Funny how things work out…
I was trying to get my head around it, and there were a few added complications..not the least of them being that Mike Stevens ( my MD) was stuck in Australia!
In any case..with a little bit of ingenuity, perseverance, and a bunch of international phone calls between Australia,the UK and the US, we managed to pull it off!
The accompanying film piece was made by film maker Stephen Maud, who came with me to Cape Town a few weeks ago, and the children you see are mainly from the community of Nyanga, where Stephanie Kilroe set up the Etafeni Centre…( the one I first visited, which led onto the second one being built in Vrygrund)
Nyanga, Cape Flats
Nyanga, a sprawling, poverty-stricken illustration of Cape Town’s urban sprawl, is one of the oldest and largest black townships after Langa, establishing itself as early as 1955. It lies about 26 kilometres from the city centre, along the N2 close to the Cape Town International Airport and, like most of townships in the country, originated as a result of the migrant labour system – a spillover once Langa was filled to capacity.
Nyanga, meaning ‘moon’, has one of the oldest taxi ranks, which has undergone reconstruction to make it safer and more accessible, and is abuzz with energy and a true ‘township vibe’ that has visitors from all over the world taking tours through Langa, Nyanga, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu in an attempt to get a taste of township life. Nyanga is still poor and is made up mostly of informal settlements where people live cheek-by-jowl in shacks made of zinc, cardboard and wood – this despite recent governmental development initiatives to provide more brick houses. Families here live below the breadline.
Despite this, Nyanga is where things are happening. Organisations like Abalimi Bezekhaya are promoting a culture of self-help by facilitating food growing and environmental action, and role models like Mama Maphosela, who takes in TB and Aids orphans, are working to deal with the stigma attached to HIV. Vibrant entrepreneurs have opened barber shops, hairdressing salons, tuck shops and informal traders and fruit sellers line the main streets.
Children are just children…everywhere…no matter what their circumstance…children are all the same. They want to play with their friends and have fun and be happy. That’s what Universal Child is all about. Every child should have the right to be protected, nurtured, loved and well cared for. That’s why I support Stephanie Kilroe..who’s unique vision creates a safe haven for children to be supported in this way.
That’s why I’m affiliated with Mothers 2 Mothers, who ensure that HIV positive mothers are supported, empowered, given access to life saving treatment, and given the opportunity to deliver an HIV negative baby.
That’s what the SING campaign is all about….If you agree with my view on this…don’t just empathise…support me..donate!! I’ll put your money to good work!!!