So in October 2017, I'll be packing my rucksack and jetting off to KwaZulu-Natal to spend a couple of weeks building a House of Hope for God's Golden Acre.
"They provide support for children orphaned or abandoned as a result of the HIV pandemic and violence!"
The not-for-profit organisation was formed by Heather Reynolds in response to the growing crisis she saw in the rural communities of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. It is made up of a rural outreach programme and a residential care centre for more than 70 children.
The rural outreach programme meets immediate needs of the families affected by a lack of food, schooling and housing. This includes monthly food parcels, pre-school places, school fees, school uniforms, stationery, and the maintenance or building of secure houses.
The residential care centre cares for children in cluster foster homes. The centre is run by a team of foster parents and caregivers, with support from international volunteers.
In the last ten years, some 2 million South African children were abandoned or orphaned as a result of AIDS related diseases. The province of KwaZulu Natal has the highest infection rate in the country with most AIDS suffers in the 18-45 year age group.
We need to raise £5,000 to cover costs of materials needed to build a House of Hope. We will be working alongside Baba Elliott, a local Zulu and his building team.
The house is simple in nature, built on a concrete strip foundation with concrete block walls. Rafters are lashed to the walls, and a corrugated tin roof is nailed to the timbers. The house comprises of a reception room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a porch. I'll also be taking part in the monthly 'food drop' in the rural community.
Thanks to Roger, Essendon is sponsoring me to be able to take this two-week trip and provide help to the charity. They're paying for my flights and whatever personal kit I need but I still want to contribute to the building of the House of Hope and help with the food drop.
"Would you be able me to raise the money?"
We've already had £3,385 donated, but we've still got a long way to go. Could you offer a small amount to help me reach our target? If you click here to visit our JustGiving page any amount, large or small, would be gratefully received.
Or, if you want to learn more about the House of Hope then do call on 0333 335 0453 or click here to ping over an email and I'd be happy to answer your questions.
Jake is currently studying towards his AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification and is part of the accounts team at Essendon, assisting with accounts preparation, CIS returns, VAT returns, personal tax returns and anything else that he can help with!
When Jake is not at work or studying, his spare time is mostly taken up by sporting activities, whether that be playing or watching football.
Jake has always had the hope he could take part in charity work and contribute to helping others. Thanks to Essendon, Jake can now fulfil that and provide support for those who need it most.
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