This past summer, I decided to take a trip of a lifetime to South Africa. This trip wasn't my typical resort or swamped tourist destination; I wanted this trip to be a learning experience, meaningful and of course, fun. I wanted to seek opportunities that would allow me to use my educational skills and my love for children in much-needed areas of South Africa.
After months of searching and reaching out to organizations, I found Love to Langa on a travel blog and immediately reached out to the co-founder, Amy. She welcomed me to visit some of the projects the organization currently supports. One of the projects is with the Mfuleni Early Childhood Centre. Once in Cape Town, board member Kissmea Adams drove me there and I met the principal, Sandra Lucas, who introduced me to the staff and teachers at the school. I was given an opportunity to pick a class to work with. Since I'm a Pre-Kindergarten teacher in Atlanta, GA, I decided to volunteer my time with the 4-6-year-old classroom and teacher Caroline. From the moment I walked into her classroom, she and the children made me feel welcome. Caroline is a very sweet, friendly, knowledgeable and inspirational person. She is passionate about teaching and enjoys every moment with her students. Working with Caroline was wonderful. To be working beside another early childhood educator who is passionate and willing to collaborate in sharing their ideas and knowledge was very special. During this time, we learned from each other. Her students taught me games and songs. I enjoyed sharing games and songs I use at home with them as well. Oh, I had an amazing time with Caroline and her students!
I am so glad to have discovered Love to Langa. Love to Langa is a great organization that is passionate about helping the townships of Cape Town. From teaching children how to swim to providing early childhood education and hosting teacher training workshops, Love to Langa has shown the people of South Africa that they are there to support them. We need more organizations like Amy's that help the children and the community as a whole. Many people know the old African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," well, it takes amazing organizations and their supporters to uplift a community. I believe that's what Love to Langa is doing for the communities of Cape Town.
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
It is with joy in my heart that I have to acknowledge the generosity and support we have received from Love to Langa, our relationship spanning six years. To-date you have provided scholarships for orphans (parents having passed on due to AIDS, accidents, murder) and single mothers who struggle daily to feed their children. Not forgetting assisting our community who had their shacks go up in flames and you supplied them with provisions in a time when they had nothing. Our outings that the children look forward to annually, the educational equipment you donate. Your generosity and that of your donors does not stop. Last year, Love to Langa supported me with staff salaries to ensure my staff had a fantastic Christmas.
Because of all you do for the 220 children and staff at Mfuleni Early Childhood Centre, I was able to save money and am now able to contribute towards a new play area for the children. I am able to maintain the facilities and its due to you. However, you have made me want to PAY IT FORWARD. I believe if good comes my way, I have a duty to pass it forward. That is what you taught me.
On June 11, 2018, I will be making soup for the community. We want to feed 3,000 people in Mfuleni Township. This will be in honour of Love to Langa who has taught us that if we receive, we need to give back.
Sandra Lucas, Principal Mfuleni ECD
We are super excited that the new ethical accessory company, Lux & Nyx, has selected Love to Langa as the charity to benefit from their Kickstarter campaign! Please visit their page for more information: LINK
It only costs $50 to give the life-saving gift of weekly swimming lessons for a year to a child at the Love to Langa Swimming Academy in Philippi Township, South Africa.
The Love to Langa Swimming Academy is located at Philippi Children’s Centre, where less than half of the students are currently able to take advantage of lessons. We sponsor 20 children, but there are many more who need your help. We are having a Facebook fundraiser in the hope of raising enough to sponsor 50 additional children to have lessons.
Thankfully, Philippi Children’s Centre has a borehole water well and a recycling system, which allows our pool to operate unaffected by the Cape Town water crisis.
Please join us in providing the gift of swimming to as many children as possible!
Many thanks to noted artist Freya Willemoes-Wissing, British volunteers Annie Doble, Brogan Garrit-Smith and Coach Craig for their beautiful murals at the Love to Langa Swimming Academy!
From Annie: “What Love to Langa has achieved in 8 short years is profound. It has changed the lives of so many children, Their swimming program is such an important concept to be able to teach these children and adults in the surrounding townships to swim, where normally this wouldn’t be an option. It made me feel very proud to be able to help Kissmea and her team, she is an extraordinary person with great determination and a heart of gold. I can’t wait to be back in Cape Town and continue on our mission! Thank you for letting me help you guys.”
From Brogan: “When traveling in Cape Town, I had the absolute pleasure of volunteering down at Love to Langa. Watching how the children are cared for with such love, support and enthusiasm was so heart warming. The staff are beyond amazing, creating a safe and loving environment for the children. It’s simply outstanding how this charity is run. I met with Kissmea who I must say is like an angel in human form- her sheer dedication to Love to Langa goes beyond measures and she truly cares about each and every child. I found it so heartwarming to see a genuine charity that’s children’s needs were at the heart of their campaign (unlike many others.) So, I ask you guys to dig deep and here love to Langa on their mission!”
Annie and Brogan were so inspired by our work, that they started a GoFundMe for us!
As you have probably heard, Cape Town has been suffering under three years of unprecedented drought and currently has less than 90 days worth of water in its reservoirs. Residents have been asked to drastically cut back on water usage in the hopes of preventing Day Zero – sometime in April when the taps will run dry! City officials have decided that once the dams reach 13.5% capacity, the municipal water supply will be turned off for all but essential services, like hospitals.
Swimming pools are being closed daily and people are not allowed to top up their pools. Many schools and households have not made allowances to recycle or store water. Households are limited to 50 litres of water per person per day.
For schools that have not made adequate provisions for their pools, it’s a sad day for them to have to close. Water safety has become a part of many school curriculums as it is an essential life skill.
What does this mean for our projects, especially our Love to Langa Swimming Academy, when the filling of swimming pools with municipal water has been prohibited?
In 2014, we embarked on the ambitious endeavor to build a learn to swim indoor pool at Philippi Children’s Centre.
We wanted the following:
What is a borehole?
A borehole used as a water well is completed by installing a vertical pipe (casing) and a well screen to keep the borehole from caving. This also helps prevent surface contaminants from entering the borehole and protects any installed pump from drawing in sand and sediment.
When we filled the Love to Langa Swimming Academy pool the first time, borehole water was used and it will be topped off with borehole water going forward.
Philippi Children’s Centre also has a Lilliput Sewage and Wastewater Treatment system at the school. Lilliput saves on water usage by using recycled water for flushing, irrigation, car washing and filling swimming pools and water features.
Current Love to Langa Swimming Academy Water-Saving Measures:
We are proud to be a partner organization of GlobalGiving, a fantastic online giving platform that is used by major corporations and individuals worldwide. Every two years, we are required to update our due diligence documents with them, and they also send field workers to ensure that we are doing what we say we are doing! Our main project on GlobalGiving raises funds for our programs at Philippi Childrens’ Centre, both education and swimming scholarships. Here is a link if you’d like to check it out: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/school-and-water-safety/
Tyran and PCC Principal Helen Diedericks
If we told you a little boy named Tyran is growing up on a farm, what kinds of images come to mind? Rolling fields, gentle animals and a snug, tidy farmhouse? Surely Tyran’s reality is very far from the bucolic vision you might expect.
Tyran is one of the children that Love to Langa is sponsoring to attend the Philippi Children’s Centre, thanks to the generosity of donors like you. His tuition is $30 a month and since he is not within walking distance, he requires transportation to school, which is $10 a month.
His mother works on the farm where they live, but she cannot afford tuition for Tyran, who will be three years old in September. You can see that he is very small for his age, more the size of a one year old, and as PCC Principal Helen Diedericks says, “I would rather have him be fed and in a safe environment. The food he will receive at the Centre as well as general care and education will make a radical difference to his chances in life.”
We had the opportunity to visit Tyran and his family when we were in South Africa in April to help build our new classroom. He was very shy but sweet. We are grateful to be able to provide this potentially life-saving opportunity for him and hope to continue for years to come.
Tyran’s mother in blue, and other farm workers
Tyran and his grandmother