During Alliott Group’s annual 2014 Worldwide Conference in South Africa, members found time to utilize their skills and man power in assisting and bringing some much needed joy and light relief to some of South Africa’s most deprived children at the Tapologo Centre. The community center is an after school & counselling facility for vulnerable and abused children. Run by an NGO it offers the children who are mainly from child-headed households, much needed support, counselling, after school care and a feeding scheme. Care for HIV + children is paramount where anti-viral medication and meals can be controlled with a specialized clinic available on grounds.
The event was organized by member John Jones in conjunction the Rustenburg Rotary Club of the North West Province, South Africa. Enabling Alliott Group delegates and companions to spend a few hours playing with over 100 children by offering several different activities, such as face painting, football, bubble play, and ball games. About 80 Alliott members and companions assisted on that Saturday morning. The Center invited 100 children to attend the Saturday morning event, although certainly all 200 kids and 10+ counselor/workers benefited from our presence and financial gifts. The creative members also decorated the walls with bright and lively murals creating a feeling of cheer. The fun was rounded off with a lunch cooked and served by Alliott Group members to all the children.
In addition to organizer John Jones and his wife Ardys attending, Linkenheimer partner Mike Musson, along with his wife Annette and son Jonah also participated. It was an honor to serve for the morning and we hope that $4000 donation will go a little way secure the centers future.
“It was very clear that the kids had a great time with our Alliott members. But what also happened was the staff that were present, say 5-6, were very much uplifted by having so many people show up and show they cared. Finally, those that served were very much moved by the experience. One member, an attorney from the UK, had been very resistant of the Giving Something Back projects and in fact had not really participated in the first two (Barcelona and San Diego). He participated in Hong Kong and enjoyed it. This year in South Africa he fell in love with serving others. He told me afterwards that (to paraphrase) – I have come over to the light. I now understand and feel what it is like to give back to the poor. These service events are truly the highlights of our Worldwide Conferences. All of this said with tears in his eyes.
Serving others with no expectations of getting anything back (most of us will never return to the Centre) is powerful. ”
– John Jones, Managing Partner
“The after-school program we visited, the Topologo Center, in cooperation with the Rustenburg Rotary Club, was a chance to meet and play with some local children. Many of them have little to no family life, or food for that matter. HIV played a part in some lives. So, this center is incredibly important. Children are children anywhere and anytime: One 8-year old girl had incredibly good handwriting and wanted to show it off. One boy wanted to draw a soccer ball for me. One boy scored 3 goals in our soccer (football) game. Another girl thanked me for being there and sharing our crayons and soccer balls. Any of these great boys and girls could have lived next door…
I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have some fun with them.”
– Mike Musson, Partner
“I know that I don’t have to travel halfway across the world to help a child in need but experiencing something like we did in Africa is truly an unforgettable experience. To hear the stories about how most of the children were parentless and only received one subsidized meal per day was heartwrenching. They were probably a bit scared of us when we arrived — busloads of adult white people — but by the time we left, their smiles and laughter warmed our hearts. We danced with them and they sang for us. The memory of that day will stay with me and inspire me (and hopefully Jonah too) to continue to serve others within my own community.”
– Annette Musson