The South African Shop is partnering with Edwaleni Orphanage in Zululand, South Africa. We are donating 10% of all our profits to help them buy food, school and living resources. We would love it if you could take a moment to read their story, which we believe will touch your hearts as it did ours:
When confronted with the realities of the harsh and difficult life in Zululand in 1994, Keith and Angela were unable to walk away without trying to make a difference. Mothers waking up at 4am to tend to the fields, are forced to leave their children at home alone. For some lone toddlers and babies this meant having to eat fistfuls of dirt to try to ease the hunger pains that had developed in their mother's’ absence. For others, it meant a development of a fierce independence and an inability to trust anyone.
Keith and Angela set up Edwaleni Orphanage, which means “on the rock”, so that they could give these kids care, love, nourishment and, later on, a basic education. But more than that, they wanted to create a space where children and adults could be healed from the inside out. Where they could learn and develop important skills. Where they could participate in uplifting programs. And where hope and a future could be nurtured for this little community.
Edwaleni Orphanage supports the wider community by providing a training center that teaches food security and up skills people who are unemployed. They also try to provide children that show a lot of potential with school uniforms and food parcels.
The Orphanage faces many challenges, one of the most pressing ones they have had to face is having food and water in the midst of one of the most severe droughts in living memory. The dream is to have a centre that produces its own food where the hungry can come for spiritual and physical nourishment. As continuity is so important in these projects and in most people’s lives, another central aim for the Orphanage is to produce strong leaders to continue their work and help to raise up the community for generations to come.
One of Edwaleni’s top priorities is to establish income generating projects and to train jobless people. Unemployment is South Africa’s number ONE problem which leads to increased crime. Edwaleni’s goal is to become self sustainable by running poultry projects including eggs and broilers, aquaponics and organically grown NON GMO vegetables. We run courses in Farming which is an amazing tool to reach the destitute and impoverished people of our community. Each child in the Orphanage has planted their own garden which they enjoy tending to and harvesting the produce. Our the latest addition to the projects is Bee Farming and honey production. We are extremely proud of our organic vegetable gardens and are so grateful to our friends Tudy and Geoff Galloway who are serving with their incredibly capable expertise in organic vegetable production. We specifically mention this since it is a breakthrough in that Geoff and Tudy are the first local community members to have come on board with their support encouragement endorsement and approval of the work that we are doing.
We have learnt how to harvest honey from 3 hives which produced 45 x 500g bottles of the most beautiful honey. We now have 12 healthy hives on the property whereby we hope the poor can make some income from the skills they have learnt.
The children love farming their own chickens. All these projects are aimed at food security and the children in all the Child Care Centers enjoy the produce especially eggs and chicken.
Edwalini has a big vision and at times it scares them, but they cannot avoid the excitement and passion they feel for helping others and changing lives. Keith and Angela have drawn up plans to upgrade all the facilities and the renditions look amazing. Currently we fix and patch wherever the need is the greatest but we have faith that soon we will do substantial upgrades. We are networking with a group of Zulu friends and it is becoming evident that Training Times will be taking place so we are looking forward to being able to accommodate such Conferences adequately. Eventually we want to become an international based poverty alleviation center to restore dignity to the impoverished and marginalized people of South Africa and abroad.
Edwalini is very thankful for your support in making their work possible and effective. Every bit of support is so crucial to the progress at Edwaleni and the increasing impact which they are seeing in their immediate and intermediate locations. “Appreciation” is not an adequate word to express what is in their heart regarding their benefactors and supporters. .