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Sowetan's Mama Angel gives bicycles to hospice children

By unknown | Nov 16, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

The dreams of eight children from Sparrows Rainbow Village, a hospice west of Johannesburg, came true this week.

Thanks to Sowetan's Mama Angel, who gave the hospice eight bicycles, they can participate in the Pick'nPay-94.7 Children's Cycle Challenge, a race that will be held this weekend.

The beneficiaries could not hide their excitement when Sowetan handed over the bicycles to the hospice this week.

Staff at the village were equally excited about the children's participation.

"The race will give the children an opportunity to interact and have fun with other children outside the village," said Dawn Bell, the hospice's fund-raising coordinator.

The village was founded in 1992 by the Reverend Corine McClintock. It was the first hospice in the world to look after adults, children and families living with HIV-Aids.

McClintock worked from home until the attractive dome-shaped buildings were built in 2003.

The village is now home to 238 children who are either infected with or affected by HIV, and 94 adults.

The children at the hospice are either orphans or live with their parents in the village.

Bell said antiretroviral treatment was prolonging the lives of HIV-positive people. She said she believed that enabling children to live with their sick parents contributed to their wellbeing.

"It also helps reduce the number of child-headed families," she said.

Bell said Sparrows helped to place children in foster care after their parents died.

She said the hospice had a facility for adults and children, and a paediatric unit for the younger patients.

"We also accommodate women and children in the cluster villages, which house 18 people each," Bell said.

She appealed to the public and to service organisations to undertake volunteering work at the hospice.

The Pick 'n Pay-94.7 Children's Cycle Challenge will be broadcast on SuperSport 1.


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