07 November 2016 06:00
Imagine a 15 year old girl sleeping on two crates every night of her life. But only, this is not imagination but reality for many children.
This, and similar images, led to the start of a project, the Sleepover Project, where hope and dignity will be restored to many children from disadvantaged homes who have never slept in a bed.
Sleepovers are nothing new. They are a celebrated tradition in most households when children spend the night away from home staying up late, watching movies and indulging in foods they do not eat every day. However some will never know that luxury because the reality is, their disadvantaged background does not allow it.
The organisation SASH, together with Afrosapien Entertainment, have identified one hundred children to participate in sleepovers all over the Western Cape. This includes 10 children from Ceres who have been chosen to attend a sleepover taking place on 26 November at the Wolwekloof Academy.
The aim is not only to give them one night in a comfy bed, says Sandy Pekeur, CEO and founder of SASH.
“We want to give them a sanctuary to nurture their dreams, ambitions and give them hope that they are not alone in this world.”
Dr Shaun Pekeur, senior academic director of SASH, says the success of the project is based on five essential principles.
“First it is important that we develop the identity of our youth. Once they know the identity they have a purpose. A person with purpose will have vision. Vision creates influence and ultimately influence creates change.”
Director and CEO of Afrosapien Entertainment, Gabriela Wiener said: “We practice progress over perfection and are passionate about balance, we want to nurture seeds of positive growth and our aim is to uplift the communities, families and business.”
A fun programme has been put together for the sleepover, including appearances by local entertainers as well as a “huge surprise” for each of the children.
Financial constraints are immense for both organisations and donations of various items is still needed to make the sleepover project possible, anyone who is willing to assist can contact Sandy 079 506 8623 or Gabriela 078 155 0752.