A Kids for Kids Event in Support of Jo’burg Child Welfare
On a cold winter morning, twenty creche-aged children gathered together in the cozy kitchen at Little Cooks Club in Fairland. They came to take part in a new initiative launched by Jo’burg Child Welfare, called Kids for Kids. What is Kids for Kids? It’s any fun-filled event attended by equal parts underprivileged kids from Jo’burg Child Welfare and privileged kids from the greater Johannesburg area. On this particular morning, ten children came from around Johannesburg to join hands—and cook!—with ten children from Elton John Masibambisane Centre for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children, a project of Jo’burg Child Welfare (JCW).
What is Kids for Kids about? It’s about bringing together kids of different backgrounds. For our more privileged children, it’s about introducing them to the idea of social responsibility at a young age. For our less privileged children, it’s about introducing them to a whole new world outside their normal realm of activity. It’s about encouraging kids, no matter what their backgrounds, to engage in worthwhile activities in the area of sports, arts, culture, etc. It’s also about giving businesses the opportunity to get involved in a really hands-on and meaningful way.
Little Cooks Club was gung-ho about the initiative from the start. Not only did the organizers agree to host an event immediately, but they said no-way to class fees and instead asked each of the more privileged kiddies (with help from mom or dad) buy a pair of pyjamas for each of the less privileged kiddies from Jo’burg Child Welfare.
The JCW children who attended the event come from “Masibambisane”, one of the organisation’s centres. Every day Masibambisane opens its doors to over two hundred children in Eldorado Park. These are kids who have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Most of them come from child-headed households or are looked after by unemployed gogos. Masibambisane provides food parcels for the children on a monthly basis and psycho-social support on a daily basis. In the mornings it provides the kids a hot breakfast before school, and in the afternoons it provides a safe space for sport and art activities.
The children baked macaroni and cheese and followed their main meal up with a delicious homemade chocolate bread pudding. At the end of the day, all the children left with yummy food, new friends, and memories to last a life time.
Sarah from Jo’burg Child Welfare says, “We invited 3 to 6 year olds for our first Kids for Kids event because children are really generous with each other at that age. They have very little concept of race or social status. How do they make new friends? They just grab someone’s hand and jump on a trampoline! The event was for the children but I think the morning had just as much of an effect on the adults as it did the kids. It reminded us all: we are more similar than we are different.”