Our visit to the Sharp Kidz Day Care in Finetown reminded me of how Santa must feel when visiting the children of the world to drop off gifts! 

We arrived at this very small school, on an unusually warm day in June, to find that our timing was out and that we were there at nap time.  As we all know to never wake a sleeping child, we laid the lovely blankets, toys, tops and beanies beside each child instead.  Can you imagine the excitement when they all woke up?

Placing the gifts next to the sleeping children – you will always have one or two children that wake up – just how does Santa get it right?

 

Sharp Kidz is a very small Day Care, caring for only 15 children.  It is remarkable how dedicated Dieketseng, the principal, is.

Dieketseng showed Wendy, Wandi and I around the small school and shared with us the challenges she faces.

 

From top left – the playground for the children; the “pit” toilet facility; corrugated iron walling is used as a chalk board and the walls of the kitchen are insulated with boarding.

 

Dieketseng has gone a long way to create a caring and loving environment for these children and has ensured that the school is registered with JAM and that the children receive proper nutrition. 

There is evidence of the assistance they receive from JAM all over the kitchen walls!

 

Although the facility is small, with very little in the way of educational aids for the children, this environment is so much safer than that faced by the children who roam the streets of Finetown.   As we left Sharp Kidz, Wendy took photos of the area around the school and you can see from the images below just how many children are left to fend for themselves on the streets.

 

Good bye from the children at Sharp Kidz and thank you for your gifts!  The smile on this little girl’s face is all the thanks we will ever need…..

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Thank you, Ronda, for this excellent Report! We are always so hungry for news of the children and for a peek at the creches you visit.

Finetown looks like such a sad and ugly place by our standards, and Sharp Kidz is housed in such a primitive structure.

Two positives that show in the photos are the JAM connection and the fact that the children seem to have sleeping mats, but the lack of play and educational equipment is heartbreaking.

It makes me want to rush off to the KAS Shop and purchase some Learning Posters to brighten those walls and a few Reams of Paper to give them something to work with.

Dieketseng looks like such a happy loving person. I am sure that, even with the lack of resources, she is changing the lives of the children in her care. I only wish there were more facilities so the "street kids" could be scooped up and cared for for part of the day.

Every time you post a Report like this, I find myself wanting to know more.

I assume, from the photo of the pit toilet, that there is no running water available, so I wonder if they have to walk to a community well and how they dispose of the toilet contents.

The fact that they can cook JAM porridge makes me guess that they do have electricity?

Do you know how this creche is funded? Do the families have to pay a per diem to leave their chidren at Sharp Kidz and do you know how much that is?

I can only imagine the excitement that must have erupted when the children woke up and discovered their blankets and toys.

Seeing photos like this and hearing about conditions in this creche, brings home with a thud the reason why we send our little squares

Lovely to see the children here can still smile despite their circumstances, and yes what fun to play Santa.  I too can imagine the surprise the children had on waking.

Anne, I am curious to know more about some of the Creches in SA too.  I did take a look at a larger version of some of those JAM porridge posters (click on the image to do this).  The porridge can be made with either hot or cold water, so there may also not be any electricity here.

Seeing these reports certainly makes me more appreciative of what I have, especially indoor plumbing!

I am guessing that the contents of the toilet bucket is either tipped into a hole and buried or possibly taken to a designated central dumping area?  Either way not a task I envy.

Thanks Rhonda.  This report touches one's heart in so many ways.  Anne sums it up so well. KASers that smile is a present for all of us.

How lovely to get to play Santa! 
THANKS for sharing!  <3

So glad we can bring some warmth and comfort to these children.  Dieketseng is doing so much with so little.

Very difficult circumstances but it is 15 less kids on the street for the day and they get fed nourishing food and a good sleep on good mats and a place to play. Now they also have bright blankets and a cuddly toy, new tops and beanies ! Anything we can do is encouraging for the caregivers too.

Not quite Christina, many of the children are orphans, but live with grandparents or an older sibling. When Ronda originally first started, she was buying and handing out blankets to street children, but as Knit-a-Square crafters around the world proved to be so kind-hearted and the numbers of squares arriving were so vast, it was felt that distributing the blankets needed to be done in a more constructive way. Linking up with orphanages and day centres meant a larger number of children could be reached in one go - and they would all have the same 'gift' of blankets, garments etc.

It also prevented blankets going astray, or, street children becoming targeted by predators. We have also distributed to groups of homeless people, usually those scratching a meagre living on municipal waste sites. Wherever the blankets go, they will make a difference to the quality of life to the recipient - to stay warm and healthy.

So very well said, Sue.  And 15 lives that will be positively influenced - it can make all the difference. 

What a superb report. Thank you so much Ronda for this.  I will treasure these photos.  Not only for the darling children but as a reminder of how very lucky I am to live in a wealthy country and have a house and all I do have.  Seeing the children left to themselves will spur me on to further efforts. Thank you SO much for all you gals (and guys) do for the little ones. Thank you for being our hands over there and giving them the hugs we would so much love to give them ourselves.

There is such a difference in clothing of the children who attend the creche and the children on the street.  It struck me immediately.  And the children in the creche have a substantial, daily meal and now goodies from KAS.  How I wish that the children on the outside could be included, also.  I, like Anne, have lots of questions which I'll save for later.  

Indeed. I have questions but perhaps I can just ask one?

I would love to know what it would cost to get a better toilet for the children than the pit toilet they have now.  is that a mini project that some of us might contribute to?  I realize sewers are non existent in some places but surely something might be possible better than a bucket? Just wondering.  I'd love to contribute to that.

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