An orphan is a child with no mom or dad. As a parent myself, the concept breaks my heart.
In 2010 my family and I visited an orphanage in South Africa. The children at the orphanage were so much more than just statistics; each had a unique story of pain and loss and yet they approached life with a zeal that is rarely seen in children that have all their day to day needs met. I found these little people to be open, warm and full of love and affection. I was humbled and inspired.
It was then that I decided I had to do something, anything, to improve the lives of these lost children and so upon returning to Sydney I established the Eniwe Children’s Fund, a not-for-profit organisation.
Since then we have been heavily involved with a community just outside Empangeni in rural Kwa Zula Natal and have set up several sustainable projects for the community that provide them with education, skills and ongoing revenue.
In 2013 we will be expanding our reach and starting to work with the orphans so in Kayelitsha Township, Cape Town.
I was fortunate enough to grow up with privilege and opportunity, as have my children, and it’s time to give back. As my projects have grown and expanded I have seen real tangible results through the help and support of the Eniwe Tribe and it gives me great satisfaction to know that we really do have the ability to change lives. We just have to do it!
This journey has been both challenging and rewarding, and I wouldn’t change a minute of it!
Growing up and living in South Africa and witnessing extreme poverty everyday it’s hard not to become desensitised and emotionless, it’s so easy to turn a blind eye as most of us sadly do.
Fortunately I have never considered myself part of that majority, and with each interaction I make a point to acknowledge, see and feel the pain that so many of our people endure every day.
Whether it’s a mother with her child strapped to her back (as our South African mama’s do best) at the traffic lights asking graciously for food or a small donation; children with their mischievous big eyes ‘working’ on the streets for scraps; or the old man dressed in his Sunday best, all tatty and worn searching for a job to help sustain his family back home – I see them.
Bearing witness to this poverty and suffering is heartbreaking but I do believe that through access to funding and with solid management and processing, we can initiate and implement projects that have the potential to fundamentally change peoples lives.
I was lucky enough to be asked to join the Eniwe Children’s Fund team and am thrilled at the prospects that lie ahead. With years of experience in marketing and people management I feel I have the best starting ground to make a success of this and to contribute whole-heartedly to all that needs to be done. With many projects on the horizon I am beyond excited to get my hands dirty and start this new venture.