Ekurhuleni Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s Center is a community based initiative in the rural greater Acornhoek area of South Africa. This area has been officially designated as a “poverty node” (one of the poorest regions of South Africa) and has very high numbers of orphans and other vulnerable children living in dire poverty. The Center, due to open in October, 2012, was designed by well known South African architect, Nina Cohen. It will create a loving, safe haven and shelter for these desperate children, helping them to develop the skills and knowledge needed to become productive, healthy citizens. The project will initially serve as a drop-in center for children to come after school for a meal, help with homework, life skills training, health screenings, and extracurricular activities. The long-term plan is to provide a home for 25-30 children who have no place to live and no parents or relatives to care for them.
One of the oldest women’s weaving cooperative’s in South Africa, Mapusha welcomes visitors to their studio in the village of Rooiboklaagte. They have been spinning and weaving and sewing together for thirty-eight years and are about to move into a newly built studio at The New Dawn Center where the Katlego Creche and the Seeds of Light art center are already in action.
A visit to the weaving studio, the creche, the art center will give you the opportunity to experience the world of rural South Africa, meet the women of the cooperative and play with the nursery school children. You can watch these true craftswomen in action and try your hand at spinning and weaving. The creche children would love to sing for you and maybe you can teach them a song. These cross cultural exchanges are rich with opportunity and fun for both the folks of Rooiboklaagte and their visitors of all ages.
The studio is open weekdays from 10am-4pm, the creche children are there from 8am-1pm and the art classes are Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Please call your hostess, Wonder Mbetsi to set up your visit - 072-691-0021. Directions are available in a flyer at the desk or in the Learn More tab of the Mapusha website, www.mapusha.org