Ikhaya Lo Thanda Summer 2016
Ikhaya Lo Thanda, which means “Home of Love” is the name of a community care center in South Africa. A group call 1 000 Hills Community Helpers is comprised of volunteers who take the time to give back to the community.
Dawn Leppan first saw the political struggle and devastation of families in her local community and started the project in 1989. The project started out as a community-feeding program that was held under trees in the Inchanga area. As the program grew it then was held out of the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church. With more needs coming from the community members surrounding the spread of HIV/AIDS, a basic health clinic was set up in 1990.
The community center Ikhayo Lo Thanda was created in 2008. It has a health and wellness clinic, children’s care center, early education and development facility. Their hope is to design a place where they can provide orphaned and vulnerable children with proper food and clothing. Not only do they provide food to underprivileged children, they feed up to 1 000-3 000 people a day in the Valley. All food comes from donations, or from money donations that are then used to purchase food.
They have a school for children aged three months to six years old, a health clinic with a doctor, five volunteer nurses, a social worker and a psychologist! Each day of the week a different service is available. They also have an ambulance that was donated to them. On Monday evenings, they provide a social network for the elderly so they can come and socialize, share stories, create handicrafts, get counseling and create networks. Many of the volunteers have day jobs, but volunteer their spare time to work in the kitchen, or help with the other community services.
We were very happy to contribute to this amazing program by handing out Lööf Foundation teddy bears, donated toys and books donated by Partex UK to children aged four to five years! They were all so thankful for these items. The children all had big smiles on their faces!