I thought I would just post a more factual post with some information on Fikelela Children’s Centre, where I am currently volunteering and will do so for the next 4 weeks.
Fikelela Children’s Centre is located in Mandela Park, in Khayelitsha, a township 20 minutes east from Cape Town city. In Xhosa (the local language) Fikelela means reach out!
Like I’ve mentioned, I haven’t actually brought my camera to Fikelela yet, but I will do so shortly and make sure you get a whole lot of pictures from the place. At the moment, I’ve just found some pictures online.
Fikelela provides a safe, secure and temporary safe care housing for children. It takes up to 40 children from the ages of 0-8 years. The children who are there have unfortunately either been abandoned, neglected, or orphaned, affected or infected by HIV/Aids. At Fikelela the children are helped to get back to a good health, put on anti-retrovirals (medicine to control the HIV virus) and placed into schools.
Fikelela actually want the children to be at the Home for the least time possible. They want to get the children back to their families, but if this is not possible, they are placed into good foster homes which are carefully selected and monitored by social workers.
The woman standing to the left is Heather, who teaches the kids every Thursday morning
The children at Fikelela are absolutely amazing! They are 110% adorable and very very cute! Unfortunately, they have all been through a lot during their childhood, which makes it hard for many of them to focus over a longer period of time and many of them are under stimulated and under developed. So there are many activities that you could normally do with an 8-year old which you can’t do with the 8-year olds at Fikelela. So this weekend I’ve spent some time trying to look for some activities which I can do with the children; practicing cutting, gluing, looking at shapes and colours and sounds – just various ways to stimulate them. There are many basic things that you would expect all children to be able to do which these children can’t do, just because of their unfortunate childhood.
Some of the ideas I’ve been looking at
I’m getting picked up by Ed very soon and I’m off to have my second week at Fikelela and going through the hard times of not having internet (it’s really not that bad)!
More on how my weekend was is coming soon!
If you have any more questions about Fikelela, the kids, or how it is to work there, just ask.