MoP celebrates first child taken in MoP makes a difference

2016-11-23 06:01
 Photo: tania sandberg Representatives from non-profit organisations at the networking workshop last week.

Photo: tania sandberg Representatives from non-profit organisations at the networking workshop last week.

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LAST Monday, Mother of Peace (MoP) held a celebration in memory of the first child the organisation took in.

The organisation was started as an answer to the Aids pandemic and the many children left without parents.

“Sadly the first child taken in died at the age of three,” MoP general manager, Iris Canham told the Better Together Network at their bimonthly meeting.

Canham said they started a prayer group in 2002 and in 2005 the organisation was registered as an non-profit. Operation Jumpstart leased the property, where the orphanage is based in Illovo, to the organisation.

“Our focus was to raise children in a family environment. House mothers raise five to six children in a house, along with their own children.

“We are unique in that we do not split siblings, we try to keep them together even if it is boys and girls,” she
said.

The organisation has 12 homes, a school, a small early childhood development centre that caters for foundation phase to Grade 3. The school serves the area around MoP.

The organisation provides food parcels to the surrounding community and recently established a food forest and will be educating the surrounding community about gardening.

“The intention is to go back to basics and ensure food security in Amanzimtoti,” Canham said.

A volunteer will run the programme in the coming year and to ensure­ sustainability it will include skills such as how to graft trees and the benefits of permaculture, which will be done with the help of an expert.

To teach the children, it has been built into their curriculum.

Donors from America will assist MoP to grow the school to take in pupils up to Grade 7.

“The children come from abused and difficult circumstances. What they saw out there is what they create in here. We are moving towards the Montessori principle to get the ECD right,” Canham said.

MoP also has a hen-laying project, breeding hens and using the eggs for their own consumption.

A bakery on the premises is run by school leavers. Fresh bread is baked daily for their consumption and sold to the community at R6,50 a loaf. The organisation is hoping to expand in order to bake different products and sell to spazas.

The craft shop is run by volunteers. MoP sees 106 children every day of which 70 live on the premises.

The children say their prayers at the chapel and attend mass on Sunday, where two preachers take turns.

“It is a little village where the children can live in their own community.

“We are looking for volunteers to do skills development and the children are interested in and participating in music, art and crafts and dancing,” Canham said.

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