The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norfolk couple bring hope and light in S Africa

HopeLightKids2010: A Norfolk Christian couple are helping to bring hope and light to needy children in a South African village. And they need volunteers to help with the vital work. Dianne and Paul Cruickshank report.

We would like to tell you a little about Hope and Light, which is a Christian charity that helps children, in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, just 25 miles from Cape Town in South Africa.
Some of the 7000 people of various tribes and colours who live in the village have decent homes with water and electricity, but many others are just shacks made from cardboard, plastic or corrugated iron – anything, in fact, to provide shelter from the elements. The families living in these shacks face a daily struggle for survival against unemployment, poverty, violence and, of course, AIDS. Unfortunately the children bear the brunt of this poverty.
DiannePaulCruickshankBarbara, the founder of Hope and Light, is a German woman who emigrated to South Africa in 2003. She was so distressed to see the condition of these children, that she began a feeding scheme to ensure that they got at least one hot meal each day. Gradually the charity became more involved with the children in the village, and she started several other aid ventures. Hope and Light was established as a registered South African charity in 2004. (view their website at www.hopeandlight.co.za )
Many of Barbara’s German friends have sent financial help and Hope and Light was able to open a crèche for 2-7 year-olds (the official school start age). At the crèche the children are fed, taught and cared for from early morning until 5pm. The crèche, which is called Onspeelnessie, an Afrikaans word meaning “We all need Love”, now cares for around 150 children each day. In addition there are now several feeding schemes organised by Hope and Light, in the area.
A German subsidiary of Hope and Light was made a registered charity in 2005. With much help from this source, this year a tremendous project was realised with the building of 5 new houses to provide homes for up to 40 children - many of whom have been orphaned by AIDS, whilst others have been abandoned or taken away from their homes because of sexual abuse or mistreatment.
HopeLightClassMy husband Paul and I first saw for ourselves the ongoing needs of these children in 2005, and since then we have worked with and supported Hope and Light in South Africa. In 2009, we registered a UK branch Hope and Light charity here in Norwich. ( UK Charity reference XT17467 ). This enables us, with the help of people here in UK, to give these children a better and brighter future.

Several children are now supported financially by Godparents in this country, most of them in Norwich.

Apart from financial support here in the UK, however, self-funding volunteers are needed in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, who are Christian and able to help in the children’s projects for up to a year at a time.

If you are would like any further information, or are interested in either volunteering or helping to raise funds for this Charity please contact Dianne or Paul Cruickshank either by phone on 01603-412944, or email to admin@hopeandlight.org.uk

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