Written by Judith J Muller
At the House Group we make every effort to fulfill our commitment to the children to provide avenues for potential career paths and to educate them in the management and administration of NGO’s. Learning to run an NGO is part of the House Groups’ education program and the ACT Foundation Board is the vehicle for this achievement. The ACT Foundation Board members groom the girls in board meeting procedure, the function of various contributing members, running order, agendas, minutes, record keeping and the like. Through this experience they learn to plan, work with budgets and gain fundamental knowledge on fundraising and government regulation.
The ACT Youth Ambassadors run their own programmes to contribute to the community at ground level. Through this process they are learning to identify and resolve community issues of their own volition, developing leadership qualities and work skills under real conditions while under the constant care and mentorship of Riana Gaspar and the ACT Board.
The girls aged 14 to 18 are currently involved in the following seven projects:
1. June / July 2014
Mothers in need – Baby Care Initiative
The ACT Youth Ambassadors are currently working in collaboration with the Lioness Club in Edenvale to assist mothers of new born babies who are in need in hospitals in Johannesburg. The girls have learned how to write letters requesting baby product donations from relevant companies. During June the donated products will be handed to the Lioness Club for distribution to hospitals.. The girls deserve a hearty congratulations for their initiative and incredible achievement.
2. Saturday 31 May
Irwins Dog Shelter
The girls are collecting items to sell to assist the dog shelter in its running costs and maintenance. On Saturday 31 May these items will be delivered to the shelter and the girls will make use of the opportunity to walk and groom some dogs to contribute on a deeper level. They are excited about the outing and very grateful for the donations and contributions collected to add to their giving experience.
3. June 2014
Supporting Jenny’s Soup Kitchen
The Act Foundation is committed in its continued support to Jenny’s Soup Kitchen. Jenny has an interesting and truly heart-warming story. She lives near a park which has become home to many destitute people. Jenny has been running a soup kitchen from her garage at home to assist these souls with a warm wholesome meal. At the moment she can only afford one meal on a Wednesday. On Saturdays Jenny uses the garage to host jumble sales to collect money to buy food for the next soup kitchen day. Jenny is an inspiration to many and our ACT Youth Ambassadors stepped forward during the April school holidays to assist Jenny at her soup Kitchen. They took it upon themselves to collect the most needed items to package and hand out to folks in the park. The carefully collected donations included a t-shirt, two towels, a face cloth and bed-sheet all neatly packaged in a pillow case. Our girls understand so well what a clean shirt and a cake of soap can do for a man’s dignity and the experience was deeply gratifying for them.
During April they collected bread and cool drinks to add to Jenny’s kitchen and May they have collected lentils, samp, beans, soya and margarine which will soon be delivered.
This project is particularly gratifying because of the evident restoration of human kindness and dignity.
4. May / June 2014
Assisting disabled children
Our Youth Ambassadors are in collaboration with the Buddhist Han Hua Temple to obtain wheel chairs for two young boys aged 6 and 8 respectively. The young brothers have a rare disease rendering them incapable of walking. Caring for the children has become a full-time process. This family is in dire need and our Youth Ambassadors have taken heed of their plight.
5. July 2014 School holiday
Act of Kindness towards the police
The relationship between NGO’s and the police is critically important and a keen focus for the Act Youth Ambassadors who will be supporting The House Group in an act of kindness towards members of the police service during the July school holidays. The young ladies will be serving coffee, tea and sandwiches to police officers and treating ladies on the force to a manicure. In turn the police will do an act of kindness towards the community and the proceedings will close with the Power of Purity meditation. Personal contact and service in joy are without a doubt the most powerful community bridge builders. Through the softening of our perceptions and stance in life which naturally occurs in the act of giving and receiving we have the unique opportunity of replacing mistrust with empathy, understanding and open communication.
Meals on Wheels
The ACT Youth Ambassadors have taken it upon themselves to sanitize and clean the “Meals on Wheels” kitchen in Yeoville during July school holidays. Meals on Wheels provide a valuable service to folks in distress, particularly the elderly. Keeping their kitchen to health regulation standard is of paramount importance and our ambassadors are happy to assist in the process.
6. 16 June
Youth Day will be celebrated with a performance at the Hillbrow Theatre this year. The ACT Youth Ambassadors will be facilitating a soup kitchen at the venue for 300 school children who will be performing and enjoying the day. This is an almighty task to undertake for these young girls and we salute them for their commitment to our youth.