Whilst we hope to make a difference in the lives of many, many indigent children, we also try to focus on the individual needs of each and very child in our care. As part of our social outreach projects in the community we have managed to change the lives of children through numerous different initiatives.
EMOTIONAL & SPIRITUAL CARE
Many children who live in the terribly challenging conditions of the informal settlements unfortunately become victims of domestic and sexual abuse. A long-term goal of Angels Care is to provide a centre where these children can receive all the counselling and medical assistance they may require. In the meantime we do what we can….. One special little girl of about 7 years of age who we have managed to help arrived one freezing cold winter’s Saturday morning at the feeding scheme. She was shivering, absolutely frozen to the bone and had soiled her clothing. She had probably slept the night on a cold floor without shoes, a blanket or clean clothes. Her mother being unemployed, desperate and an alcoholic had abandoned her child with the result that the child was left to survive in a very basic shelter with no access to toilet facilities, clean water or a safe place to stay. This child was given a warm shower by one of the Centre’s caregivers, hot sweet tea, something eat and provided with a new outfit that helped to stop her shivering and make her feel loved and comfortable. Our staff alerted the local social workers who have ensured that she is now in the care of her grandmother – it is such a joy to see her come on a Saturday looking so much healthier and full of smiles!
Our professional nurse provides general health care to all children who attend the Centre including:
- Referring sick children to the clinic;
- Treatment of children with minor ailments;
- Monthly developmental status assessments for all children who attend educational programmes, including constant monitoring of their height, weigh and head circumference – ensuring age appropriate milestones are met;
- All child vaccinations are up to date;
- Physical examination and treatment of victims of sexual and physical assault;
- Screening, treatment and counselling for children suffering from HIV and TB;
- Every pre-school child undergoes hearing and eye sight testing and are they fitted with glasses when needed.
Many children need individualised health care and we help out wherever possible. Their needs differ from requirements for specialised surgery, mental health, access to opticians and audiologists, to everyday accidents that happen in the home or at school. A child with cerebral palsy who attends our Bridging Class has undergone extensive surgery and physiotherapy due to the intervention of our nursing sister and the Community Care Givers at the Centre. As a result he is now able to walk unassisted and is making better academic progress.
PROVISION OF CLOTHING AND BLANKETS
The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands has extremely harsh winters with frost almost every morning. Our children who live in extreme poverty have little or no access to warm clothing or blankets and every winter we receive donations from kind people in the community who lovingly knit sweaters, scarves, woollen hats and even make beautiful colourful blankets for us to distribute.
ASSISTANCE FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS
Whenever possible we attempt to provide children who arrive in South Africa as refugees from our neighbouring countries, and who cannot attend our government schools, with an education. For example our community caregivers became aware of four abandoned children from Malawi who were in a desperate state and with no one to help them. One of the older children received individual classes from one of our volunteers for four years and then joined classes offered at a night school. The Angels Care staff also assisted the family with obtaining the relevant documentation they required for the other three children to attend school.