“I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life. I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou Our delegation returned to the Township of Gugulethu. We had the opportunity to speak with J.J., an elderly black man, who at the age of 16 was forcibly relocated along with his entire community to live in a swamp which eventually developed into the Township of Gugulethu. J.J. managed to raise his family of four under the apartheid government. The delegation took a more extensive view of life in the Townships today recognizing their challenges as well as their joys. Despite the of the legal end of apartheid in 1992 the destructive effects continue to live on.
We were reunited with our friends at the Sisters of Charity, an orphanage and hospice in Khayelisha, the largest township in Cape Town comprised of 1.2 million people. It is with great joy and compassion that the Sisters care for individuals who have been abandoned by their families as a result of their severe mental and physical challenges. The passion of Mother Theresa was so evident in the women that have dedicated their lives to service. We ended our visit with a prayer and blessing upon the community as they carry out God's work. Arm In Arm In Africa has historically supported the efforts of Philiani Nutrition centre in Khayalistha. The delegation learned how this program promotes a healthy family, specifically focusing on the health of pregnant mothers and the rehabilitation of malnourished children in a community overwhelmed with families affected by HIV/ AIDS. Philani's programs provide the education for the skills necessary to support their challenges. Their efforts are supported by sales of beautiful handmade art made by the Mother's who benefit from this education. Our day ended with a visit to the the Unakho Children’s Home, a small orphanage located in Gugulethu, South Africa is home for twenty-two children, ranging in age from 7 months to 19. The Rev. Julius and Irene Bonani are the primary caregivers for this small community. The young members of this family, many of whom are orphans as a result of AIDS, face many challenges. AIAIA provides a food distribution to this home four times over year. As a result of the generosity of seamstresses in MInnesota we delivered girl's sundresses and boys shorts to the orphanage. Thank you for following on this journey. We will continue to update you with more information and photos. We enjoy reading your comments on this blog! Peace and blessings from your family in South Africa.