Project aims to restore homeless kids’ humanity

2016-01-28 06:00
=Angelique Nell together with some of the children who visited one of the projects hosted by Community Development Solutions.            Photo: ALICIA E PHOTOGRAPHY

=Angelique Nell together with some of the children who visited one of the projects hosted by Community Development Solutions. Photo: ALICIA E PHOTOGRAPHY

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“It will always be a passion of mine, but I am so disheartened by all the struggling.”

The main mission of Uitenhage Community Development Solutions was to create a safe haven for street children, as there is no such facility in Uitenhage. Angelique Nell, one of the directors of the non-profit organisation explained why she is disheartened.

“The planned multi-faceted facility would have tended to the medical, physical, educational and emotional well-being of these children, who are otherwise forgotten and neglected.

“If, and when a child ends up on our streets, he or she has no option but to fight to survive on his or her own. Sometimes this leads to violent young children and the rape and abuse of these children by predators because these children are not protected or accounted for,” said Nell.

UCDC started the planning and registration process almost 4 years ago and have been applying to state organisations, funding facilities, international and local corporations and the private sector to assist them in funding a shelter for street children.

“Unfortunately, and understandably in the current economic climate, we have had no success.”

Child Clean-Up Campaign

Meanwhile, they found another way to provide life-changing services to these children through a project named Child Clean-Up Campaign. The campaign started in 2015 and aims to provide a hot shower, clean clothes, food, minor medical assistance or referral and educational activities for the day, once a month.

According to Nell the project has had a major impact on these children.

“Through proper addressing and continued efforts, we have managed to change these children into bundles of joy who come to the day singing and dancing and cannot wait for their shower and day of fun. The signs of abuse have also diminished and in some children have stopped completely.”

UCDS currently serves between 65 and 100 children per project day. The cost of food and supplies are tremendous on the NPO, which has no income of its own and depends on the main directors’ funds and sponsors completely. Every project day requires the following items to be purchased: food items (sandwich with nutritious filling), fruit, cool drink, clean outfits and shoes, toothbrushes & toothpaste, soap, shampoo, Zam-buk ointment, plasters, disinfectants and topical ointments.

Old caravan needed

In order for the project to be more mobile, they are in need of an unused caravan or mobile van.

“We are humbly requesting for anyone who can assist us with the donation of such a van. It will be used as a mobile medical van for mobile assistance,” said Nell.

Lastly, UDCSwould like to thank the team of dedicated volunteers who give their time and love and expect nothing in return. Thank you also to the support of the South African Police Services, Dept. of Social Development, Lions Club Uitenhage, Round Table 14 Uitenhage, Dept of Sports and Recreation and the public who always support where they can.

  • For more information contact Angelique Nell on 073 982 2628.

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