Kids With Heart honours children and young adults for the acts of kindness and generosity they perform.
The 2009 Kids With Heart programme was launched on Valentines Day weekend and culminated last month with a recognition ceremony. The new timing of the event was designed to coincide with National Volunteer Month in April.
While offerings included ten $100 shopping sprees, the Grand Prize Winner got $500, to go to the charity of their choice. This time, the victor was Jeffrey Owen Hanson.
The visually impaired artist, who has previously been an EJAF supporter, gave his share to the organisation’s Baphumelele Childrens Home in the slums of Khayleitsha township.
In 2005, over 80 children, all of them orphaned or abandoned by AIDS, were surviving in a three-bedroomed house. Rosalia Mashale, a local nurse, was trying to support them with inadequate space, funds or support.
Elton and his partner visited, and since then, the EJAF assisted Rosie in turning Baphumelele into an official place of safety, supported by local government. All staff and volunteers caring for the children have received recognised training, and are supervised by a senior social worker. The foundation has helped Rosie build family-type homes for 40 of the orphaned kids, where they live with a house mother and other children form the centre to recreate a typical family home as closely as possible.
In December 2008 Jeff donated a set of his canvases to decorate the walls of Rosies family homes.