The primary aim of the project is to construct and establish a children's home at the town of Vaalwater. Together with the founding of the children's home, the aim is to install at least one environmentally friendly water pump to provide fresh water to the home. A secondary focus of the project will relate to the improvement of local school infrastructure and provision of materials with a specific focus on the school(s) the home residents attend. The action plan will include:
- The children's home will be established at a site adjacent to the Shambala Private Reserve. There is an existing number of buildings at the site, including a residence and other outbuildings. These buildings will be converted and renovated to form part of the new children's home. Construction and renovation works are expected to take 6-9 months and will commence in October 2010.
- Recruitment will take place for a suitable head to run the children's home in addition to appropriate support staff being recruited from the local community. A further aim is to introduce a care model based on advice and best practices taken from other similar facilities.
- A Playpump (www.playpumps.com) will be installed at the children's home as an additional water source in a fun and environmentally friendly way.
- Relationships will be developed with the local schools where the residents of the home will be attending. Through these relationships support will be given on a level of infrastructure improvement and supplementary educational resources.
Douw Steyn, one of South Africa's foremost business leaders and innovators, has for many years been a contributor to the people of Vaalwater and the surrounding areas. As owner of the Shambala Private Reserve, a number of jobs have been created at the Reserve to the benefit of the community. However, it has been recognized that a specific intervention is necessary to improve the plight of children.
Vaalwater is in the rural backwaters of the Waterberg in the Limpopo Province, but an area of extraordinary natural beauty. Government services to the area are limited and stretched due to a lack of infrastructure, resources, and funding.
Limpopo Province has been, like many other areas in sub-Saharan Africa, devastated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Vaalwater has not been left untouched by the effects of this disease and a number of children have been left parentless and either homeless or in a position where they are being cared for by family members who cannot reasonably support them or where they are an unwanted burden.
Similarly, public childcare and social services provide limited support to such substitute parents and monthly government grants to these individuals are small and limited. A single government children's' home is based in Vaalwater. It has also been identified that a small number of local NGOs supporting substitute parents, operate in this area but ultimately can only provide limited support due to these organizations' size and limited access to funding.
Historical under-investment in rural schools has left the public schools in the Vaalwater area understaffed and poorly resourced. Basic resources and infrastructure, like running water, are often lacking at these campuses.
SEEKING: implementing partners, best practice information, media/marketing opportunities.
Further resource and intellectual capital is required to improve this project through the establishment of the home, but more importantly the day to day running of the children's home and the care model. Further, opportunities to expose the school to a wider media audience is also being sought in order to position it for growth and the obtaining of funding for the annual operation costs.
OFFERING: financial resources.
Limited funding and management support can be given to projects in southern Africa.