them a safe environment, because the dealers who lurk on the way to school and at the few playgrounds, have no qualms about winning eight-year-olds as their customers.
In order to finance their drug use, these young people often steal from their teachers – the only “rich” people they know, which will get them expelled from school. Girls sell themselves for a few cents and without contraception to “Sugar Daddys” – teenage pregnancies are the result. Once they have slipped into this spiral of poverty and hopelessness, it is difficult for them to get out of this vicious circle on their own. Without education, they have no chance of an autonomous life, instead they find themselves in lifelong dependency.
With our Care Center, we focus on health, safety and (vocational) education:
- A warm, healthy meal
- Homework assistance
- Leisure activities that are fun for the children, but also strengthen their team spirit and sense of responsibility (football, theatre and music groups, tasks in the workshop or the fruit and vegetable garden …).
- Drug counselling and prevention
- Safe routes to and from the Care Center
- Lectures and workshops on other topics such as healthy nutrition, AIDS, dealing with frustration, peer pressure, broken families, safety …
- Support in the search for internships and apprenticeships
The Care Center is opened in the morning hours for children and teenagers without birth certificates who are denied school attendance – unfortunately a very big problem in South Africa – and teenage mothers.
We open the Care Center for the 12- to 18-year-olds after school in the afternoon.
It is a project of iThemba elitsha – neue Hoffnung e. V., which is realized in cooperation with the African NGOs Child Welfare and PASA (People Against Substance Abuse) and in coorparation with Themba Labantu e. V.. The project is financially supported by DER Touristik Foundation, Frankfurt.
Initiator of the project is Simone Dimmerling, who worked for several months in a children’s home in Kleinmond in 2016.
“The visit to the township of Kleinmond had a lasting impression on me. Seeing the poverty with my own eyes, getting to know the people who have to live in these poor neighbourhoods, talking to them and hearing their stories – all this made me want to help.
What shocked me the most was that the children and young people were exposed to violence on the streets without any protection. I was speechless when I saw the drug dealers standing next to the few playgrounds and on the way to school. And so I decided to build a safe place for these young people.
Since I cannot do this on my own, I was very relieved when the chairman of Themba Labantu e.V. said to me “I’ll help you”. These three words have set everything in motion, and I am very grateful and happy that together with your help we have the opportunity to offer these innocent children a better future. A future in which education and independence are at the forefront.
THANK YOU for supporting us!”