Intercultural Dialogue in Action
Masiphumelele & Nala-Partners Christmas celebration for children
This is the story of Claire Moldenhauer, who shortly after arriving in South Africa, was so touched by meeting children in the township of Masiphumelele that she offered to organise a wonderful Christmas party for many of them.
The following is a summary account of her experience. Claire worked for three months as an intern at Nala - Partners. The following is an account of her contribution to the Masiphumelele community.
The Masiphumelele Christmas party for over 300 children was a very moving and joyful event. Claire's plan was to organize a Christmas party for 200 children Masiphumelele in the 2-7 age group. Preferably only kids from very poor backgrounds who do not have the opportunity to attend a Christmas party elsewhere (church, school, orphanage, etc).
Her donation letter was set-up in German and sent out by E-mail to friends and family. It was also published on the Nala - Partners website. This was a special event and the donors were friends and family of Claire in Germany. They were very generous in their giving. Claire raised 3,300 Euros in just a few weeks.
The aim was to ensure that only the target group of very poor childrenwould be invited to the party. Therefore 50 invitations to publicise the event as well as 200 invitations/vouchers were created and handed over to Charlotte and Rodney our event partners in Masiphumelele who took care of distribution.
In order to reduce expenses a big effort was made in asking for discounts at all shops In the end the following local companies gave donations and discounts:
. Pick & Pay Longbeach Mall
. Compass Bakery
. Fruit & Veg City
. The Excitement Shop
. Rodger's Fruitererers
Our thanks go to Steve Maitland, Ken Kempen and Julia Hinze who volunteered their services.
We hired several support staff in Masiphumelele. Charlotte, who owns Nomthunzie Township tours, played a major role in organizing, giving advice, handing out vouchers and managing the party. Rodney Ndyalvan, Director of the Siyakha Trust and a community leader, gave major support and also acted as Santa Claus - read out a Christmas story and gave out the presents. Furthermore one bouncer, two cleaning ladies and four helpers were recruited by Charlotte.
The team decorated the Masiphumelele Community Hall, so when the kids entered there was a festive, cheery atmosphere. Each child had a plate filled with food and gifts and the "Ubuntu" Marimba band played Christmas tunes which gave the whole event a very African touch.
The meal consisted of a Vetkoek with a patty, a fairy-cup cake, an apple and a fruit juice. Furthermore there was a buffet lined up for the mothers with cakes, cookies, apples, oranges, peaches, water and sodas.
The goodie bags for the kids contained a book with a Christmas story and stickers, a sketch book, 12 crayons, a pack of crisps, a lollipop, and two items of fruit.
The party was a big success. Over 350 children and many accompanying mothers enjoyed a wonderful time of food and play and showed their appreciation in so many ways that touched our hearts. Hopefully this very special event will stay in the children's memory and they will think back to this wonderful event for a long time.
I certainly will remember it all my life said Claire. It has made a huge impact of my seeing the world and will remain in my heart forever.
Claire's story is a wonderful example of Intercultural Dialogue: I, a foreigner only here for a short time, was touched by the children of Masiphumelele and set up this event. I involved and motivated many people in Germany to give money to make the party happen. My message to others: "if I can do it - so can you"
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