“SOAPkidz empowers vulnerable children by connecting them with nature where
they learn to experience love and personal growth.” True to the SOAPkidz purpose and
with the support of the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) Magaliesberg Section this is exactly
what happened when 15 girls from the Tshwane Home of Hope spent the weekend of 30 May 2009,
rock climbing, kloofing and hiking at Mhlabatini in the Magaliesberg.
An early start on the Saturday at the Home of Hope became a bit later as the Combi would
not start but in no time Lincoln, myself and a load of excited girls were on our way. In the bus
the ice was broken completely as we took turns to introduce each other. Fits of laughter
ensued upon hearing the big and serious Lincoln introduce the person sitting next to him, “My
name is Violet. I love putting on makeup and wearing pretty dresses.”
Upon arrival we were welcomed by Danie van Zyl from MCSA Magaliesberg and everybody
busied themselves with the task of sorting food, rucksacks and giving directions to lost
volunteers from Johannesburg. A short hike to the overnight spot, tents pitched, the group
split into rock climbers and those that were going kloofing and then the fun began.
Fortunately SOAPkidz is about empowering children and not older folk because I could not
do what I saw the girls doing on the rock face. All I could do was watch from the top and at
the last difficult pitch I would see tears start, determination set in and then a look of absolute
joy and sense of achievement as one by one they made it to the top.
These girls have been saved from the
streets by the Tshwane Home of Hope
and with the involvement of people
that care have been strengthened and
shown that there is another way. To
the extent that many of them are now
SOAPkidz volunteers and help care for
other vulnerable children.
All our thanks and appreciation to
MCSA and those members that gave
of their time, patience and love to help
make this possible.