It’s just after 7am on a Saturday morning. The streets are still silent after yesterday’s shooting, not too far from our office in Scottsdene. I’m excited for the day; this is the day of our long awaited Easter party! We’ve worked hard, and we’re so thankful for everyone who donated to make this day a reality. Across the street, a few curious eyes are glancing in our direction, wondering what we’re doing at the church.
The setup is done, cupcakes are baked and ready, music is playing, 200 gifts are lined up on stage. The soft play area and jumping castle are beacons of colour attracting children and adults alike. Soon the play area is filled with children having fun. Little ones chasing after colourful balloons and older children practicing flips on the jumping castle. From the outside it looks like a picture perfect moment, but we just had to pull two fighting teens away from each other. Their reaction is just a glimpse of what they see at home. A small kid tries to tell to me that he wants to go to the bathroom. I later learn he is already four years old, but his communication skills are what I’d expect from a two year old. Even in the midst of fun and games, I see painful reminders of the hard work that still lies ahead.
WolfKraft Productions, a local hip hop group, teaches the children life lessons through song and storytelling. Sharing experiences and stories from their own lives.Teaching children that although they cannot change their past, they can change their future. We spoiled the kids with cupcakes and drinks before the big moment arrives. It’s time to hand out the gifts. It is such a happy moment to see how each face lights up with pure joy and gratefulness before they even know what’s in their bags. It is just the idea that someone took the time to buy a gift just for them. It is more than a gift, it is the message that they matter.
Too soon it is over, but today was a good day. We could offer some colour and fun in the lives of a few children. As we say goodbye, more gunshots ring out… outside these gates a different reality awaits.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this day possible. We would also like to thank all our foster families and friends in Scottsdene who help us daily to make a difference in the lives of these children. Lastly, a big shout out to our amazing staff at the Scottsdene office. You are the heroes who are changing lives, one child at a time.
Photos: Megan Pretorius Photography and Annie Young Photography
Soft play and Jumping Castle
Scottsdene VGK Church
Every church, organisation and individual who donated towards this day.