One of our trustees, Catherine Michell, visited Ermelo just before lockdown:
“I accompanied Ian and Emma Campbell, our partners in Ermelo, on a visit to Vulinqondo Day Care Centre where we currently fund e’Pap. The informal settlement of Bambanini Village in which the centre is situated has no electricity or running water. The day care centre itself does have a small generator which enables water to be pumped into a storage container for use there. This is the only place in the village with such a facility.
Although we did not arrive in time to see the children eating their e’Pap that day (heavy rain and traffic on our drive from Johannesburg prevented this!), we were able to deliver the next instalment of e’Pap to the teachers. We also watched the children playing on their playground equipment, fuelled with energy from their e’Pap breakfast!”
During lockdown, children who would normally attend Vulinqondo Day Care Centre are being fed at the centre. Feeding will also soon commence in two other locations through the initiatives of local pastors. This is subject to the continued consent of the authorities there, which has not always been straightforward to secure.
There is great need in this area and the GRCT has agreed to expand the funding of e’Pap feeding in Ermelo when this is possible. Catherine saw the three new proposed locations during her visit, including a spot by the roadside under a large tree (pictured below) where children and teenagers congregate to catch the school bus from the informal settlement to school.