Jeffreys Bay, like many other cities in South Africa, has children living on the street. Added to this is the reality that the Eastern Cape region has the highest percentage of HIV orphans in the country, as identified by the Human Sciences Research Council. These are just some of the reasons why Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has chosen to support The Joshua Project. This safe haven was founded 17 years ago and serves as a centre for vulnerable children and children living on the streets, between the ages of 6 and 19 years. “We have donated around R167 000 to this project, to assist in providing vital care to vulnerable children and youth by offering support, education, and training,” said Marion Green-Thompson, Economic Development Manager for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
“Most of these kids have lost their families and have turned to the streets simply to survive. They need the care and services of The Joshua Project to ease the burden of growing up without protection and the safety of a family,” added Green-Thompson.
The funds will go towards assisting in the purchase of adjacent land to the current facilities; equipment to facilitate in educational support; and to assist with repairs and building maintenance.
The Joshua Project has identified that currently their greatest concern is the lack of involvement of parents and care-givers of vulnerable children in the community. “We plan on focusing on encouraging active involvement of parents and/or care-givers on a continuous basis this year; to help strengthen and broaden the present support network for vulnerable children and youth,” said Michelle Dorfling, Public Relations Director at The Joshua Project.
The Project will also continue to encourage and strengthen ties with other community projects focussed on supporting vulnerable children; including local government; local businesses and community groups in the Jeffreys Bay vicinity and the broader surrounding communities from where many of these children come.
In addition to this, the Project plans to focus on educational and skills development opportunities, emphasising the foundational learning areas of communication, mathematics, computer literacy and woodwork skills this year. Learnerships with local businesses for ‘graduated’ learners (18 yrs and older) will continue to be pursued.