Loose Change makes a difference
A visit to the orphanage in September 2013 was a truly heartwarming experience. Accompanied by Kerry and Jacqui – 2 Loose Change sponsors – we saw just how established NOCET has become since moving into their house, New Year’s day 2012. It has grown and is thriving: 4 new children being cared for, and over 30 Nursery and Kinder students now attending classes.
Due to NOCET’s growth, another teacher, and an assistant to Joyce have joined the staff. At present, these positions are not salaried. The house is truly a home, a wonderful community resource to the neighbourhood. There is also a new Project Coordinator [also unsalaried].
The sheer grind and hardship of cooking, cleaning and washing, and caring for the children has been greatly eased with the purchases made possible by Loose Change. And this is hugely appreciated by Joyce, who can’t stop smiling. Loose Change purchased all the items on NOCET’s wish-list. Thanks to the amazing fund-raising effort by Eastwood PS and others in August 2013, there was money left over to buy shelving for the storage room [to keep food off the floor]; bulk drygoods [flour, rice, beans], washing powder, soap and cooking oil, as well as new clothing for the orphans.
Jacqui’s dentist donated toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss; a sponsor bought 10 ‘bouncy’ balls, which were a great hit; another sponsor gave an Aussie Rules football with pump. When we first visited NOCET in 2011 all the children had for toys was a flat, dusty soccerball that had lost it's outer skin, and a box of bottle-tops.
Our latest visit in September 2015 allowed us to witness the continued growth and development of all the children and young adults in NOCET’s care and support. Wenslaus was about to complete his Chef’s course, much to our delight. Once he is able to find a job in 2016, he will be better able to support his mother, and the prospect of a future.
One of the first things we did after arriving was write up a comprehensive list of stationery to buy for the Nursery/Kinder. Here we are visiting a shop with our order.
We bought some simple readers for the children. Here Sheryl is reading from one of them to some of the orphans and a neighbour .
Aside from a box of bottletops and a flat, bald soccer ball, the orphans had no toys as such. We bought a new soccer ball [held by Abduli] and pump, and a bag of marbles .
Upendo and Samell driving a hard bargain at the central market.
We purchased about 2 weeks of fruit and vegetables that day .
50 kgs each of maize flour and rice were purchased, as well as beans .
2012 Christmas lunch, hosted by Otakef Motel, our accomodation – all the NOCET children and staff were invited, as well as Otakef staff.
Group shot of all the Christmas lunch guests, all in their Sunday best.
The children had never received Christmas gifts before. We bought some mixed lollies and made up bags to hand out after lunch. Those lollies were treasured and lasted hours.
At the new house, a marble shooting gallery .
The laptop bought with funds raised in 2012. This has helped NOCET keep in better, more reliable communication with us.
The U3A Croydon Quilters made 10 quilts for Joyce and the orphans. They will be much loved and treasured .
Joyce happily receiving a quilt, specially made for her by the U3A Croydon Quilters .
New bedsheets, complimented by the new quilts .
Sheryl giving Adams the money to buy the TV, dvd player and stand for the orphanage, money kindly donated by Camberwell High School .
Alfred [rear] from Otakef Motel – our accommodation – was kind enough to make his van available for pickup of our purchases. Loading up! .
Going through the wish-list, how many items can we find to buy in this store? .
Working out a price on cutlery and crockery, more on the wish-list .
On the wishlist, wash basins and squeegee .
Once it was known 'mzungu' [foreigners] were around, there were runners bringing over products for us to check out and negotiate a price on: mosquito nets and bedsheets .
Checking out the quality of the kettle, a wish-list item .
Another time- and back-saving purchase, a broom
Naomi, Maurini, Wilsum and Glory with their new mosquito nets, reducing the risk of malaria .
One of NOCET’s wish-list items, a work desk, made by a local business .
Joyce handing out the new clothes purhcased with donations from Loose Change sponsors .
Maurini, Glory and Naomi with some of their new clothes .
Sponsors gave us money to buy a set of swings, which was purpose-built by a local business .
Joyce is the hardest-working woman we’d ever met. Sheryl was determined that by the time we were to see Joyce again – September 2013 – she was to look 10 years younger. Loose Change has definitely made a difference to Joyce’s life!
As in the first trip, we bought bulk drygoods, soap, cooking oil, etc. Joyce can only buy what she can carry on public transport, so this is a fantastic way to save money and shopping time .