1000 Hills

I just got another video from Wendy. In response, I asked her how she was holding up. Were it me, I’d be repeatedly excusing myself to go have a good cry in the loo. This is the week that Wendy and Stina Bjurstrom are spending at 1000 Hill Community Helpers in South Africa. Stina is acting as a nurse and Wendy is proving to be chief photographer, videographer, baby holder, and encourager. I’d like very much to share a few of the photos Wendy has sent on as well as a bit about the clinic.

Dawn Leppan, founder of 1000 Hills Community Helpers... giving proper credit where credit is due

Dawn Leppan, founder of 1000 Hills Community Helpers… giving proper credit where credit is due

From the 1000 Hills website: “The 1000 Hills Community Helpers project was established in 1989 by starting up a community feeding program.

In response to the needs of the community, we constructed our own community care centre in 2008 comprising a health and wellness clinic, children’s infirmary, education and development facility.This centre was named by the local community members as “Ikhaya Lo Thando” (“Home of Love”) that would cater for the needs of Orphaned and Vulnerable Children, supporting them with food and clothing.

Dawn’s eyes were opened to the political strife and devastation of families in the local community of the Valley of 1000 Hills caused by political unrest. In 1989 this heart breaking scenario inspired Alan Paton and herself to start up a community feeding program. This was first held in the open under the trees in the Inchanga area, then moving from there into St. Theresa’s Catholic Church

In 1990 it was realized that community members were in need of medical assistance due to the impact of HIV/Aids related illnesses. It was then decided to start up a basic clinic followed by an infant nutritional program. Medical volunteers were then sourced to assist in carrying this burden. We were blessed with having a Paediatrician join us as well as 5 registered nursing sisters.

Sister Dlimani, Community Caregivers, Dawn's daughter Karin, and Stina take time for tea.

Sister Dlimani, Community Caregivers, Dawn’s daughter Karin, and Stina take time for tea.

From that first project, this vision has grown from strength to strength to provide essential services to the people in the form of health care, education, infant care and HIV/AIDS awareness, henceforth, the 1000 Hills Community Helpers community centre.”

Some of the happy faces coming to day care.

Some of the happy faces coming to day care.

I'm a 1000 HIlls Kid -- it is so good to belong!

I’m a 1000 HIlls Kid — it is so good to belong!

CompassioNow first met Dawn in that abandoned Catholic church when she was feeding people and dreaming about expanding services. To see the amazing growth and outreach of this community since then is inspiring, wordless joy, inexpressible amazement, and something that contracts the heart, rearranges the insides, and yes, sends the likes of me running to the loo for a good cry. Because the work is so far from done.

Wendy explains, "This precious baby boy was brought to Dawn Leppan at Thousand Hills Community Helpers one month ago. The mother put him on Dawn's desk and said, 'You're lucky I didn't chuck him in the toilet. Here's one for you.' So thankful for the life saving work being done here every day!"

Wendy explains, “This precious baby boy was brought to Dawn Leppan at Thousand Hills Community Helpers one month ago. The mother put him on Dawn’s desk and said, ‘You’re lucky I didn’t chuck him in the toilet. Here’s one for you.’ So thankful for the life saving work being done here every day!”

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