MAF Flies Hope to Children In Rural Venda
Posted: on July 3, 2013
Story by Sharon Waugh
A team from MAF South Africa’s Flying for Life initiative recently arrived at Gondeni Crèche in a remote village of Venda Limpopo for a special delivery
The crèche at best could be described as ‘grim’. The children attended school in a small brick building with a tin roof, no running water, no toilets and no toys or educational materials. Research has shown that it is vitally important for young children get good nutrition and the right physical and intellectual stimulation to develop into psychologically and emotionally well-rounded adults, a far cry from the reality facing these pre-schoolers.
A year and a half ago, MAF South Africa created the Flying for Life initiative to bring a message of God’s hope and love to remote villages within the country’s borders. This particular village in which the crèche is based, exists to serve a local mine which is running at a loss and may be closing down. While MAF staff and volunteers are working to find sustainable solutions to these economic troubles, they feel that in order to uplift the community in the long run, they need to start with the next generation.
On this day, when a group from MAF arrived in the area, they found the children playing on the jungle gyms they erected on their last visit in April. It was through a corporate donation that they were able to provide this school with these two jungle gyms just over a month ago. By giving children access to playground equipment, they have given them the chance to learn while playing.
This time they were here to make another delivery, a large selection of educational toys. When they unpacked these, some of the kids were quite skeptical, having never seen toys before. The volunteer teachers had previously received training on to how to educate children with toys but didn’t have access to any. During their time there, while showing the teachers how the toys work, some of the children learnt about colours for the very first time.
While on the ground, they also provided the caregivers with e’Pap. E’Pap is a fortified maize product that has the nutritional content after preparation equivalent to a ten-course meal. MAF’s Flying for Life team will continue using this as a temporary measure to combat malnutrition among these children while it works to find solutions for sustainable farming and uplifts the area’s economy.
This is the second crèche that Flying for Life has adopted. Last year they worked with another in a neighbouring village. This ongoing work is just one of the ways MAF is uplifting communities in a sustainable holistic way. While it continues to strengthen and improve existing programmes and develop new ones, it believes that the best possible preparation these children can receive for their future is a relationship with Christ. This is the motivation behind the work they do.