meaning a 'gift from god'...
A baby was left on the woman's doorstep. She feeds him, gives him a bath, cleans the clothes he is wearing. Then she goes door-to-door through the township trying to find his family. Finding no one who will claim him, she names him Simphiwe, which means "gift from God."
Word gets out about her. They say she has a big heart, and within days, she has a calling. There are more children on her doorstep. Some need a safe place to go while their parents work. Some need a home, a family. All are hungry. All yearn for love, safety, kindness. She takes them all in even though she doesn't even have enough for her own children.
This is how many of South Africa's children's homes get started. By poor women with tremendous hearts, great strength of character, and the will to do the right thing by the millions of orphans and vulnerable children living in their midst.
As poor as some of the children these “mamas” take into their homes, they struggle daily to provide enough clothing, food, medicine, adequate space, and even education to those now under their care. It is a grueling, 24x7 job.
But basic care is not enough. And while these women have tremendous hearts and heroic energy, they often lack the skill sets to fundraise, market, and run what becomes a significant business.
Tremendous Hearts hopes to fill that need by providing children’s homes with long-term volunteers, who offer teachable skills that will help them run more efficient organizations, work government and legal systems to their advantage, and find ways to get these children back into safe, loving homes…back to their extended families or communities.
We commend these women of South Africa. We work beside them, and for them, to further their cause.
Tremendous Hearts will be winding down operations over the next few months and plans to close by summer of 2015. In the meantime, Tremendous Hearts will support our current volunteers in Cape Town and will make several Legacy Gifts to partner organizations to help support their important and meaningful work long into the future. Please check back on our Legacy page for more information.
We sincerely thank our volunteers, partners, staff, donors and supporters for their amazing work of the past many years. You have made a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of children in South Africa.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your tremendous hearts.
Click HERE to read a letter from Executive Director Melanie Verwoerd & Board Chair Sara Stackhouse