One very special population in the Kerus family that holds our utmost respect, appreciation and support is the incredible grannies who have taken up the mantel of raising the next generation. These dedicated and exhausted women are the pillars that support the lives of the children and ultimately the community of Soshanguve. The new Academic Enrichment Center has made it possible for us to offer them a whole new level of support.
Each week, this group of GoGos (Grannies) come in wheel chairs, with grandchildren on their backs, hobbling with canes – many walking a mile or more to get to us. Ready for a morning of laughter, songs, Bible study, prayers and exploring new life skills, they soak in badly needed encouragement and learn new ways to support their families. Some of them are baking with an oven for the first time in their lives, a luxury not found in most of their shacks. Two sewing machines and many yards of brightly colored cloth donated by a faithful Kerus partner are allowing them to learn sewing skills. And their beautiful handmade beadwork will be sold for the first time this year at the Kerus benefit events in the USA. It is such a joy to see these precious women smiling, thriving and growing!
The program has been such a success that the younger care givers – aunties and older siblings who have also assumed the role of head of household – have requested to be included. And each week, grannies from the community who do not have children at the center are showing up at the gate, wanting to join the group. We are thrilled that the Academic Enrichment Center is becoming a true beacon of hope in the Soshanguve community, with the potential “above and beyond all we could ask or imagine.” And we are especially grateful it has begun with our precious grannies!