Help for Siloe
The project was implemented between 15 June and 31 December 2013 in Siloe (South Africa), and counted with participation of two volunteers, who stayed there from 9 July until 9 October. The coordinator of the project was the Foundation of Humanitarian Aid "Redemptoris Missio", and the local partner was Siloe School for the Blind.
Limpopo is the poorest province in South Africa. More than 78% of its population lives below the poverty line (see source). It has the highest percentage of people infected with HIV.
The centre whose activities were supported by the volunteers is located 35 kilometres from the city of Polokwane. It is run by the Franciscan nuns and is fully financed by their order. The centre consists of two schools: primary school (155 blind and visually impaired children) and integrated school (543 children). There is also a boarding house for 185 children. In addition, in the centre there are workshops for blind adults, and a nurse’s office, that was supplied with basic medical equipment (a bed, a fridge, a microscope, and other devices) by the volunteers as part of the project. Moreover, the volunteers bought necessary medicines for the office.
The volunteers carried out screening laryngological tests for the children, they also checked their sight, hearing and posture, and performed dental checks. In addition, they started development record files for the children, and updated medical records of the attended patients.
In total, the volunteers examined approximately 700 children, 500 of which came from the surrounding villages and attended the school of the mission, and also 200 blind or visually impaired children from the boarding house of the mission.
As part of the educational component, the volunteers carried out trainings about hygiene and health care (for children from 0-7th grade), puberty and sexuality (for students of the secondary school) and childhood diseases (for parents). Moreover, the volunteers designed and published Informational Bulletin “Raport”, where they described the problems of the centre, and the possible ways of supporting its activities. 5,000 copies were published and sent to several partners of the project’s coordinator.