Over 5 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) in South Africa- this statistic is overwhelming. Each of these children faces immense emotional struggles, material lack and the strong temptation to turn to drugs, crime and other negative behaviours.
However, we believe that each of these children is a gift from God, with their own gifts and strengths to be unlocked to bless others, give them a stable future and positively impact the world.
We believe that each one of us can make a difference to the life of one child, and together, as we do, we will impact a community and then a nation.
We have over 80 school-going Special Stars (OVCs) on our Special Star Sponsorship Programme, as well as over 50 children on our Rising Star Programme. Support for our Special Stars is primarily relationship driven, rather than material handouts being the primary focus. New children are put forward all the time. We never turn a child away even if we have no financial support at the time, trusting that God will provide.
Each Special Star has their own individual sponsor to connect with and remind them that they are loved. Most of these children do not have anyone who treats them as special and who they can look to for moral and spiritual guidance. While it is primarily relational, there is a monthly amount of R150 to cover school fees, uniform and stationery.
Sponsors are given their Special Star's birthday, some background plus a contact number. To help grow the connection we hold various functions, as well as our weekly maths club which many sponsors are involved in. Our eye2eye giving philosophy means that giving is always 2 way, e.g. Special Stars make gifts and cards for their sponsors at Christmas time and all participate and help at the functions- rather than just the Special Stars participating while the sponsors help. We encourage this Special Star- Sponsor relationship to grow and have seen the impact on the children when sponsors take this job seriously.
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me." Matthew 26:40
The children are also visited in their homes by fieldworkers who give love and support, identify and address issues, and help encourage them to unlock their potential.
Detailed reports of each visit are submitted weekly by the fieldworkers and discussed in team meetings so that each child's needs are being reviewed and their passions being encouraged. Youth groups and various other programmes and initiatives are co-ordinated by the fieldworkers and project team to further support and empower these children. Our fieldworkers are currently part-time. We are looking to grow the support to children through the fieldworker. Helping to support this interaction is ideal for those unable to give on-the-ground relational support (R150 per month ensures a child can get the necessary individual and group input).