Lethabong, South Africa Soul Sparkles
While on a past mission trip to South Africa, members of Aid Africa’s Children had personal witness to the plight of a group of teenage head of household orphans. These teens were raising their younger siblings either by themselves or with the help of a relative or neighbor. Devastated by the loss of their parents to HIV/AIDS, they were forced to shoulder the responsibility of securing food, shelter, clothing and guidance for their siblings with very little economic means or support.
These teens live in the poor rural community of Lethabong, where the effects of poverty are felt everyday in the struggle for survival. The challenges loom everywhere – from lack of a regular supply of waterand nutritional meals, to run down houses or shanties frequently with leaking roofs, dirt floors and no electricity andwith no economic means for home improvements. The clothes are sparse and even basic toiletries and sanitary products are a luxury not frequently afforded.
Imagine struggling through all of this and still trying to pursue your education in order to have a better chance to support your family as a a young adult. Through their struggles for existence, these teens shared a common bond. They came together for support and friendship, meeting weekly at a small community center in Lethabong and called themselvesthe ” Soul Sparkles”. They were mentored, loved and cared for by a brave and compassionate woman in the community who felt their pain and stood by them as a “mother” and a friend. This woman, Sophie, gave them encouragement, guidance, sometimes food or medicine- whatever it took ! Aid Africa’s Children stood behind her with support and resources so that she could continue her valuable role. The courage and determination of Sophie and the Soul Sparkles in the face of overwhelming obstacles was an inspiring story for all of us.
Aid Africa’s Children Inc. shares these stories to show our donors that giving these children hope and standing behind them with encouragement, support and resources can truly make a difference. We have shared the pride of seeing a few of them make it into college and beyond. Their success is truly our success!