I came to South Africa to teach. My only requirements for my student teaching while in SA was to teach two full weeks of lessons, observe my mentor teacher, write weekly reflections on these lessons, and become involved with the total life of the school. This is easy enough to do. I know that it is my purpose on earth to teach. But I could not allow myself to make it to South Africa (which is one of my biggest dreams) and only teach. I knew that while in SA, I wanted to extend myself past the parameters of Kingswood College Junior School (my school) and do something more. I knew I could do and give more (whether it is my time, knowledge, or even money). So I discovered the Lebone Centere. This center is a part of the the Integrated Community Development Programme Trust which has created various projects that cater to the very impoverished areas in Grahamstown. The ICDP trust does have a partnership with my school, but it is responsible for its own fundraising and sustainability. The ICDP is ran out of the Lebone Centere and I volunteer at the after school program.
All the children involved with the ICDP Trust are classified as “vulnerable” by local social workers and community groups – meaning that they come from backgrounds of extreme poverty, domestic violence, and families affected by HIV/AIDS. Some of the children that attend the after school program are infected with HIV/AIDS themselves. They come from homes made out of tin with no running water, electricity. Each day they come to the center they receive a hot meal (which for most of them there first and only meal of the day). They can work on homework, play educational games, and read. I work with the students on all of these things. I have gotten to know all of them and they have really pricked my heart in such a short time. They all love to sing and dance and are very smart, and have many questions about America! At the end of the day, the center sends the children home with whatever is left over from their meal in order for them to have something to eat in the morning or to help feed the rest of their family for dinner.
The Lebone Centere is doing everything they can to help these children and support them as they go through school. Since ICDP is has to raise their own funds and receives very little monetary support from Kingswood, they struggle every month to pay bills and provide food and clean clothes for the children. So of course I want to do more than just give my time to the center. I feel that I and many of the people who love me and support me can do something to help the center continue to provide the services for the children.
How Can You Help?!
In South Africa, the exchange rate for the Rand to the Dollar is 7 to 1!!! So very little dollars go a LONG way in SA!!!
-Donate $5-$20 is A LOT of money in SA and it could feed one of the children for an entire month!
-Clothing, shoes, books, etc. are all wonderful things to give, but since it would cost more to ship all of these items than to write a check for $10 monetary gifts are preferred.
How Can You Send Donations?
It is not safe to send money through the postal system, so I have two safe ways:
1. You can deposit your gift directly into the Lebone Centere Bank Account
2. Or you can send cash or check to my mother and she will deposit the money into my account and then I will withdraw the money and personally deliver it to the center.
If you donate please include your full name and contact information so the center (and me) can send a personal Thank you letter and show you what your donation went towards at the center.
Whichever option you choose, please contact me so I may send the contact information or banking information for the center. Also if you would like more information about the center or the programs or about the donation process please feel free to email me anytime!
You may also visit the ICDP trust website for more information about the center and all of their programs:
Email me at:
Also to see pictures of the center or the children check out my album on facebook!
Thank you so much in advance for whatever you decide to give. Every little bit truly helps!!