Today we started out by going to MaAfrika Tikkun. Our group split into three separate groups for different tasks. One group sorted and organized things in their stock room, one group peeled potatoes for the kids' lunch, and the other group continued the task of weeding the garden.
After some time doing those tasks we got together and went to a Delft community center that teaches job skills. First we learned that the building was vandalized a while ago and then it was rebuilt in 39 days. It was a very beautiful center, and the facilities were very up-to-date with great resources. The purpose of the center is to help those who are uneducated and give them the knowledge and skills they need to get a job and hopefully a better life. There was a room where they taught clothes-making, a room teaching sales and business, and we saw a class of students learning about retail, and they all seemed happy to see us and even asked some of us for autographs! Not sure if they were serious though but it was funny. There was also a really cute daycare room for those who have children, giving them the opportunity to learn and get good childcare. The daycare was very colorful and had lots of toys, stuffed animals, and even super cute tinkerbell curtains. It was great to see such an awesome center that is doing great things to educate people so they can make money. It left us with a very positive feeling of the community.
Then we went to the police station. In the police station we were able to sit down with the chief and ask him questions. He explained what the crime situation today is in delft and how it has changed since apartheid. There has been a steady but slow decline in crime but there is still a lot.
Then we went to the Muslim family's soup kitchen/mosque/daycare where they graciously made a delicious meal for our entire group plus some of the people from MaT. Greg, Anthony, Kirsten, and myself (Chelsea) were fortunate to spend some time learning from them yesterday, and it is their custom to always serve food to their guests. The food was more than we could have expected; it was delicious and the fact that they were able to feed almost 30 people with one day's notice was so awesome. They are truly special people and we are going to try to stay in touch with them.
Then we went back to MaT and handed out some of the school supplies we brought for them. A lot of kids from Delft showed up to get school supplies, because word spread that we were giving a bunch out. It was a bit difficult to split up the supplies so we could give some to everyone, and some parents ended up being upset. But what we learned from this was that we did what we could, and when you are trying to do something good there will always be people who think that you could have done better. In the end, all of the kids did get something and that was the goal so it still felt successful. The kids were happy and we had a good time with them!
Today we were able to get some work done for MaT and the community of Delft. We also learned about some of the good things being done for the community and met some of the people who are doing great things. Their hospitality and generosity was shown in the delicious meal we were served in the mosque. We also learned about some of the challenges and frustrations you can go through when serving and trying to do things for others. All in all, we'd say it was a positive day that gives us hope for the future of the community. Good things are being done by good people, and by learning from them we can better serve our communities.
- Derek and Chelsea 1/11/11