FOR IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE.
BY LEE-ANNE WESTRIP
BY LEE-ANNE WESTRIP
I recently had the honour of travelling to Cape Town, something that we in the travel industry and no doubt many others have the privilege of experiencing on many occasions, but this journey was different. Instead of sampling fine wines and perusing 5 star hotels, I felt privileged to visit St Josephs home for Chronically Ill Children in the small town of Montana outside the city of Cape Town.
We have been working with Uthando (meaning Love) in South Africa for a couple of years now. Uthando is a non-profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited organisation which aims to raise funds for life changing community development projects in South Africa.
A few weeks back we received a message from their executive Director, James Fernie with an appeal for a donation to St Josephs home. We were thrilled to be able to dig deep and assist with such a wonderful and worthy cause.
St Josephs Home is an intermediate paediatric care facility for children with life limiting and life-threatening illness. Most of the children come to the home from informal settlements where clean water, electricity, sanitation and nutritious food are in short supply. They rehabilitate children who come from poverty-stricken communities and work together with an amazing team of health professionals to facilitate the child’s healing process.
The donation we made came in the form of a cement table tennis table (facilitated by Uthando) enabling the children to spend many hours outdoors and helping transform their lives through sport. The 1,2 ton table is fully manufactured, delivered and installed by a civil engineer. After the table has been installed the painting of the table turns the building project into an art installation. This is when I went along to witness the transformation, meet James from Uthando, the wonderful people from St Josephs who do such a fantastic job of caring for these critically ill children and see the delight the table has brought these beautiful children.
After we spent some time assisting the very talented Juma Mkwela from Township Art Tours with painting the table we were shown the facilities of the home by the caring team who work tirelessly to raise funds and awareness of this very special place. A humbling and emotional visit and especially pertinent at this time of year to realise how lucky we are not only to travel and see the world but to have at our fingertips the most basic of commodities that many can only dream of.
At Africa Collection we are committed to our policy of responsible tourism and will continue to work with organisations such as Uthando. Through this we aim to promote the positives of Africa and will encourage our clients to participate in responsible tourism, we continue to support several charities and work with many Fair Trade in Tourism accredited member properties within South Africa.
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