We started Little Lambs after seeing first hand the extreme poverty and suffering that is experienced in a Township around the corner from us. Everyday people are diagnosed with HIV and TB. This means that most of the children and babies we deal with are either infected or affected with HIV and TB or orphaned due to the parents dying of the AIDS virus. Some of these children have been abused, abandoned or raped!
As mothers ourselves, we feel we cannot turn a blind eye and ignore the situation and want to help wherever we can. We decided that it would be a good idea to visit a township close to our home, and see where we could assist. We headed off to Du Noon & never expected to see such a desperate and heartbreaking situation. Du Noon is one of the poorest townships in the Western Cape with a population of 52 000 people.
Little Lambs is involved with a number of projects. First being helping a safe house that looks after destitute children ranging in age from newborns to 12 year olds.
Little Lambs has committed to taking food to the Safe House every week. The Safe House houses small children and babies, most of them with either HIV or TB. It is so important that these children are fed and kept warm to try and help fight the virus in their little bodies. We also help the lady running the safe house with a constant supply of nappies and toiletries. She also calls us in emergencies. In the past she had no other choice but to use plastic packets with cut up towels to keep the babies dry !! This dear soul, running this safe house, has really touched our hearts and we would like to play a more permanent role in making life for her and her babies far easier and happier. We renovated the house by adding a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and beds for all the children (before they slept on dog blankets on the cement floor).
We are also involved with Elundini, a care centre for disabled children. These children are very special and we do what we can to make their lives easier and more comfortable. They live in horrific conditions and are affected by poverty both at the facility and at home. We have given the centre a Wendy House to use as a class room and also a kitchen to enable them to cook meals for the children. We support some of the mothers of the disabled children with food on a weekly basis.
Another project of Little Lambs that we have started and that is working extremely well is the age related parcels we make up for the babies and teenagers in the township. We deliver these ourselves directly to the person in need as we drive around the streets of Du Noon. These contain good quality essential products.
Baby packs consist out of:
- Box of porridge
- Bum cream (good quality as they often have terrible rashes due to the ARV drugs)
- Baby powder
- Baby soap
- Face cloth or vaseline
- Extra little gift i.e spoon or rattle (Packs may vary depending on what donations we get) Each pack costs us about R90 to make. Teenage packs contain age appropriate products. (Toothbrush, toothpaste, face cloth etc)
Our packs are handed to the Cape Town Child Welfare in Du Noon and they provide us with a detailed report as to where our packs were handed out. We have a couple of families that have been introduced to us by the welfare department that live in shacks – we help them with the basic needs.
Once a week we visit the Karl Bremmer hospital and hand out baby packs to the mothers that have given birth (often teenagers or homeless ladies) that have nothing but a dirty towel to wrap their baby in. We also visit the prem ward and the paediatric ward where the little ones are desperate and the mothers have no means to look after them.
Zusakhe is a NPO operating in Du Noon. This amazing team is working hard to improve the conditions in the township. They have a creche and after school facility. They try and provide each child with a balanced meal a day (sometimes the only meal they get) and run a soup kitchen for the local community. Little Lambs help them by providing foodstuffs such as rice, maize and pasta. Any help with this regard will be greatly appreciated.
Lastly we have a small group of woman making us the most beautiful beaded keyrings. They receive a small income and can feed their children despite the hindrance of being HIV affected. The profits Little Lambs make is used to purchase porridge for our baby packs.
We strive to make small differences in children’s lives i.e. hand out Easter Eggs and Christmas presents, fly traps at the disabled centre or fans in the metal containers, shoes if they are bare foot on a freezing day.. things that mean nothing to us BUT to a child make the world of difference.
Any monetary donations as well as food/clothes/gifts/books/toys, are used for the sole purpose and benefit of the children in Du Noon. We are in constant need of foodstuffs & toiletries to care for the babies & children, and are always willing to collect.
We believe strong communities benefit everyone.
Little Lambs is committed to reduce child poverty, reduce chronic hunger and to develop hope in the hearts of children in our midst.
More information on www.littlelambsnpo.co.za