Yes, I'm headed to another Habitat for Humanity ‘build’, my ninth! This time the location is Malawi, East Africa.
But I stopped first in Johannesburg South Africa, in part to meet one amazing woman. They call her ‘Mum Carol’, and she’s ‘mum’ to about 850 children. She founded a charity called Ikageng Itireleng, and the mission is to provide support to orphans and vulnerable children, many of them living with or affected by HIV and AIDS. The organization is funded by Keep a Child Alive (keepachildalive.org), where I serve on the board of directors.
It’s not an orphanage, as such, although Mum Carol does currently have four orphans living with her. Ikageng supports children in individual homes. In many cases they are child-headed households, where brothers and sisters take care of their younger siblings. We visited some, and they were inspirational! It’s all done through a network involving social workers and caregivers who make house calls. There is support group activity, oversight for education and health care, and the distribution of monthly food parcels. I saw firsthand what a difference Mum Carol and her team are making. And it clearly involves a lot of love.
I move on to Malawi tomorrow. If the Wi-Fi gods are willing, I’ll have more for you soon . . .