Enkanini Feb 2016
InSite's sixth year in Enkanini. Yondela Tyana has been our local connection and friend for the past four years. His office is our connection point and is located as you walk up the main street in the settlement.
The InSite team was composed of 19 students from the Amsterdam International Community School, and 9 adults. InSite staff and volunteers.
Our work composed of painting 25 homes that were burned in the recent fire, and cementing a home of a single mother with 4 kids, and providing cement for at least 6 more homes to be done. Yondela will oversee the cementing projects after the team has left. We are starting to focus our work on those who really need our manpower, and relying more the community to help each other more. We also cemented a natural path downhill here people usually slip and slide during the high rain winter season. We used old tires, bricks and gutters purchased in Enkanini.
In the afternoon, the students arranged play activites for the children. Over 300 children participate. We also sponsored a community braai.
Long Term plans:
Enkanini is an informal settlement on the edge of Stellenbosch, South Africa. The government provides taps for water near toilets - there are 5 installations of these to cover over 5000 families
The Phillips Foundation has selected Enkanini as the next site for an outdoor solar light location. Conversations have begun as to where the 4-5 outdoor solar lights will be placed.
Yondela is busy getting local support as the lights will be owned by the community and they will need to replace the batteries in 4-5 years.
This will be a great asset to the community as it will add safety at night and extend the daylight for local businesses and students who need to study.
Yondela received funding from a group of the InSite volunteer staff to purchase a place in Enkanini where he can use as a center point for the community. He has a vision for job training, safe place for youth, and small business development and educational support.
This was InSite's third visit to this Informal Settlement. It is located in Pretoria, South Africa. There are about 1500 people who live here. They have water dropped off in huge water tanks 2 times/week. They also have 2 huge street lights for safety and trash pick up in designated areas. These are the only public services this community receives.
is a local farm which runs a wedding venue, restaurant, mountain bike trails and boarding school and much more, employees many people from this settlement and also helps provide food for a feeding scheme in Lethabong that feeds about 150 children every day.
InSite stays at Rosemary Hill while working in this informal settlement. For the past 3 years, InSite has tried to find the right local partners to serve those who are in the most need. This year, it seems we have found the right people. The ladies that run the feeding scheme. These ladies and a few others who joined them in leading and serving with us this tour, did an outstanding job in finding those who are really suffering.
The InSite team did work projects in the morning and the students implemented the afterschool play activities for the children in the afternoon for about 2 hours/day.
- We painted 7 homes. We cemented 2 homes, but provided enough cement for 6 other homes to be completed after we left.
- We built 2 brand new homes. We paid a local carpenter to build the sides and help assemble the homes. One was for an elderly couple with 3 small children and the other was for a single woman, who has TB, 2 kids of her own and her grown daughter who has 2 kids. Her youngest also has TB. We also purchased her medicine for TB for the next few months as the clinic was out.
- We bought an artificial lawn for the creche across the road from the feeding scheme. They were having the little babies crawl on rugs that were so worn and dirty, they barely resembled anything you'd walk on. Inside the building, we purchased a foam floor, for a safe and more hygienic floor than the cement slab.
- We replaced a roof for a single mom who has a baby with a cleft lip. She was also the one who got a new floor. We also bought enough food and formula for her 8th month to eat as he needs to gain weight to get the surgery to repair his lip. One of the feeding scheme moms is feeding this baby 3 times/day as the mom can barely take care of herself.
- We visited the Teen Challenge center across the huge soccer field in Lethabong. The men who are in this drug rehabilitation program were so inspired to meet us, they helped us play games and work all week. They are now on the volunteer list with the feeding scheme to help those single moms who need work done for free.
- We helped one of the first openly guy men in the settlement put on a fashion show with the children. He will be heading up a daily reading time with the children with the English reading books we left for them to start a library.
- We helped a gentleman prepare his yard for a garden. Although, I must say, I think he taught us more about how to start a garden than we actually helped him. We did get him seeds:)
- We purchased ringworm medicine and left it up to the feeding scheme mama's to administer as needed.
Here are some pics of the projects: Sophie's old house, top right, baby needing surgery, top right, Creche with artificial grass, gardening, painting and playing with the kids.
We visited a school in Mamelodi where Reckoning holds it's World Class tutoring program and visited with the students who attend for a hour of cultural exchange. These times were short, but left the students with a more diverse understanding of the various classes and divisions of the social structures in South Africa. They saw their common wants and desires, and also shared their dreams and plans for the future. Now, with social media, a lot of the students and staff were able to connect with one another online via whatsapp, instagram and facebook.
All the students fundraise €1600, as well as the adult volunteer staff. The InSite staff's expenses are part of the budget as they help administrate and run the program year round.
As InSite had 2 trips this year, the collective funding from both teams were combined and allocated as needed.
The overall budget for InSite 2016 was €55.275,00. This was the combined effort of all the students and staff. pifworld.com was used as our fundraising platform where the majority of the funds were contributed. Stichting Reckoning pays an annual fee for the services of this platform, so there are no administration fees taken out of the donations.
The Enkanini Team was 29 people and the Pretoria Team was 20 people.
Explanation of Budget:
Inflation has caused local costs of food, transportation and lodging to increase anywhere from 10-30% from last year. Here in an explanation why more was spent in Pretoria than in Enkanini on projects.
- Sophie needed a home. I mentioned her above. She has TB, her grandson has TB and they literally have nothing, and were soon going to be kicked out of their home. This home that was barely 2m x 2m. The door had been kicked down the week before by three men in the middle of the night with the intent to rape her and her daughter. She needed a home. Her kids and grandkids needed a home. Yes, we will help.
- A baby with a cleft lip with a mom who is an alcoholic needed help. This baby who is 8 months old but looks like he's 2 months old, eating porridge made for grown ups, unable to digest needed to gain weight before he can have the surgery to fix his lip. Yes, we will help.
- Orphaned children living on their own, parents killed earlier this year, still going to school. Yes, we'll paint their house. Yes. What else do they need? Yes.
- Elderly women with no income. Who fixes the leaks in the zinc roofs when they start to fall apart? Who makes sure they have food and stay warm? Who will provide the sand and cement for their floors to keep the mud and rats out? Yes.
- Paying interpreters for working with us for a week. We said we needed 6 and 10 show up to work. There is no work, they all want to work and need to feed their families. Yes.
- A creche with no means to keep the babies and toddlers in a safe, clean space. The artificial grass was more than the cost of building 2 homes. Yes, they need a safe place to play.
More value that money:
You may look at the budget and realize that only about 11% of this year's budget went to actual work projects. Is it really worth flying 49 people to South Africa to do this work? Wouldn't it be better if we just sent the money we raised?
Raising funds for the marginalized in South Africa is common, and not difficult to do. But InSite isn't about raising money for this cause alone. InSite is about lasting change for those who partner, work, and volunteer. InSite is about bringing the next generation of leaders to have a life changing experience so that they lead with compassion, respect and integrity. It's to help mend the gaps between race, to deconstruct the post colonial structures and build relationships with those who are marginalized by the institutions and cultural structures of our modern society. Sending money will not accomplish those objectives.
The children in these settlements can't hug and play with a Euro. Much like the student's can't be hugged by seeing images on the computer. The adults can't build trust with a bank deposit, nor can those who contribute online. Money is only one small part of change, but it never brings anything lasting. The paint will fade, the cement will crack. The food will run out. BUT the relationships will last, the trust will grow, the impact of our common humanity on one another will continually inform each one of us on how we live and show respect to one another.
Thanks to everyone who helped support InSite 2016: Parents and families of the team, Amsterdam International Community School and International School of Almere, The InSite staff and volunteers, not to mention our amazing interns, and to our partners in South Africa: Everyone at Rosemary Hill, Great Adventures, Yondela and his family, ishack and Stumble Inn, not to mention Leslie and his staff of drivers, and the incredible leaders in Lethabong who run the feeding scheme and are the backbone of the community. Cyndy and her great team! The men at Teen Challenge who will volunteer their time and skills in Lethabong. Oh, and Lourens, Elsa, Anli and the resources of Mighty Fine productions. George and Phillipine who work tirelessly with the children at the schools and after-school programs in Mamelodi.
Together, we can accomplish more than any of us can do alone.