On Wednesday the 30th of November we ventured out to go and visit the children, staff and volunteers at the Field of Dreams Children’s Centre out in Skeerpoort, Magalies while they were having their Christmas party.
On our arrival we were greeted with excited faces, waving hands, curiosity and anticipation. It was evident to the children, staff and volunteers that we were there for much more than just a visit, we were there to give them something special.
After all the hellos, thank you’s, dancing and handing out of snacks we proceeded to get the children to line up and opened the boxes.Man oh man, did we see the children light up with smiles for miles as they realised they were getting bags, actual bags that they could use for school to carry and safe keep their school work and reading material – something that they weren’t able to do before then, something that is so necessary and something that is easily taken for granted by most.
We were so humbled by their reactions and gratitude, and we were fortunate to see firsthand the impact and difference that the centre is making in the lives of the children, staff and volunteers who are a part of a larger community that really need upliftment and hope to build a better tomorrow and a better future.
BLACK is incredibly proud to be a part of such a wonderful initiative and we‘d love to share the story behind their story with you;
Lee den Hond is the founder of the organisation. She began her fundraising journey to build the centre by becoming the third South African woman to summit Mount Everest in honour of the cause.
Building of the centre started symbolically on the second anniversary of Lee’s Mt. Everest Summit. Ground was broken on the 19th of May 2015 and the centre was completed on the 5th of December 2015.
Why the centre was started?
The community that the centre operates within is governed by extreme poverty, neglect, ignorance, apathy and despair. Social problems such as alcoholism, abuse, domestic violence and incest are rite. The main employment opportunities are still on farms, part-time or casual labour.
The living conditions of many people in the area have dropped. Little to nothing has been done about the allocation of land for informal housing. There are only 2 boreholes providing water for this area and there are hand pumps which enable residents to access water.
There are no fixed medical or child care facilities, and a mobile clinic visits the area once a month. The nearest clinic is 20 kilometers away at Hekpoort or Broederstroom, and the nearest hospital is in Brits which is 50 kilometers away.
Most family structures are comprised of grandmother-headed families, single parents, child-headed families because parents are deceased or working far away from their homes, leaving children with extended family members to look after and fend for.
The need for skills training, employment counseling, advocacy and basic social work service is extensive and that is why this centre was started to foster human dignity, empower and equip the children, staff, volunteers and the community that belong to it.
The main objectives of this intiative is to:
- Give hope to the children who visit the centre through learning programmes, feeding schemes and health care services
- Create socio-economic sustainability and alleviate the strain to the community by providing basic development skills
- Providing primary healthcare to the community through a mobile clinic – the clinic caters to major health needs of the community
- Encourage big thinking….anything is possible!
I think the lesson in this is, if you are brave enough to take a stand and make a difference no matter how big or small, you definitely can!
If you would like to know more or make a contribution to the Field of Dreams Children Centre you can visit their website www.fieldofdreamsfoundation.org.za