“Reach Out” is an Organisation that was established with the aim to help the children, in particular, child headed households, the elderly and the infirm, who are unable to help themselves. We are based in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal and deal mainly with an informal settlement on the outskirts of the City, called France. France comprises of Ambleton/Shenstone and Slangspruit. The area has high levels of poverty and unemployment. Many of the children there are AID’S orphans and most of them are forced to fend for themselves
This informal settlement is situated on the outskirts of the city, off the Richmond Road. Historically, this became the place to move families from troubled areas during the politically tense years. Other families were relocated to France after the devastating floods of 1990. High levels of poverty, unemployment, HIV and AIDS greatly affect this community. Over 80 000 peoplereside in the area.
Reach Out have been actively supporting children, the elderly, and men and women Having worked in France for the past 18 years, Liberty Midlands Properties in conjunction with liberty Midlands Mall have built us a magnificent Community Facility Centre, named the “Elsje Foundation of Love and Hope, that presently caters for 56 child headed households and 45 “gogo ‘s and 35 HIV moms in the area. We also try and help various crèches in the area.
We are making a difference in the lives of poverty stricken children, and the elderly that are heavily burdened with having to look after children and the local school, “Mpumelelo” in the area. We also strive to feed families in “kwanyamazane who are suffering with extreme poverty on a daily basis We have joined hands with NCF church who do services at the centre on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Our Aim is to concentrate on poverty, Family planning, Heath and Education and to teach life skills, sewing lessons and gardening instruction, We would be able to have a surplus of over 1000 people passing though our gates, on a weekly basis, if we had the funds to do so.
We appeal to any organisation for funding so that we can continue our feeding in the area and expand on what we are presently doing..Any donation would be greatly appreciated. We are BEE compliant, our auditors being EM Luiz chartered Accountants, who do our auditing pro bono. We also have a “ Beescore” rating of 700 points
Plan of Action
Having worked in France for the past 12 years, Liberty Properties in conjunction with Liberty Midlands Mall and various sponsors have built us a Community Facility Centre on acquired land from the local Municipality – Site 2886, Ambleton/Shenston. Reach Out has been given a 20-year lease on the land. The Community Facility Centre will cater for child-headed households in particular and will incorporate a Drop- in Centre, Soup Kitchen, Laundromat facilities, a much-needed Child Advocacy Centre and a Clinic which will provide daily health care.
The Child Advocacy Centre is to be set up to assist sexually and physically abused children, with trained counsellors, with the purpose of:
protecting the child from further harm
providing counselling for the child and family
minimising the risk of further trauma
protecting society from the offender
holding the offender accountable for his actions
Since most of the residents are unemployed and untrained, we also envisage setting up a much-needed Education and Training Facility. This will assist school-leaving children by training them on the basics of certain trades, to see where their talents lie, in order that they can be sent for further training. We will also be approaching various colleges to obtain bursaries for those who show exceptional potential.
Following this, within the next two years, we aim to build a fully fledged Old Age Home. The elderly in the community are heavily burdened with the responsibility of taking care of the orphaned and abandoned children. This leaves the elderly experiencing extreme hardships, stresses and strains. They have no time for themselves, or their health, just a continuing cycle of struggle and torment. Their suffering and hardships are such that no human being should have to endure. The Old Age Home will serve to bring relief to the elderly and provide care that is presently not available.This facility will also serve as a Pensioners’ payout point.
"We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time, his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer tomorrow. His name is today."- Gabriella Mistral