This fundraiser is for Hope* and her family. She is 15 years old and has an 8 week old daughter. The father is 16 years old. Since the birth of the baby the father has not seen Hope or the baby. He himself is in school.
Hope and her family of 4 siblings come from Mozambique. Her mother is alive but none of them have documentation, so no grants can be accessed. The mother sweeps peoples yards in the community and earns approximately €45 a month (R700). With €45 she cares for herself, Hope, 4 other children and the new baby. They all live in this dwelling that you can see on the photo. When her mother is away she takes care of herself and the 4 siblings. They all eat at the project. Hope and her baby sleep on a grass mat on the floor.
I had a long talk to Hope. She had this hopeless look in her eyes. As much as I would like to shake her and tell her that she has now added to their shocking situation , I know that these young girls are so vulnerable and when faced with poverty and the responsibility of looking after siblings they end up getting themselves into trouble because they become so desperate for love and a sense of belonging.
These teenage girls end up falling victim to their circumstances and it is such a challenge. Hope is back at school and her mother is taking care of the baby. She was feeding the baby weak black tea whilst Hope was at school which is obviously not nourishing at all and the baby was crying non-stop.
She needs to stay at school, she also needs to go to the local clinic for contraception. I addressed the plight of HIV and AIDS and her life going forward. We can only try where possible to support her, but the situation to me is so devastating, because here is another poor poor baby born into such disastrous circumstances.
Any support for this family would be so appreciated. Clothing, a camper cot, funds for milk and diapers and a monthly food parcel would be such an enormous help. They would also need an additional room to provide better accommodation for the children.
Here's the overview of what we're trying to fund: an additional room for the children (approximately R10.000 or €650), a bed to sleep in (approximately R2500 or €150) and a monthly care package with milk, diapers and a food parcel (approximately R2000 or €125). The goal is to fund the room, the bed and the next year of life support.
* Hope is an anonymized name to protect the privacy of this girl, her baby and her family. Her story is told by Charmaine Krugel, the founder of the Swa Vana Children's Project