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If you ask any child what their favourite thing is about Christmas, the answer will almost always be, “Presents!” Adults might prefer a more meaningful answer, but adults are boring and presents are fun.
Every year, we bring the fun, through hundreds of presents, to a creche in one of Cape Town’s poorest townships, Khayelitsha. Khumbulani Day Care Centre is one of our partners and we have been fortunate enough to help them grow from a small creche to a shining light in their community. This year, as with others before, we brought the Christmas spirit to the children and our own Wilmont dressed up as Father Christmas to add a little bit of wonder to the giving. Wilmont handed out a range of gifts depending on their ages such as colouring books, toy animals, fairy wings for the girls and plastic scooters for the boys.
As you might imagine, the kids were extremely excited. They kept it together initially but once the presents started being given out, pandemonium took hold. While they waited to be called up for their gifts, the children broke out in spontaneous song, singing and clapping along to a simple, but very catchy, “Happy, happy Father Christmas, happy, happy Father Christmas.”
Khumbulani is a centre for kids between the age of 0 to about 13 years, managed by an amazing lady called Gloria Bebeza. Run out of a two-roomed house, Gloria cares for about 230 HIV infected or affected children daily. In addition to this, Gloria runs a soup kitchen for the local community feeding up to 350 people a day!
Rhino Africa has been supporting Khumbulani for several years with monthly donations, and by providing food for the children. Through our association with Nhlayisa, we provide a specially formulated porridge for Khumbulani that provides much-needed nutrients for the kids. In the words of Nelson Mandela, “To heal a nation, you must first feed and educate her children”, and it is in this spirit that we embrace our involvement with Khumbulani.
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Matt discovered a passion for writing in the six years he spent travelling abroad. He worked for a turtle sanctuary in Nicaragua, in an ice cream factory in Norway and on a camel safari in India. He was a door-to-door lightbulb-exchanger in Australia, a pub crawl guide in Amsterdam and a journalist in Colombia. Now, he writes and travels with us.
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