This week Lerato, Communications Officer for our partner Themba Interactive shares her thoughts on Gauteng, the area where the Safe Parks funded by you, our supporters, are located and explains some of the work undertaken there
"Gauteng (meaning place of gold) is the smallest province in the whole of South Africa but somehow this is where most people come to realise their dreams. Johannesburg, as the capital city of Gauteng, is said to be a place where “wealth is endless and only the human body fails to keep up with the fast-paced life”. Full of opportunities and surrounded by big tall buildings in the inner city everyone deserves to enjoy the fruits of democracy.
Although many goals can be reached here, and dreams manifested, they are not handed over to one on a silver platter, everyone pays their dues through hard work and determination. Even with all the development happening in Gauteng, there are people who are still living in extreme poverty and our purpose is to support Safe Parks that are passionately dedicated to caring for orphans and vulnerable children in their communities. Although children go through difficult circumstances due to poverty, Safe Parks offer them a safe space to take part in activities that impact their lives positively by helping them with school work, feeding them after school as well as giving them psychosocial support as a grounding.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) is crucial in helping the vulnerable children to further develop throughout childhood and gradually into adulthood. The foundation for ECD is formed through various non- formal educational activities that are created for children to acquire skills such as dancing and acting by participating in drama and dance groups that nurture their potential to develop excellent communication skills and grow in self-confidence. `
Grassroots comics and film workshops are also activities that allow children to creatively express themselves by creating comic strips that sequentially narrate their stories. Being able to adapt these into films is a wonderful outlet for children to share and explore their views on the world.
Safe Parks are a place of safety for orphans and vulnerable children to feel protected and taken care of. Safe Parks are a place of hope where children are assured that they are not alone, and where they get to see beyond their present circumstances and dream big, because opportunities are within their reach. "