The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has appealed to the faithful to respond to the victims of Cyclone Idai....
Help the children recover from this terrifying ordeal. Your kindness makes all the difference.
Fire at Bloemfontein School – please help kids who lost everything
On Friday night, a fire blazed through the hostel at Dr Blok Secondary School in Bloemfontein. Several children, trapped in the burning building, had to wait for the fire brigade to remove burglar bars so they could escape. Imagine how terrifying that must have been!
Nine children had to be taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. But fortunately, there were no serious injuries. All 135 children who live at the hostel are safe.
But at a cost. Many of the children have lost all their possessions, and are in dire need of new school uniforms (grey flannels and white shirts), shoes and school bags, as well as personal clothing and toiletries.
“It was the scariest experience I have ever had,” said a Grade 11 learner. “We just grabbed what we could get, threw it out of the windows, and ran for dear life. I was also extremely worried about my friends. I am just so relieved everyone is okay.”
Members of the Society of St Vincent de Paul are rallying round to help – but we desperately need your help too. If you are in the Bloemfontein area, please drop off any items at the school, or contact Yolande on 078 156 3061 for collection. Cash donations, made online right now, are also needed to make up the shortfall.
Even if you can only give R200 or R500, please make your donation now. This is the kids’ home from home and it’s devastating for them to have lost everything they own.
Your kindness will help them put this terrifying experience behind them and get back to normal as soon as possible. Thank you.
Our core work involves alleviating the worst human suffering in areas of abject poverty – where families live in homes made of cardboard or thin plastic … where unemployment and malnutrition is rife … and where parents are dying and leaving children to care for one another.
We help the hungry, the homeless, the sick, vulnerable children and destitute aged.
And because most of the work is done by volunteers, almost every cent you donate goes directly to helping those in need.
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YEARS OF HISTORY
Why we do this work
I have always felt that I was not doing enough to show God how thankful I am for all that He has done and keeps on doing for me. Joining SSVP enabled me to practice the same love that Jesus’ life on earth radiated, an unconditional love that is given freely without expecting any rewards.
I grew up with SSVP in my home – my parents have been members for more than 20 years. After losing a loved one, I joined SSVP to recover from my loss by helping others who have experienced the same. My heart holds a special place for children in need.
I didn’t choose to join SSVP – the holy spirit led me to it. The work of the society echoes my favourite quote of St Vincent’s: “Let us love God, but let it be with the strength of our arms and the sweat of our brow.”
Poverty provides a deeper motivation for understanding your neighbours, welcoming others and attending to those who are suffering. I would say go so far as to say that poverty helps you understand what happiness is, what serenity is in life.” Frédéric Ozanam