The first meeting with Children of Zululand
Linda tells us she has been assisting Children of Zululand for 8 years now, and that she thinks it’s an amazing organization.
Linda is the General manager for Zululand Home for the Aged, and a long term partner and manager of Children of Zululand's South Africa office. We had a chat with her about the work she does for the community, and what Children of Zululand’s work means to the area, an area where she herself grew up and lived most of her life.
I have a missionary heart and I have spent many years of my life caring for the terminally ill, physically challenged and orphans, she tells us. This is how I first came in contact with Children of Zululand.
I was visiting a little girl in the community with severe eczema, and Thore and Linsey's sponsors were out visiting from Norway. I was so touched to see these wonderful people from a first world country showing such compassion and love towards our children, Linda continues. This is when our journey together started, she reminisces.
Funds raised through Children of Zululand are well spent
Subsequently Children of Zululand have so willingly come to the rescue on many occasions. They have sponsored houses for people who are living in the worst humane conditions. The joy and upliftment they give to those in need is indescribable, she continues. There is such a big need for accountability in our country. Overseas donors need to know that the money they invest in children is being channelled in the correct direction, and that’s where I fit in. I take care of the foster children and oversee the payments from our sponsors, Linda says. With Aids and now Covid 19, we are sorry to see more and more child headed families. Covid has greatly affected the elderly in our community, and in many families both parents and grandparents have died.
The extreme poverty in the rural areas
The most distressing thing is still our poverty. Thousands of children go hungry every day, and a lot rely on the meal the government sponsors at the school once a day. This is often just maize or beans. Children of Zululand are the facilitators for a lot of great things in our community.
We have uplifted a very rural school with a library that didn't have a single book, Linda tells us. It's my daughter and her husband who run the Hope Valley farm School and they have been sponsored secondhand books from private schools. The excess books are used to stock the library, she continues. Without Children of Zululand the upliftment of both these schools wouldn't be possible.
Small things make a huge difference to children who have nothing
The most gratifying thing is to see the smile on a child’s face when you give them a new pair of school shoes, or a bar of soap. They hold it like a treasure and say “I have my own bar of soap”. Any donation - small or big, can make a difference in these children's life, Linda continues.
Now we are ready to take on the challenge on running an orphanage
Our next big dream is to open an orphanage, andI have huge faith this one day will become a reality. We have just started raising funds for this project and our hope is that people, both individuals and businesses want to take part in this huge project - and we do mean "take part". We would love if individuals and companies would want to get involved, make visits and experience our part of the world.
Unfortunately Covid-19 has changed many of our paths, and made them more difficult, but we will get through.
Finally i want to give a huge thank you to Thore, his twin brother Ola and other people who work for Children of Zululand. You have unselfishly given your time, money and love to the Children of Zululand. You share the same values and passions as I do, and I am eternally grateful.