Monday, October 6, 2008

July 2007 Day Three

Hello everyone!

I spent the morning at a pediatric AIDS hospice and home called Cotlands. They are an impressive organization that has been serving the needs of troubled young people for over 100 years. Today, Cotlands runs an AIDS support program for children that reaches from the Eastern Cape, to Kwa-Zulu Natal and into Soweto and Jo’burg. They reach thousands of children all suffering from HIV. As I spoke with Jackie Schoemann, the executive director, I was so impressed by the wide range of services that extend to the children and their families in the community. Through the years, their support of children left homeless due to orphaning has skyrocketed. In addition, the children who would have once died at a young age are now living into their teens because of the aggressive program to reach children with anti-retroviral medications. This has left them with a large group of residential children who live and are schooled at the Cotlands Center in Turffontein.

Residential children with not enough adults to give them plenty of adult attention?? Welcome Infinite Family! We hope that the children of Cotlands will become matched with mentors one day soon, so that little Sibongile, who is 7 years old and dependent on an oxygen tank, will have someone to sit with and quietly share her day. We hope that little Mpulo, an effervescent three year old, scarred all over his face and head from a shack fire, will eventually have someone who looks forward to seeing his lovely shining smile every week. We look forward to an adult in the US, seeing each child hold up the lovely paintings they made in the courtyard on this gorgeous winter morning. What you do has a powerful message for children who suffer as these children do.

In the afternoon, I was able to meet with the head of the Bombardier division in South Africa…excited to see them catch the vision of all that we are doing enough to take a trip out to Refilwe to meet the children there and experience the magic of vc mentoring! We’ll see you on Saturday, all you Refilwe Net Families!!!

Another amazing day in wonderful South Africa!!

Enjoy the warmth…!


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