THE SOWETO PARENT AND CHILD COUNSELLING CENTRE: SPCCC
The SPCC is our informal partner. This organisation of social workers and counsellors tend to the emotional needs of 1000 + desperate child/grandmother/sick mother headed households, while we attend to their physical needs.
We know that children growing up in poverty with poor living conditions are vulnerable, and through the eyes of the SPCCC we have been privy to the despair and turmoil of this unfortunate community. In South Africa Statistics show that 2 out of every 5 learners don’t finish school and we see so many of these youngsters loitering about the squatter camps and the streets, eventually resorting to very unhealthy lifestyles to support themselves and escape from their reality. AIDS is a real problem; sugar daddies who provide physical comfort and some degree of emotional support contribute to an endless downward spiral for so many youngsters in this area.
Absence of role models is a real problem, as is absence of a father for both boys and girls. Teenage pregnancy, violence and abuse are part of daily life.
We provide short term relief : groceries, clothes, kitchen goods and just about anything that we manage to collect from generous donors ( see Have a Heart Campaign). We have planned to use the vegetable garden as the foundation from which we have devised projects aimed at upskilling and uplifting the teenagers in this community.
For the last 2 years, with the support from generous donors, we have arranged Christmas parties, specifically for those children who have ‘fallen through the cracks’ and don’t seem to matter at all – our orphan community whose every day is such a struggle for survival. Children from grandmother and child headed households are bussed to Joburg zoo for an incredible day. In partnership with the Santa Shoebox Project, we also ensure that everyone receives a gift. This party is such a treat for children who don’t know what it is like to be given new clothes and toys chosen specifically for them. Many have experienced the special warmth of Christmas for the first time through us.
It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.