Karabo Asara Orphan Centre
The Karabo Asara HIV & Orphan Center started due to an increasing number of orphaned children and HIV effected and affected people living in poverty with minimum or no access to information about the pandemic. As a result, the community of New Eesterus, located in the heart of Soshanguve - Pretoria's largest township, decided to do something about the situation.
Karabo Asara formed in 2008 with the help of one woman (Heidi O'Bra) and has been informally operating ever since. Granted, the HIV & Orphan Center is in desperate need of funds in order to continue their operations.
The main objectives of the organization are to:
1) Give support to child-headed homes
2) Give shelter and comfort to vulnerable children
3) Take care of children effected and affected by HIV/AIDS
4) To encourage young people on issues of moral degradation and constructive behavior through sports and motivation
5) To help keep children off the streets
6) To save children from abusive environments, and to provide a safe space for children to play and interact
It's secondary objectives are to:
1) Help weak and elderly people in the community who are left alone to care for young children;
2) To form a support group for HIV+ people in the community
3) To start a community garden to help feed the people of Soshanguve
4) To introduce projects that are sustainable that can add value and empower people of the community (i.e., small business, skills development, computer literacy, arts & crafts, etc.)
Karabo Asara has already achieved remarkable results:
* Feeding scheme for children and for HIV+ persons who are on antiretroviral therapy who need to maintain a good diet
* Donate clothing to children in need, and provide laundry services to promote good hygiene
*The center takes interest in the children's academic success, and helps provide school uniforms and assists with their homework
*Started an HIV support group with members of the community, including workshops, moral support, and encourages others to know their HIV status
*Door-to-door home based care for the sick and elderly that stay alone during the day - volunteers go and help with cleaning, taking a bath, and providing food
Up until now, all workers and caregivers have been volunteers from the community. As we move forward, we would like to begin paying these critical members of society a small stipend for their help.
The Karabo Asara Orphan and HIV Center also provides meals for children and community members, which is a major expense.
We need your help to ensure long-term sustainability of this amazing organization. We are in the process of exploring ways for the South African Government to recognize Karabo Asara as a Non-Profit Organization and to receive support locally, but this will take time.
Karabo Asara's monthly expenses are approximately $1000 (including food, a very small stipend, water, electricty, transportation fees, etc).
We would like to generate enough money to sustain Karabo Asara over the next year while we build the organization's capacity and get them to the level where they will qualify for national support.
Please do what you can to help.
And if you're in South Africa, we are always looking for donations of food, clothing, books and blankets. And let me know if you'd like to volunteer and help at Karabo Asara Orphan and HIV Center!
All the best,
The needs at Karabo Asara remain great, but I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your support over the years. I'm in awe by the progress we've made, by the hard work and dedication of the caregivers and by the talent and beauty of the children.
Since our last update, we started construction on the latrines and fixed the leaky roof. And we've made in-roads with a local grocery store to provide on-going food for the orphan center! It's still a work in progress, but a sign of self-reliance.
Please do what you can to support this amazing organization....and please spread the word.
Amy & Darren
But now we need your help more than ever. I've accepted a position in the USA and am moving to DC in the weeks ahead. Karabo Asara has come a long ways, but before I depart South Africa I'd love to see some basic aspects of the facility improved!
We desperately need your help to fix the leaky roof and to renovate the latrines. If we can do these two things, I'd feel much better about my departure.
Please spread the word! And I'm planning a big going away event on May 25th at Karabo Asara! Please come if you can!
Thanks for your on-going support...and hope you can find it in your hearts to donate one more time!
All the best,
We held our annual Karabo Asara Christmas Braai Celebration yesterday and it was a huge success! As such, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who donated money, time and gifts-in-kind to this wonderful community in Shoshanguve.
The day was filled with joyous singing, dancing and eating...with lots of laughter, hugs and smiles all around.
Each child received a personalized wrapped gift, the caregivers were given Christmas bonuses and everyone feasted on pap, boerewors, chicken and chops!
Here's a link to ALL the photos...
And please continue to think of us in this part of the world - where the needs are great, yet resources are scarce.
Enjoy the holidays!
Amy & Darren
We are in desperate need of school supplies, school uniforms and soccer/football equipment for the children of Shoshanguve!
We'd also like to raise money to purchase food for the center (as they prepare two meals a day for the 100+ children); and we'd like to say 'thank you' to the volunteer caregivers - who donate their time, day after day, to the most vulnerable children in the community.
The event will take place on November 18th...
Thanks again for all your support over the years! We are all so grateful at Karabo Asara.
All the best,
Amy & Darren