Category: Charity

16 Days of activism for no violence against women and children

I have written this post a couple of times, but kept deleting it. This post is on a distressing topic, the abuse of women and children, and in particular in South Africa over the festive season. The Children’s Hospital Trust invited me to take part in their 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children campaign, to spread awareness and to ask for your help. The press pack I received contains stories and statistics which are hard to read, but they must be seen. #DontLookAway.

The Children's Hospital Trust 16 days of activism

16 Days of activism

These stories flood me with emotions and I could share my own story, my own fears and the nightmares that steal my sleep. I have written them down and deleted them, as I know we all have our stories. We all are affected by the cycle of violence, and we all bear the scars. I know you can relate to this topic and you know the devastation it brings either personally or through someone close to you. Instead I want to share what we can do now, this moment, to make a difference. There are many children who need our help, and I want to share their stories. #DontLookAway.

Caitlyn’s* story

Caitlyn* is a 4-month-old baby girl. While most children her age are cuddled close to their mother’s chests in a solid bubble of love, Caitlyn’s reality is violently different. Caitlyn was admitted to the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital after she was raped by an adult male who was known to her family. Caitlyn’s case was sent to the child protection office and an investigation began. Caitlyn’s parents revealed that they were sleeping in their home – a wendy house – when a man climbed through the window and abducted Caitlyn and another 6-year-old boy that was also asleep in the room at the time. The adult male raped both Caitlyn and the 6-year-old boy he had kidnapped with Caitlyn.

A police case was opened and the perpetrator was arrested. After criminal court proceedings, he was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Caitlyn was removed from her parents care and put in a place of safety. Caitlyn’s parents were under the influence of alcohol at the time of her abduction. After just 4 short months in this world, she has had to face more violence than most of us face in a lifetime.

The Children's Hospital Trust 16 days of activism

Funeka* and Vuyo’s*story

Funeka* and Vuyo* were brought into the Trauma Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital by a family member. Overcome with a desperate need to end a vicious cycle of physical abuse, this family member disclosed a horrifying history of extreme physical, emotional and verbal abuse. Abuse suffered at the hands of their mother.

A physical examination of the siblings revealed no signs of recent abuse, but it was clear that both children were grappling with extreme Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 14-year-old Funeka expressed feelings of deep loneliness and said she felt that there was no one that truly cared for her. 7-year-old Vuyo was emotionally withdrawn, hyper-vigilant and suffered from restless and broken sleep.

A police case has been opened and the family member who brought the sibling to the Hospital has made a statement. She described feeling incredibly angry and helpless but was desperate to help these two children get back to a place where they felt safe and loved. In addition to continued therapy, a community-based social worker has also been tasked with investigating the care options for the children in the future. For now, they remain in this family member’s care.

* You do not need to know their names to know that they deserved a childhood

What would you give to end a child’s suffering?

Child Protection Packs

The Child Protection Office at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital sees an average of 40 to 50 cases child abuse every month. That’s close to (or in many cases over) 600 cases a year. 600 stories of empty childhoods. In cases of extreme abuse and neglect, children are removed from their homes and relocated to places of safety. Very often, these children leave with just the clothes on their back.

Their Child Protection office creates packs for children in situations like these. The packs are age-dependent and include things like hygiene products, toys, and snacks. The festive season usually brings with it a critical shortage in the number of packs they are able to supply. They call the festive season the surge season because the Hospital is like an electrical grid in the middle of a power surge. The rise in substance abuse means a rise in child abuse and child neglect.

This is where we need your help. You can see the need for these packs and we ask for donations of products which can be dropped off at their office. The list of items and contact details are below. If you are not based in Cape Town, or unable to drop off items, please donate to the cause. I donated, and I urge you to do the same. There will be children who will be abused and neglected this season, we cannot change this fact, but we can assist Child Protection with packs. The Children's Hospital Trust 16 days of activism


The Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa

Red Cross Children's Hospital, South AfricaThe Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa, was established in 2007 and is the UK fundraising arm of The Children’s Hospital Trust, based in Cape Town. Together we raise vital funds to support the activities of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. In 2011 the Trust expanded its reach to fundraise for paediatric healthcare in the Western Cape and beyond.

100% of all received donations goes directly to the Hospital and prioritised paediatric healthcare needs. The Trust is a non-profit organisation that relies on the benevolence of donors to realise its aims and objectives. It enjoys a record of sound financial administration and good governance. Whilst it has raised funds to address many pressing needs, much has yet to be done.

This is not a sponsored post. The information and images were supplied by The Children’s Hospital Trust. The images of children being treated at the Hospital are not necessarily of the children depicted in the stories.

Home from Home and the August Challenge

Home from Home August Challenge by The Mommy CityThis month I am taking part in the Home from Home August Challenge, to raise awareness and funds for this Cape Town based non-profit organisation. The decision to jump all in to their 31 day challenge came after receiving a press release about the work that they do to help care for orphaned and vulnerable children in our local communities. It was a few days after news broke of the Manenberg children who tortured and killed a dog. This story upset me terribly and like many others, questioned how society is failing to protect children who grow up to be violent and cruel. It is my hope that through efforts such as Home from Home, communities will raise children who are loved, and who love.

Home from Home provides support and supervised community-based foster care for orphaned, abused, neglected and vulnerable children in South Africa. In 2005, Jane Payne and Pippa Shaper envisioned a future where orphaned and vulnerable children of South Africa would not have to grow up in institutional children’s homes. This vision led them to found Home from Home, which became one of the first non-profit organisations in South Africa to practice Cluster Foster Care.

They believe that living in a small family unit with a dedicated foster mother or foster parents is the next best place for children who can’t be cared for by their own biological families. The children grow up in a network of small, family homes in their communities where they can retain their culture and grow up speaking their mother-tongue. They have a foster family to support and care for them. The hope is that one day the children will either be reunited with their biological families, or failing that, are provided with the best possible foundation to lead happy, successful lives with the support of the organisation.

The majority of homes are run alongside a community associate, which is either a local community or faith based organisation. These associations ensure community support for the homes. Working with these associates ensures the communities have access to the expertise and resources required to provide a high level of care for their children. Through a network of 34 homes across fifteen communities, they care for over 200 vulnerable children.

So how can you get involved in the August Challenge fundraiser? Set yourself a challenge and get friends, family or colleagues to sponsor you. The challenge can be committing to their wellness programme (which I will be doing), running or cycling everyday or even giving up Facebook for the month! Every cent raised goes towards Home from Home so pledge here. What’s your challenge?

Home from Home August Challenge by The Mommy City

Naartjie Love Foundation Clothing Drive

Naartjie Love Foundation clothing driveIn honour of Mandela Day this year, Naartjie Kids is once again asking their customers to donate their second hand children’s clothing to help clothe approximately 6 000 disadvantaged children and youth in the Western Cape. “Our store wide clothing drive is always a highlight on our calendar and will kick off on the 9th of April this year. All donated clothing will be received by the Goedgedacht Trust, which supports children and youth in over 18 rural communities throughout the Western Cape. The Trust’s need for clothing is great, especially with winter around the corner and most of the children being in need of extra clothes,” said Esperanza Nortje, Chairperson of the Naartjie Love Foundation and Marketing Manager of Naartjie Kids. Last year they received over 21 500 items and this year they hope to have donations of 30 000 pieces.

How it works:

For every piece of wearable kids clothing (of any brand) that customers bring into a Naartjie store, they will receive a 5% discount voucher. Customers can add their vouchers together and get up to 25% off their purchase at one time. If customers bring in more than 5 pieces of clothing, their remaining vouchers can be used on their next purchase. The cut-off date to bring clothing in and earn vouchers is the 15th of June and the vouchers expire on the 30th of June this year.

This is a great way to donate to charity and receive discount vouchers for your efforts. Find your nearest Naartjie store here.


Adopt this Christmas

Adopt this Christmas - Charity GiftsLooking for Christmas gifts with a charity in mind? Here are just 5 of the charities that would love your support, and offer ideal gifts for older children who are more socially aware and want to give back to their environment and community, and to friend and family who may be difficult to buy for as they already have so much stuff.

SANCCOB: Adopt a Christmas Chick

Every year around Christmas SANCCOB receives numerous abandoned African penguin chicks. Adopt a Christmas chick by naming it and paying for its rehabilitation and release back into the wild. Christmas chick special only valid until 15 December 2014.

Adoption pack includes: 1 ‘adopted a penguin’ sticker for your car, a letter of adoption, a photograph of your chick, and a certificate of adoption.
Cost: R500

Relate: Bracelets for Charity

Relate aims to create opportunities and support numerous charities through the sale of their beaded bracelets. The bracelets are made by persons needing employment and who are up-skilled through the project. The bracelets can be purchased through their website and at selected retailers, including Woolworths (find them at the till).

Cost: R35 per bracelet to R350 for stack of 10 bracelets

WWF: Adopt a Great White Shark

Give a gift that will help protect the future of nature. Your symbolic adoption supports WWF’s global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats.

Adoptions kits include: Soft plush version of your adopted animal, adoption certificate, full-colour photo of your species, species spotlight information card, priority shipping, personalized acknowledgment letter to your gift recipient, desktop images of the adopted animal
Cost: $25, $55 or $100

Greenpop: Adopt a Tree

Greenpop are on a mission to reconnect people to the planet and have fun by planting trees. Tree Rings represent an indigenous tree that they will plant in an under-greened community or reforestation project on your behalf. Collection at their offices in Cape Town or they will post orders of more than 10.

Tree Rings: tree-shaped key rings made from wire and beads made by local craftsman Sydeny Nyamutaka.
Cost: R140

Save a Rhino: Christmas Gift Card

Send some festive rhino cheer this year and let your recipient know that their gift has helped support rhino conservation. This year their Christmas gift donations are in aid of ‘Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino’ appeal to raise much needed funds to purchase essential equipment for the rangers working to protect rhinos in South Africa’s Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

Gift card includes: about how the donation has helped contribute towards essential ranger equipment needed to protect rhinos in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.
Cost: Select the amount you would like to donate and if you give towards a specific item, we will include a photo of the piece of equipment in the card.


Sunflower bandana pants

The Sunflower Fund Bandana Pant by The Mommy CityThis Sunday is Bandana Day and to support The Sunflower Fund, I have been busy sewing and so far have made dribble bibs for Ethan and a reversible apron for Paige. With my pink and purple bandanas, I used this tutorial by Blue Yonder to sew some play pants. A little crazy but oh so fun and lightweight for summer. I had to cut down the bandanas as they were too big to make pants that would fit a 2 year old, so I recommend using a pair of your child’s pants as a guide with the tutorial. You can purchase your bandanas at Pick ‘n Pay stores for R25.

The Sunflower Fund is committed to help educate, recruit and raise funds for the South African Bone Marrow Registry. This non-profit organisation has a vision to give all South Africans diagnosed with leukaemia and other life-threatening blood disorders the chance of life, irrespective of their race and financial circumstances. Their work is crucial as the chance of finding a compatible bone marrow donor is 1:100 000 so they need as many donors as they can from all ethnic groups. Signing up and donating is easier than you think so please take a look at their website to find out more about what you can do to help.

Milton Cares Initiative

#miltoncaresMilton is offering everyday moms an opportunity to give back to under-privileged babies and their caregivers.  They will be distributing 1000 Milton Combi Sterilisers to disadvantaged communities to try and help fight the shocking SA gastro statistics. According to Statistics South Africa, in 2012 intestinal infectious diseases (inc. gastroenteritis and diarrhoea) were ranked the first leading cause of death in babies in South Africa. The baby bottle Combi sterilisations packs (microwave or cold water solution) offers a tried and tested sterilisation solution that is scientifically proven to kill all commonly known germs including thrush.

They are inviting the public to go to, select or nominate communities that would benefit from education on sterilising and free Milton Combi Steriliser packs.  Milton will then dispatch an educator and Milton Combi packs to the area in. As way of a thank you, Milton will send photos and a short write up to the nominee so they can see the difference they have made by taking a few seconds out of their day to make their nomination.

Find out more from this short YouTube clip.

Santa Shoebox Project 2014 & Santa’s Workshop at the CTICC

Santa Shoebox Project 2014

This year the Santa Shoebox Project (SSB) is hosting their first ever Santa’s Workshop at the Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC) to thank and entertain the real heroes and driving force behind the Santa Shoebox Project – the donor children! SSB is inviting all children and their families, to the CTICC between 31 October and 2 November to experience the wonder of a super-sized Drop Off. It will be a carnival atmosphere with Exhibition Halls 1A & B being transformed into Santa’s Workshop that will receive 35 000 boxes and showcase dancers, singers, face painters, magicians and balloon artists. The highlight will be story time presented by Exclusive Books with story tellers in character and book hampers up for grabs.

Children will be able to have their photo taken with Santa in a secret grotto, meet recipient children, support their favourite DJ in a box wrapping competition, be filmed by and for the first time, really experience the journey of their box and understand the impact of their donation. Not only will the Santa Workshop be fun, it is helping reduce the Project’s carbon footprint by having a central drop off point. If you can’t make these dates to drop off your boxes at the CTICC, you can also drop them off at one of their main sponsors, Stor-Age, on 29 and 30 October.

Connecting People through the Joy of Giving

Santa Shoebox Project 2014 is now open for pledging and with your help 100 000 boxes will be received through 65 satellites, by hundreds of volunteers, around South Africa and Namibia. This year SSB are also introducing some new exciting initiatives:

  • Virtual Box: offers donors who don’t live near a drop off point and international donors a chance to support the project by purchasing a Virtual Box kindly packed by Checkers.
  • SSB Pipeline: proudly South African rain ponchos to children who live in high winter rainfall areas – to keep them dry, healthy and in school.
  • SSB Legacy: these funds will be used for skills training of the caregivers at the more than 1000 SSB recipient facilities and this year’s training is basic First Aid.

You can follow follow SSB on Facebook and Twitter for updates and newsflashes.

This is not a sponsored post. The content was provided on their website and I wanted to share to help spread the word about this wonderful initiative.

Santa Shoebox Project 2014