350 TOWNSHIP CHILDREN TO BE FED DAILY FOR A YEAR WITH FUNDS RAISED FOR THE OCEAN VIEW VALLEY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
The Valley Development Projects in Ocean View will be able to feed another 350 children from distinctly vulnerable social backgrounds in the townships of Ocean View and Masiphumelele in the South Peninsula this year – thanks to the generosity of the Noordhoek community.
Residents in the area showed their support during a Carols by Candlelight fundraising concert held at Cape Point Vineyards in December, where no less than R100 000 was raised. Coinciding with its popular Thursday night Noordhoek Community Market, guests attending the concert were asked to contribute a donation of R50 each, whilst Community Market vendors contributed a further R10 000 to the project. Cape Point Vineyards matched the total amount raised, rand for rand, with R100 000 donated from its Charitable Trust, while Lord and Lady Laidlaw of Rothiemay, whose property borders the wine estate, donated a further R100 000. This was further supported with another R100 000 from Sharon Ritchey of BEcause Marketing, and, along with donations by other benefactors in the area, took the amount to a total of R450 000.
These much-needed funds will be used by the Valley Development Projects to provide local children with a meal at school every day, and in many cases, it would be their only decent meal of the day. Alcohol and drug abuse, child abuse and neglect, and a lack of proper education are just some of the obstacles that children and teenagers living in the Masiphumelele and Ocean View townships face daily, along with high levels of unemployment among their parents and relatives. The Valley Development Projects (VDP) has operated here for the past 24 years, providing a lifeline for young people by offering support and a way out of their abject poverty through its learning programmes, life skills training, capacity building, counselling, and food aid projects.
The R450 000 raised will be channelled through the VDP’s Open Door Community Development and Early Learning Projects, headed up by Project Manager Sherine Arendse. A qualified social worker, she is well-known in the community and devotes her life to improving conditions for people living here. She says: ‘One of our key goals is to assist young people in the community to achieve their potential, and to beat the odds that are stacked against them. The R450 000 raised means we can feed many more children who depend on us for their only decent daily meal – a vital necessity to enable them to concentrate at school. The funds are being held in trust and monthly instalments of R40 000 will be made available over the next year to prepare and serve a nutritious meal to another 350 children attending the five schools and two creches in Ocean View and Masiphumelele.’
These comprise of Marine Primary School, Kleinberg Primary School, Ukhanya Primary School, Ocean View High School and Masiphumelele High School. The Green Curtain Creche in Ocean View and the Masakhane Educare Centre in Masiphumelele are long-term care centres that are run by Lynne Lamb, also a Project Manager at the Valley Development Projects, and here children as young as one year old will benefit from this feeding scheme.
Among the other feeding schemes that the VDP has established with the help of concerned business partners in the area is The Nutritional Project. This is another partnership with Cape Point Vineyards which has already seen a total of R2.7m injected into the project to provide up to 2000 children and youth with a nutritional meal each day.
MORE ABOUT THE VALLEY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Initially created as a satellite project of Catholic Welfare and Development in 1989, the Valley Development Projects was established as a platform to improve the lives of people in the Ocean View and Masiphumelele communities, by addressing social issues using an integrated development approach. It is divided into three major programmes, the Open Door Project, Early Learning Support Programme (ELSP) and Social Work programme. The NPO works extensively with other Non Profit Organisations to alleviate the effects of poverty within these communities.
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