Clothes for Christmas

Paballong successfully sourced funds from Sentebale (set up by Prince Harry), with match funding from the Aqualia Foundation, to build a day care centre by refurbishing an old barn. The Dr Titi Mohapi Day Care Centre was officially opened on 24th May 2013. The Centre targets double orphans (who have lost both parents), and particularly those from child- and grandparent-headed households, the aim being to relieve caregivers such as grandparents because, due to their age, it is not easy for them to look after the children throughout the day, and older, caregiving siblings so that they can go to school. Thirty-three orphans and vulnerable children were enrolled in 2013, increasing to 39 in 2014, 42 in 2015, 32 in 2016 and now 35 in 2017.

Most of the children at the Centre come from very poor families and do not easily acquire new clothes. They feel this particularly at Christmas, because the local tradition is that children get at least one set of new clothes on that day. For a child not to share in this moment is sad, and the Paballong UK Trust wanted to inject some cheer into their lives during the festive season. Children who are not able to partake in the social niceties may also feel socially withdrawn, excluded and unfavourably different from other children.

Some children live with relatives (grandparents and siblings, aunts, uncles) and volunteers who are not able to fulfil all of their basic needs. Some children were walking bare-footed to the Day Care Centre, and the Centre was forced to buy shoes for them. Some wear torn clothes that they have outgrown, because their caregiver cannot afford to buy them clothes. So instead of buying gifts of toys for Christmas, Paballong UK Trust raised £1,300 to give these children clothes and shoes for Christmas.