Penrice meets Siphila Sonke On Friday 20th May we welcomed Brenda Silberbauer from South African charity Siphila Sonke, to talk to students about our upcoming 24 hour Fundraiser. Siphila Sonke – which means ‘we live together’ – is a non-profit organisation run predominantly by volunteers and a staff of five. Their core function is to hand out food parcels to chronically ill patients who have no income in the household. This summer, Years 10 and 11 are leading a charity event which will see students clocking up miles in order to travel the distance of the Coast of South Africa, in support of Siphila Sonke. Brenda told the students: “We feed on average 60 families every month. Volunteers deliver the food parcels once a month and our two field workers visit during the month to assist with other needs, such as obtaining Birth or ID documents and government grants. They work closely with other organisations and refer when necessary.” “We run support groups too, to teach skills and provide psychological support. The women do sewing and craft work, and the men run a vegetable garden in our grounds. They all receive a meal and prayer too.” “Our Kid’s Club was started to provide healthy activities once a week, and has developed into a daily homework club. We concentrate on maths and literacy. These classes are supervised by a teacher with the assistance of volunteers. This year we started a computer based programme alongside these classes which has proved very popular. We have up to 55 children some afternoons!” “Some children stand out being regular attendees and diligent workers so we decided to start a scholarship programme for the local fee-paying school. We sent our first girl last year and she has blossomed. Our second started this year. This is a big commitment as we need to support them through to the end of their school careers, and they are only 9 and 10 years old.” “We have no government funding and rely on donations and fundraising. Your wonderful fundraising effort will be greatly appreciated and put to good use. You will be helping our children to succeed, to feel valued, to be supported in a very real way, and I challenge you to go the extra mile!” “Enkosi kakulu, dankie, thank you!” The students hope to create a ‘round the world’ legacy starting with this epic ride in South Africa. Read more here. Read more about Siphila Sonke here.