The Sundays River community is benefiting from the annual Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees.
Proceeds from the non-profit Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees are ploughed back into the community through tourism promotion and support for a number of charities and support organisations.
On Wednesday, September 28, organisers of the Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees handed over R17 000 worth of blankets, toys and treats to five needy crèches in the Sunday River Valley area including Neskuikens crèche, Aqua Park Edu Care centre, Khanyise crèche, Olie Oliphant crèche and Nolukhanye crèche.
The kids and caretakers were delighted with the gifts. “This is going to help us so much,” said Susan Pietersen from Aqua Park Edu Care centre.
“We don’t get any funding from government and we rely on donations from the public. These toys, pencils and blankets will really help us offer the kids a better education.” The centre daily caters for approximately 80 children aged between two and eight years old.
The annual Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees began 10 years ago as an initiative to help promote and expand tourism in the Sundays River Valley.
Over the years, it has grown into one of the most successful community festivals in the country.
“The Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees is run as a non-profit organisation and contributes directly to the upliftment of the local community,” says festival director Jenni Honsbein.
Proceeds from the festival are also used to support the Kirkwood tourism office during the year.
Councillor Frans Adams assisted with the handover to Neskuikens crèche in Bergsig. “The Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees really does give back to the community,” he said during the handover.
“I applaud the ladies that run the crèche for all of their hard work, and I hope that these items will help make a difference in the kids’ lives.”
Aqua Park crèche educates over 50 children aged between two and four years old.
“We are really grateful to the Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees for their generous gifts,” said headmistress, Patricia Lourens. “We really enjoy our jobs and we learn so much from the kids. These items will help us offer a better learning experience for the children.”
Khanyise crèche in Moses Mabida also received a generous package of blankets and toys. Mayor Mbulelo Kebe assisted in the handover.
“The Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees is a good initiative for the valley. As a municipality, we are coming on board and will be participating more in the event. It is a critical stakeholder in the development of this area.”
More items were distributed to the children of Olie Oliphant crèche in Valencia and Nolukhanye crèche in Nomathamsanqa.
Community worker, Muffy Miller also helped in the handovers. Miller opened the first crèche in the Langbos township in 1990 and has been working tirelessly to set up and fund crèches throughout the Addo and Kirkwood area. She is assisted by the Mayibuye Development Trust. “We are absolutely delighted with these gifts from the Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees. They are so appreciated!”
The crèches and care centres receive very little government support, and rely on volunteers and sponsors to look after and educate an average of 50 youngsters every day. “At one of the crèches, we found babies sleeping on cold tiles in a shack. Thanks Absa, we were able to provide sponge mattresses for them. We are humbled to be able to make a difference in the lives of these children who are at risk,” says Honsbein.
“Thanks to our Sponsors and the team for the organisation that went in to these handovers, and we hope to see more success stories like this in the future.”
The next Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees will take place from 29 June to 01 July, 2012.
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