The Flying Dreams Project brings skydivers into schools to talk to children about teamwork, facing fears, and following one’s dreams, all within the context of human flight.
Many of the children we reach eat their main meals at school because of poverty at home and feel at risk just walking to school every day because of neighborhood violence. By the third grade, many are already at risk of never finishing high school.
These students and skydivers develop mutual respect for each other once each understands the obstacles the other faces.
Every child has flying dreams: getting an education helps them come true.
Pastoral Centre Preschool and Creche
Your donation to the Pastoral Centre Preschool and Creche goes straight to benefit vulnerable children, with no administration costs. This is a high-impact and easy way to help keep a child in a school and meet basic needs such as food, clean water, and clothing. The project is overseen on the ground day to day by our board member Warren Pretorius, and with once or twice annual visits by board President Taya Weiss.
To volunteer or donate in-kind goods and food, contact Pam Mfaxa, the Principal, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Warren Pretorius, email@example.com. Pick-ups from the greater Johannesburg area can be arranged.
What is the Pastoral Centre?
The Pastoral Centre Preschool and Crèche is a registered non-profit, secular organization that provides a safe haven and early childhood education for 300 of the most vulnerable children from Freedom Charter Square, Kliptown, Soweto. It is situated in the middle of the informal settlement, surrounded by closely-built shacks separated by narrow dirt tracks. At least half of the children come from families that are too poor to pay school fees; some of the parents do volunteer work in exchange for their children’s attendance.
Many children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, or have parents who are dying of AIDS. The crèche engages in community outreach to help grandparents who are raising orphaned children, to create self-help projects for poor parents, and to assist child-headed households. The crèche has 9 full-time staff: Pam Mfaxa, the principal for 20 years, 5 teachers, two cooks, and a handyman. They work for very little salary.
What you can contribute:
The Pastoral Centre welcomes donations both in cash and kind from foundations, corporate entities, and concerned individuals. The following are needed:
1. Financial donations are used:
- To cover the large budget gap created by the number of children attending school who cannot pay fees.
- To help individual children and families on the “most needy list,” those who need additional food parcels, and to assist families affected by HIV/AIDS with basic necessities.
- For improving the small playground and for the building fund to enlarge the kitchen.
- To send a staff member on a relevant course (First Aid; dealing with child abuse; teaching techniques).
2. Children’s clothes and shoes for age 3 months to 6 years: undamaged, good quality play clothes and comfortable shoes. In winter we appreciate donations of warm jackets, hats, gloves/mittens, and jerseys. Adult clothing is distributed to parents.
3. Food and kitchen items.
4. Educational toys and games, especially large-sized illustrated picture books for story time; puzzles and blocks for children 4-6 years; and art supplies such as paper and paints, crayons, magic markers, and coloring books.