The Rotary Club of Astley is delighted to announce the completion of the Emmanuel Advice Care Centre project, at Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The Club has provided funds to enable local volunteers to complete the works for this charity.
The gates are now in situ and the perimeter fence completed and the centre secure. The centre is delighted with the result. They also managed to secure doors for the container, and cages for the windows making everything so much safer. Crops have been harvested to feed 240 children.
This centre had been in desperate need of secure fencing. It is a grass roots community HIV/AIDS project in Kwa Noxolo, Port Elizabeth. It is run by volunteers and is reliant on donations.
Over the past few years, despite the carers having had their meagre stipend of R500 (approx. E30) per month from the government discontinued, the centre has gone from strength to strength. Thanks to Rotary they now have a small toilet block which is kept in good clean condition; hygiene is vital for health, particularly for the many OVC’s (orphans and vulnerable children) who rely on the centre as a place of safety and for at least one meal a day. In addition, Rotary provided funds for an outside water supply and sinks, again vital to maintain a good standard of hygiene in order to avoid infections. It has become a well- known place where HIV/AIDS patients can go to for advice, a nourishing meal and support. Home visits to care for the sick and dying are carried out on a
daily basis, often in unimaginable surroundings without water and electricity.
There is a volunteer teacher to help the little ones, and they have basic books, pencils crayons etc. recently an American visitor provided plastic tables and chairs for the children, plus sturdy wooden swings and a slide, and it is a safe place for children to after school for a meal and to do homework.
The centre consists of 2 converted containers, (donated by two volunteers). They are multi-functional and used as an office/ kitchen/class room/ space for counselling, and a wooden shed has been converted to a creche. The local elders have started a permaculture vegetable garden with donated equipment, and have recently used deconstructed wooden pallets to make a small fence round the garden to keep the stray dogs out. They are now reaping the vegetables to make nourishing meals for the children and needy members of the community.
The centre is constantly trying to improve facilities, and as it has grown has acquired more equipment which needs to be protected. The chicken wire fence which previously surrounded the perimeter was full of holes; it was simple for anyone to crawl under the fence or indeed through the holes. Dogs frequently dug under the flimsy wire and scavenged, as well as fouling the area, and this was a health hazard.
As in most townships crime is a problem; even though there is little of real value to steal nonetheless their possessions and equipment are vital to the running of such a centre, which has been targeted several times. It was very important therefore that it was made as secure as possible and we are delighted that this objective has now been achieved.