For the past 10 years, Coco’s Foundation have been helping improve the lives of orphan children like Xolani in some of the poorest parts of South Africa by providing food, clothes and shelter.
I founded the charity in 2010 after an unforgettable trip to the Kwazula Natal region in South Africa, which changed me forever. In this region alone there are 9,000 orphans and a chance meeting with one orphan Thabiso made me vow to come back and make a difference to his life and others like him.
Since then the charity has:
- built 66 houses
- provided shelter for 340 orphans
- and fed over 2.5 million orphaned and vulnerable children.
Many of the children we have helped over the last 10 years, are now at the age to attend college and start looking for a job to support themselves and their families. My dream is to build on the foundations Coco’s has established and expand into rehabilitation and an education centre. Xolani was a little boy we helped with food & shelter when he was small. He lost both parents at the age of 12 and since then has brought up both his sisters. We have been supporting him through college to become a builder and he has been a crucial part of the building program we have executed in the area. Xolani is dedicated and focused in everything he does and is motivated to be the best possible person he can be. His dream is to support the many orphans like himself in his area to help them build houses, so I have been asking myself the question, aside from funding his college education how do we support Xolani and many teens further to ensure he and others can support themselves and their extended family in the future and for the long term?
In February I was back in South Africa and found what I believe to be the answer:
Sisodwona Lodge is in the heart of Sodwana Bay on the East Coast of South Africa. It consists of 8 independent lodges and a separate volunteer centre. It has a Dinning room and Bar over looking the huge swimming pool set in 4 hectares of the beautiful Sodwana Bay. It has previously been used by tourists, visiting the area both local and international to access its natural diving and fishing resources.
My proposal is for Coco’s Foundation to acquire Sisodwona Lodge in order to provide at least three long term benefits to the children we support:
- Provide jobs and continued training for those we already supporting through college, so orphaned children like Xolani can fulfil their dream and support their own family.
- To generate cashflow from tourists staying at the lodge for diving/fishing, which we can utilise as an ongoing revenue stream to fund the charity overheads and provide a profit to be able to build one house a month for an orphan family in the poorest parts of South Africa.
- Provide accommodation for volunteers who to come to build houses for us through our ‘Build4Thefuture’ program.
My dream of this venture was halted when Covid-19 struck and our previously agreed source of financing became unavailable.
We are looking to raise £200,000 to support the purchase of this lodge, which will go a long way in helping young orphans become self-sufficient. We would be so very grateful for your help.