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April/May 2012 Soshanguve, South Africa

Our aim for the 2 week trip to South Africa was to:

  • Register a foundation in South Africa
  • Set up a board with the relevant people needed to start the project for at least 1 year
  • Research similar care centers in the area and meet with people who run these centres and their volunteers
  • Identify the land and surrounding area i.e. schools, clinics and accessibility to the children in the community
Part of setting up the foundation in South Africa required putting together a team who will be involved with the running of the centre and the development of the centre. I set up a meeting with Peter Davidson who has a background in financial management and business, and Nally Shika who will be running and coordinating the development of the centre.

Nally has already put together a team of volunteers from Soshanguve who are presently helping children by keeping them off the streets with sports activities like football and who have skills in the IT field. This group of individuals is currently looking for facilities to continue their work and have come together in support of House of Hope to work together with us in achieving the same goals for the children.

We met with Pastor Albert from the Ark of the Covenant International Church who has three care centres in Soshanguve North. He shared a lot of information on how the centres are managed, the challenges they face and the real value these centres bring to the children in need in that area. We were also able to visit one of his centres and meet with the staff and volunteers, view the facilities and ask all the questions we needed. They were very generous with their time and we were very grateful.

Nally wanted to show me three pieces of land, which were available for our project. Two of the choices were not ideal for the children but we found one that met with all the criteria and more. Check out some pictures in our Gallery.

We are now waiting for the registration of the Foundation to take place. This should take 2 months before we are able to submit the business plan to the local counselor and apply for the land.

Nally and I were able to spend a lot of time discussing the design and the needs of the centre now that we have an idea where the centre could be built. Seeing the ground and it’s size, we were then able address the sustainable side of the centre. Water will be a big challenge as the ground is big enough for 2 football size fields, a huge area for sustainable food gardening and buildings, which can be built big enough for more than our needs.

I was able to meet up with an established architect who was very helpful and Nally has also met up with a local architect from Soshanguve. Our goal now is to decide on an architect, preferably a local architect, who will help us draw out the plans and get an overall view of the costs etc.