What to tell you about next? There is so much and we have barely scratched the surface.
Cosmo City though is a great story from our perspective and is filled with hope.
Approaching Cosmo City at the same time as one of Johannesburg’s famed electric storms. Now we know why our young folk need rain ponchos!
Just to recap, a young woman called Nolene Vonk who works on a voluntary basis for Oasis South Africa contacted us some months ago to ask if we would partner with them in the ‘Cosmo City Blanket Warming Project’.
Their goal was to involve communities in Cosmo City to sew and distribute 500 blankets to the neediest children.
We were fortunate enough to attend the first blanket sewing instruction meeting, with Ronda, Lindiwe, Wandile and Erin at the Oasis offices in Cosmo City and to meet Arnie, an ex South African investment banker who returned from Europe to do something meaningful for his people in South Africa.
Arnie runs Oasis South Africa which is based in Cosmo City. He offered to take us on a tour of the settlement, which is actually a small town numbering 70,000 people.
The houses you see here are called RDP houses (Redevelopment Program) and have been built by the government specifically to rehouse the folk in the ‘informal settlements’ as they are called here rather than squatter camps.
There are other houses available too which are slightly larger and the more upwardly mobile can purchase the balance above the cost of an RDP house.
Arnie and Nolene have involved the health community workers in our mutual blanket warming project. About 12 young women gathered to watch Lindiwe and Hannah arrange blankets by colour and weight to create blanket packs.
They were also taught to sew the squares together using blanket stitch, which is very neat. By the end of time with the women, they had completed one blanket and felt confident that they could take the squares and teach the women of the community how to sew up blankets.
We are very happy about this project. Not only will children in need receive blankets (not all will be orphans, but many will be infected or affected by HIV/AIDS), but the women will learn to arrange, bundle and sew the blankets.
Furthermore, we have made a connection with a vital, functioning organisation who see the potential of what we are doing and in time, I am certain we will find a way to do mutually great work together.