Food Programs we Support
One of the main beneficiaries of the Orphan Bracelet Campaign is the daily food program operating on the grounds of the African Gospel Church located in Port Alfred, South Africa. We first learned of the African Gospel Church through Lulame, one of our bracelet crafters. She suggested we visit it because the congregation is entirely made up of children. And we found this to be true.
Through your support, we are able to provide two meals per day for up to 120 vulnerable children, including HIV/AIDS infected children who require up to three meals per day. For most of these children, the simple but nutritious meal of rice, vegetables, some type of protein and a piece of fruit is the only one they will eat that day. Many walk miles for food and water.
Ranging in age from two to twelve years, many of these children suffer from malnutrition. Approximately 40% are below school age. Many of them have parents who have died from HIV/AIDS or who have simply disappeared. Some have parents who cannot afford to feed them.
To sustain the program the OBC established a large permaculture garden at the church and the children and volunteers have already harvested multiple crops of carrots, cabbage and spinach. In addition a water tank system was purchased to collect rain water for drinking and watering the garden.
The cost to run the Port Alfred food program, with a staff of four is totally funded by bracelet sales. OBC receives no outside funding or grants. Your bracelet parties and purchases provide all the funds necessary to keep our programs going.
In mid 2011 the OBC also started supporting the Nemato Sports Program in the Nelson Mandela Township outside of Port Alfred. This soup kitchen was established as part of an athlete development drive in the township and feeds about 40 young athletes.
The program was danger of running out of food when the OBC stepped in with an offer of ongoing monthly financial support. An article appeared in a local newspaper to announce the good news. In the beginning the program provided meals 3 times per week, now they are up to 7 days a week. Your bracelet purchases and bracelet parties have made all this possible.