Health and Dignity for Hout Bay’s Little Angels

Toilet Block Grand OpeningAccording to the United Nations a third of the world lacks proper sanitation, and poor sanitation and hygiene are at the heart of disease and malnutrition. More than 800,000 children worldwide – or one every two minutes – die from diarrhoea, as a result of poor sanitation. A quarter of all children under five were stunted, and countless other children, as well as adults, are falling seriously ill, often suffering long-term, even lifelong, health and developmental consequences, due to poor sanitation and hygiene.

After much planning, fundraising, registration and land processes over the past twenty months, on November 19th World Toilet Day, it was with great celebration and thanks due to the many people who have supported Little Angels over the years that Rotary Club of Hout Bay, Breadline Africa, and Little Angels cut the red ribbon to open their new toilet block, bringing greater health, sanitation and dignity to all who utilize Little Angels as an educare and community centre.

In March of 2014 Aimée Korst, a past All Out Africa volunteer who had spent a month at Little Angels, contacted her then volunteer coordinator Ashley Newell with her idea to host a High Tea at home in the Netherlands to raise funds for Little Angels. Through Aimée’s successful event the conversation began with Little Angel’s Principal Liezl Mathews around what were the highest priority needs at Little Angels. After much debate around the ongoing needs for diapers and food, it became clear that for the long term sustainability for Little Angels the actual facilities needed to be addressed and upgraded in order to achieve Health and Safety approval to become a registered centre.  Ashley reached out to Tim Smith, Hout Bay Rotarian and Bread Line Africa CEO about the possibility of partnering to address the most pressing need at Little Angels which was proper toilet facilities.

When Little Angel’s began it used the toileting facilities in a neighbouring home, however when the facility moved in December of 2013 there was an urgent need for new facilities. Thanks to the ongoing support of Vasti De Villiers , portable toilet units were arranged to be donated and serviced. These were never intended to be a long-term solution and still posed health risks for the children.

Breadline Africa came to assess the site at Little Angels and agreed that a toilet block with an urgent need for the centre, additionally they had a vision for a kitchen and new, safer classrooms to be fundraised for as well. Through their partnership with Rotary and Hout Bay Rotary Club’s partner clubs overseas additional funds were raised and Oceana was also informed of the urgent needs at Little Angels. Oceana Foundation donated a fully equipped Kitchen container which will enable two meals per day to be provided to the children at Little Angels, as well as Liezl’s long running feeding scheme to also continue in a safe space. The new toilet block from Breadline Africa has four children’s sized flush toilets and one adult sized and handicap accessible facility as well. The next steps continue as current wooden classrooms will also need to be replaced to meet fire and safety standards and enable Little Angels access to sustainable government support and truly become a place of safety for so many children in the Hangberg, and Hout Bay community as a whole.