The Work of the Arpana Foundation

 

In general

–       for many years we have been supporting organisations such as Plan International and the World Wildlife Fund on an annual basis.

–       we established a hostel in Aberdeen for our high school students and those who live on the surrounding farms, as the school hostel only caters for primary school children.

 

On Kriegershoek  

–       On the reserve we have built four environmentally-friendly and comfortable homes for the families that are working and living with us.

–       We built a classroom for them and for visiting children and filled it with teaching materials, books and all kinds of toys. Many of the toys have been donated by our friends in the Netherlands.

 

–       With the help of the women living on the reserve we are able to have a weekend- and holiday- school. Many of the children in the townships are without food, care or supervision, especially during the school holidays. The families living on the reserve choose some of them to stay with us during that time as their guests. For the teenagers we have a dormitory with toilets and a shower. We provide food, clothing (also mostly coming from our friends in the Netherlands), and a safe environment. In the mornings the children are entertained in the classroom, in the afternoons they are free and play outside. In this way they are exposed to nature and their co-existence with the environment. We aim at experiential learning and environmental education.  They are taken on game drives or walks in the veld. We also ensure that after the holidays they go home with new school clothes and shoes if they are needed.

–       During the school holidays, the boys over 16 are allowed to go with our workers and learn to work in and with nature. We pay them in accordance with their ages. For the youngest it is just pocket money, the older ones get a real wage.

 

Individual cases

–       A 14 year old deaf and mute girl was living on the farm when we bought it. We provided her with hearing aids after medical and psychological examinations in Port Elizabeth. Over 18 months we took her to a speech-training teacher in Graaff-Reinet, and prepared her for a place at the ‘Nuwe Hope Skool’ for the hearing impaired in Worcester. There she learned sign language, took classes for three years and graduated as an industrial seamstress. She is now active in a protected workshop and a children’s care centre in Graaff-Reinet.

–       A very ill little boy was picked up from the street, taken to the clinic for medical help and was then brought to live on Kriegershoek. Unfortunately because he had lived on the streets for so long he could not adjust to a restricted life on a reserve. He went back to Aberdeen and lives now with a family that formerly worked on Kriegershoek. He is healthy, attends school and seems to be doing reasonably well.

–       Another girl that we met when we bought the old farm was born with a hare-lip and a cleft palate. We started out by having her examined in Port Elizabeth by several medical specialists but could not continue helping her medically, mainly because her father did not give his consent, but also because of problems between the medical specialist and the hospital where the orthopaedic and surgical corrections were to have taken place. Fortunately psychologically she is doing well in her first year at the secondary school and has grown up, in the six years that we have known her, as a proud young lady, despite her handicap.

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