Our current project – we are building a 24h daycare in Huntington, Mpumalanga 🇿🇦

Huntington Village is located within the broader Bushbuckridge area in Mpumalanga and stands as the largest concentration of poverty in South Africa, with 70% of its community economically inactive. Yet, they reside on the doorstep of one of the country’s most treasured and valuable natural assets – the Kruger National Park. Youth unemployment rates soar as high as 35%.

With an average annual household income of around R30,000 (approximately €1,500) for only 20% of the population, there are limited avenues for accessing quality education. And without education, there is scarcely any opportunity to break free from the cycle of poverty.

Why we chose Huntington, Mpumalanga

We’re avid safari enthusiasts, and by chance, we stumbled upon Umkumbe Bush Lodge in Sabi Sands. With its wonderful staff, it was easy to fall in love with the lodge. Like many others in the safari industry, the employees work four weeks straight, with their children staying in the community, either under the care of a family member or in a place like ours. 

Most tourists visiting Sabi Sands pay more for one night than the average yearly income in Huntington. Considering this stark reality, we felt compelled to take action and improve conditions on-site, providing food and education.

After a few brief discussions, we garnered the support of the lodge owners, and together we embarked on this project. The existing building had only two rooms for too many children, lacking kitchen and bathroom facilities. There’s just one lady looking after up to 15 kids around the clock. Sometimes, there’s not enough money for food long before the end of the month.

We got started ...

Starting a project like this is a significant undertaking. As with anywhere else in the world, you can’t simply go and start building. We had to ensure that expanding was legally permissible, liaise with the community chief, find a contractor, devise a building plan, secure a supplier, and hire a builder …

... and kept going

After completing the construction of the building, we painted the walls, involving the children, to transform it into a vibrant and joyful space!

Our future goals

  • We want to get furniture and all the things you need to run a 24h daycare
  • We want to make sure, that they have at least one warm meal every day and enough food, that no child has to go hungry
  • Make sure, that they have access to fresh water every day
  • We would like a small playground on the property
  • We want to hire a teacher, to provide educational assistance with the homework and for the little ones, not attending school right now. This teacher should be fluent in English, to help the kids learning this language. Right now most of them speak Xitsonga.
  • We want to help the kids, find a way to a better future – this only works with education.

The people behind
this project

Sabine, Leo

Aby, Mika & Pieter

Karine & Herman, Melinda & Thinus