Charity needs ‘boost’ for Mandela Day

Athina May

A Milnerton non-profit organisation wants to hold an early Christmas party for the children of Dunoon to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela in the run-up to Mandela Day on Monday July 18, and they’re asking the public to help make it a reality.

Boost Africa helps children in extreme poverty, giving them the basics they need to go to school and access to educational resources to improve their numeracy and literacy skills.

The organisation will hold a Christmas in July event on Saturday July 16, just before Mandela Day, for 150 children, who will get party packs, snacks and warm winter clothes during the carnival-themed event.

“Every year, we aim to host the party on Mandela Day especially for the kids of Dunoon.

“We also do a rain jacket and a gumboots drive after the party because of the bad weather conditions, especially in squatter camps, so that the kids can get to school warm and dry,” said Boost Africa representative, Elizabeth Arendse.

“There are many children who walk through water to get to school from Site 5 and inside Dunoon, and they have to sit in their wet clothes all day at school, so we provide them with what they need to get to school.”

Ms Arendse said many children who attended the programme after hours usually endured crowded classrooms and they were unlikely to get extra support if they fell behind with their work.

“There are 50 to 60 pupils in a classroom and the child who can’t keep up doesn’t get attention. Their parents usually can’t help them with their homework either, due to the language barrier.

“At Boost, we offer free internet and literacy programmes to help these pupils,” said Ms Arendse.

The organisation is looking for funding and donations for the party as well as volunteers willing to spend their 67 minutes to help run it.

“We would like to give the children a lunch and party packs or anything that people can donate, stationery, toys, rain jackets or gumboots.

“If people want to volunteer on Mandela Day, they are welcome to contact us,” said Ms Arendse.

Contact Boost Africa at 021 556 5963 or Elizabeth Arendse at 073 390 3793 for more information.