Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nonceba Comfort Dolls

One of the first Rotary projects that we were introduced to in South Africa was Nonceba Family Counseling Centre in the Khayelitsha township in Cape Town. Nonceba (meaning "concern" in Xhosa) aims to help children who have been sexually abused or raped, provide support for their families and work with the community to change the conditions that leads to such abuse.

The Nonceba Family Counselling Centre was established in 1998 by local resident, Nocawe Mankayi, in her home as a desperate attempt to fight what has become South Africa 's second largest epidemic after AIDS – Rape. In Khayelitsha, 1 in every 3 girls is raped by the time they are 21 years old. With the help of Rotary and other local and international support, Nonceba is now a landmark building and a beacon of hope in this largely impoverished community.
As a part of the initial counseling process, children are given comfort dolls. Each child is given the opportunity to choose the doll that they feel will aid them in the healing process. 

After hearing of this unique and creative way to give to Nonceba, I forwarded the doll pattern on to my grandmother back home and asked if she could make a couple for me to deliver to the center sometime this year. She and a few ladies from Christ United Methodist Church created twelve dolls and shipped them here to South Africa.

We visited Nonceba earlier this month to deliver the dolls and had the opportunity to meet the founder, Nocawe Mankayi, affectionately referred to as "Mama" by many at Nonceba. It was a joy to hear her passion for the work this organization is doing and her dreams for the future work of Nonceba.

David and I have enjoyed getting to know the staff at Nonceba and the work they are doing in the community. We hope to support Nonceba and their mission in the years to come.

Thank you to Laura Wormington, Nancy Wall, Linda Crawford and all the ladies at Christ United Methodist Church who helped make the adorable dolls that will bring smiles to many sweet children in here South Africa.

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