south african kids need you

thusanani childrens foundation south africaWaka waka! With World Cup fever upon us let’s really make it ‘this time for Africa’. The Intrepid Foundation is very pleased to announce its newest beneficiary: Thusanani Children’s Foundation. Thusanani works at a grassroots level in South Africa to ensure a brighter future for babies and young children who have been orphaned through HIV/AIDS, abandonment or abusive home environments.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa is widespread and vast numbers of people are suffering. A national survey found the HIV/AIDS prevalence in females is 62% higher than males and therefore South Africa stands to lose too many mothers. This results in a growing number of orphaned and vulnerable children.

The ideal is to integrate orphaned children into the community through foster homes or adoption, but this is not always possible due to the large numbers. Consequently many of these kids grow up in institutions where they do not receive individual love and attention, contributing to developmental delay and a potential risk of future disabilities and difficulties with attachment and bonding. Thusanani aims to prevent this progression and in this way assist these children in becoming contributing members of society.

Thusanani is working in the highly populated Gauteng province, which includes the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Their mission is to promote the normal development of children in the 0-6 year age group through early intervention (stimulation and therapy), preventing future disability and also optimising their chances at adoption. Their bias is towards HIV/AIDS affected and infected children in underprivileged areas in children’s homes and informal settlements.

Their efforts include:
– Early intervention to vulnerable children – occupational therapy and developmental stimulation.
– Education and training of care-workers, management teams and crèche teachers on the importance of development and play.
– Organising and facilitating monthly outings for underprivileged children.
– Collection and distribution of donated educational toys.

Thusanani currently employs five occupational therapists. Through The Intrepid Foundation we hope to raise funds towards reaching another children’s home that has a dire need for training of staff and treatment of children by employing an additional therapist. This early intervention gives the children the best chance at a ‘normal’ education and upbringing that enables them to break the cycle of poverty.

The Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
Help support Thusanani and other great grassroots organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus find out how your donation can be matched* by Intrepid Travel!

* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 per donor and a total of AU$300,000 each financial year.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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