Urgent news from South Africa: Fire at QQ Pre-School


Photo by Faatimah Hendricks

Dear CHOSA Family,
 
We hope you enjoyed our recent Spring Newsletter, and normally we wouldn’t write you again just a couple of weeks later. However, we have heavy hearts today as we have sad news to report from here in Cape Town.
 
Just days ago, last Thursday night, the QQ Section Community Crèche burned to the ground. This story is all-too-familiar: during Christmas 2010, a 70-home fire in QQ Section destroyed the Crèche (Pre-School). Thanks to an outpouring of generosity within the community and from the CHOSA family, residents of QQ Section were able to rebuild their homes and the Crèche. New colorful murals on the walls of the Crèche reflected the hope and perseverance of the community, only to suffer another calamity just over a year later. What is most tragic is that these fires could have been prevented: 95% of shack fires are caused by informal ways of cooking and providing light in the shacks, which would not be necessary if the city took basic steps to provide electricity in the settlement. Instead, QQ Section residents live precarious lives, never knowing when next they will lose everything.
 
Without the Crèche, the children of QQ Section will be left to play on the sand and rubble. The Crèche was the main meeting place and gathering area for the community, and it was important to so many children and families. While no one was hurt, the community must now start from scratch once more as they attempt to rebuild what is, for QQ Section’s poorest and most vulnerable children, the only accessible early childhood education facility.
 
But we can help rebuild! Please consider making a donation to CHOSA’s Emergency Fund, to help provide the supplies QQ Section needs to construct a new Crèche, where their children can learn and grow. This community needs our support. Click here to give: http://www.razoo.com/story/QQemergencyfund.
 
And if you are able, please consider allowing your support to reach beyond this emergency. Consider becoming a monthly donor by simply selecting “monthly” when you give. The bulk of donations to CHOSA come in at year-end, making it difficult to budget and plan for situations like these as they arise. Your commitment to a monthly donation will ensure that when tragedy strikes, CHOSA will be able to respond immediately to meet the needs of the communities we support. In addition, this kind of year-round support will enable us to begin providing monthly grants to projects like Abaphumeleli and Qaqambani Safe Homes: Abaphumeleli desperately needs funding to purchase the building they are currently renting, provide a stipend to their care-workers, and purchase basic supplies, and Qaqambani is in need of crucial repairs, as the home itself is a shack which leaks every time it rains.
 
Please give today to provide emergency aid to the children of QQ Section, and consider signing up for a monthly contribution – it will help QQ Section immediately, and will give projects like Abaphumeleli and Qaqambani the stability they need to provide a safe and loving home for vulnerable children.
 
Thank you for your support. Together we can rebuild QQ Section Community Crèche!
 
In solidarity,
 
Jared, Zukie, Solitude, and Elena
 
Community and Project Coordinators
Cape Town, South Africa

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