Bonani Hope Center
In Kalinyanga, a small, impoverished village in the rural Eastern Cape of South Africa, “Mama” Ayanda started offering a hot meal to the children from her village a few years ago. The soup kitchen became more and more a place of refuge for children and young people from the surrounding area, as there is very little to do for them in the community. This is in part due to a lot of poverty and unemployment here. In 2019, the Bonani Hope Center project was founded with the help of Lunathi Joubert and now helps about 40 children between the ages of six and 15 years.
In the meantime, the project has expanded and now offers hot meals three times a week. In addition, there are baking classes in which delicious pastries such as muffins and cookies are baked on a regular basis. For the first time in 2022, school uniforms and writing materials could be bought for the children to start school. This is often a major financial hurdle for poor families, which sometimes prevents them from attending school. Almost every afternoon, the kids get together for dance groups in which choreographies are rehearsed and either performed on Sundays in the surrounding church communities or at other festivals in the village. The team spirit and especially the creative expression through music and dance is very beneficial for the children and young people. Through home visits, the Bonani team also tries to encourage and support the families of the kids who participate. Often it is grandparents or adult siblings who take care of the children, as the parents move to the big cities in search of work and they need a lot of positive influence in the challenging task of raising their children.
Our missionaries Justine and Marco Spalke were in Kalinyanga for the first time in 2007 and since then we have a good relationship with the project leaders Ayanda and Lunathi Joubert, who also grew up in the area. So it was an obvious next step for our organisation to support the Bonani project, which we have done in 2021 through Hands and Feet, who are doing the project support on the ground. We are excited to see how this great work will develop further.