Supporting the Equipment of the Children Nutritional Center “Casa Betania”

Project location: SOUTH AFRICA, Oudtshoorn
Project start date: June 2009 - Project end date: September 2009
Project number: 2009-26

Supporting the Equipment of the Children Nutritional Center “Casa Betania”Huis Betania began its activity in June 2009. Furnishings and necessary materials have been bought to begin to receive the first children as soon as possible.
Nowadays the nutricional centre gives hospitality to tens of mothers with their children.
The representative person in the centre is Sister Jini as coordinator, cook and general assistant and some volunteers.
Huis Betania is open from 8.30 in the morning till 15.30 in the afternoon: the cook makes dishes for children and their mothers take part in daily activities for feeding and taking care of children and in the meantime learn to sew/knit and so on. Sometimes some nurses and doctors come to give information about feeding and care of children (in the house there are many posters about different subjects, with the purpose of helping mothers to learn the right way to take care of their children).
The clinic which co-operates with Huis Betania points out day after day the biggest situations of need giving the right medical record: so the children can be received in Huis Betania every day and be followed in order of their feeding needs.
The project manager, Sister Teresa Naita, in her last report says:
“Almost three months have passed since we began the activity in the nutricional Centre “Huis Betania”. After the first period of mistrust for the mothers, today they regularly come (all being well); there are now 10 children and 5-6 mothers. Children arrive at 8:30 in the morning and stay here until 15.30, from Monday to Friday. They have breakfast, snack, lunch and a second snack.”
The volunteers Alessandra De Luca and Anna Guarise visited the project of Huis Betania in August. Unfortunately they confirmed that the social and political situation is still very difficult in South of Africa. After 15 years from the end of apartheid there is still the almost total division between white people (which still have the economic power in spite of the black economy empowerment), black people and half-cast people (“coloured”). The social-political situation is very difficult: there are high unemployment rate for black and half-cast people, big problems of alcoholism, abuse and maltreatment of young people, malnutrition and big illiteracy of children, high percentage of AIDS (with consequent higher and higher emergency for higher and higher number of orphans and ill children). We must underline that most of these problems is due to the absence of public means of transportation, which obstructs the normal displacement of black and half-cast people.
The volunteers visited the feeding centre and took care of the entertainment of children and looked after their feeding programs.
Huis Betania will be able to receive 20 children during the next months.
The children with feeding problems should attend Huis Betania for about 6 months, and then their “feeding therapy” should end.
About the staff, a new educator should be signed up (at the moment there aren’t any educators, but they should do ¾ hours of educational-didactical activities) together with some volunteers from the clinic for the hygienic-sanitary education.
After the first months of activities we verified the difficulties for the mothers to assure a constant attendance to the centre; the weather conditions, the absence of public means of transportation and the abuse of alcohol are mothers’ main causes of their low attendance and constance.
Many mothers, in fact, have often to cover high distances on foot with sun or under the rain to take their children to the centre; besides, these mothers have often problems of alcoholism and so they often aren’t able to move.
The problem could be solved organizing the transportation in the morning and in the afternoon to go and get the mothers and their children and take them back home in the afternoon when the Huis Betania closes (at 15.30).
Thanks to the contribution of the foundation ”Nando Peretti”, “aiutare i bambini” has been able to cover all the expenses for the value of 22.600 Euro, necessary to buy:
a) furnishings:         - furnitures for office
       - furnitures for pantry
       - metallic wardrobes for the surgery
       - tables and chairs for children
       - tables and chairs for adults
    - cradles and small mattresses
    - baby-changing tables
    - wardrobes, sideboards, wall units, multifunctional sideboards, etc
    - other furnitures
b) equipments    - equipments for the kitchen (fridge, freezer, gas cooker with aspiring hood, pots, crockery, dishwasher, etc.)
    - washing-machine
    - household linen, towels, etc.
    - equipment for the office, PC, printers, scanner, etc.
    - equipment for the surgery (couch, scales, etc.)
c) food and medicines

Thank you letter (in Italian)

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