After months of planning and preparation, the Mali Langa Children’s Foundation Trust hosted two successful charity events in Mpumalanga with the help of generous sponsors and volunteers on 1 and 2 November 2019.
It all started with the foundation’s founder Mali Langa wanting to give back rather than receive in celebration of her birthday which occurred on 16 October.
“We are blessed in so many ways, and when I started thinking about my birthday this year, I felt the urge to give to others rather than be spoiled myself. There really is no greater gift than seeing children smile!” she said after the events.
THUTHUKANI PRIMARY SCHOOL
The weekend was kicked off with a visit to Thuthukani Primary School in Phola, Mpumalanga. Mali had identified the school earlier this year and paid several visits to determine what their most dire needs were. As a first act of giving to the deserving students, the foundation donated the full amount to cover the Gr.7 send-off weekend, a trip to Bela-Bela that is meant to prepare the kids for high school and celebrate their successful completion of primary school.
The Gr.7s were addressed by members of the foundation, including Mali Langa and collaborator Chef Benev, a celebrity chef on the rise that comes from similar circumstances these kids have grown up in. There were talks about the difficulties school kids in rural areas face and how to come out on top with an attitude of determination and hard work.
After this the Gr.4 girls were called in to receive sanitary packs to fight period poverty and to assist them in their transition into puberty. Many of these kids come from child-headed households with absent parents and are not fully equipped to deal with the intricacies of entering womanhood.
In the weeks prior to 1 November sanitary wares including pads, toothbrushes, toothpaste, anti-perspirant, soap, and the like, were collected through a drive hosted in the offices of Task Interior Styling, Mwelase Mining, and Gradidge Mahura Investments. The remainder of the supplies was supplied by the MLCF.
“We have now given to the girls in Gr.4 and will start collecting for the rest of the girls in the coming weeks,” Mali said. “Anyone wishing to donate or get involved in collecting items at their offices are more than welcome to do so by contacting us. We will provide boxes, collection and delivery.”
The Mali Langa Children’s Foundation trust is also planning a project to create a science lab and a computer lab for the school in the near future, as these facilities remain unavailable to students in the area.
HUIS SHALOM CHILDREN’S HOME
Another charity that has captured Mali’s heart was that of Huis Shalom in Ogies and other satellite children’s homes in Mpumalanga.
“After visiting Huis Shalom the first time I immediately fell in love with the kids who are living there, but I was not satisfied with their living conditions. It just didn’t feel like a home for kids and all of the happiness that they represent in the world,” Mali said.
Consequently, Task Interior Styling, Task Logistics, Decorex Africa & Olympic Paints, LuvLee Concepts, Mwelase Mining, Geo Cloud, Tostri Media and Chef Benev all put together their resources and time to transform the house from a dull shell to a bright and hopeful space which could inspire the kids that are growing up there.
Through drives, secondhand clothing, toys, books, paints, and even beds were collected by all the collaborating partners. The foundation and a team from Blue Pointer Energy then made sure the house was repainted, and had beds, mattresses and curtains replaced. Various other snags around the house were also fixed including cupboards, electric and plumbing.
To top it all off with a sprinkle of magic and love the foundation organised a party where the young kids from Huis Shalom and four of its satellite homes in Mpumalanga could run around and just be kids! On Saturday afternoon 2 November tents were erected, a petting zoo was brought in from Gauteng, jumping castles were inflated, entertainers walked around on stilts, artists painted smiling faces, sweet treats were everywhere, and Chef Benev made sure everyone was fed with style and flair as only he knows how to!
As a centrepiece to the setup a 3D Madame Langa marble cake with caramel filling stood loud and proud wearing the same outfit as Mali herself on the day! The original outfit was designed by Diaan Daniels Couture, who also put in the effort to come out to the event.
Mali commented, “The idea behind the magnificent cake was to give the world a taster of what is to come! I have been working on a very special doll project which will aim to bring a quality and accurate representation of a black woman to the toys market. I want young black kids to see that their role models in fashion and business do not all look like Barbie!”
The day was concluded with all the orphaned kids grouping together to release helium balloons up into the air to show them that the sky is the limit when it comes to their personal hopes and dreams!