West Chester University’s Honors Student Association hosted the Aid to South Africa on Sunday, April 17.
Aid to South Africa is a carnival-style philanthropic event that raises money for MOSAIC SA Inc. (MOS), Nkosi’s Haven, and H.E.L.P. Ministries Soup Kitchen, all of which strive to reduce hunger and provide comfort to children with HIV/AIDS. MOS identifies a family with two or more orphans and helps to build a healthy and happy home for them with affordable rent.
The organization helps the family find jobs, learn useful skills as parents and find school activities for the children. Nkosi’s Haven provides holistic care for orphans with AIDS as well as infected mother’s in need. Ministries Soup Kitchen prepares about 6,000 bowls of soup every day and delivers them to schools that have children in need of food. They provide bread with the meal as well.
The carnival at WCU had over 30 carnival games and activities aimed for both children and college students, including henna, face painting, cotton candy and so much more. There was also a moon bounce, jousting, a dunk tank and games that provided prizes. There was live music from local community music groups, raffles, vendors and many awareness exhibits revolving around South Africa.
There is a GoFundMe page to raise money. Online donations are accepted directly to Aid to South Africa through MOSAIC SA Inc., monetary donations from families and alumni of WCU, and from donations spread from word of mouth. Over $70,000 has been raised over the past 10 years, and this year has already brought in around $9,000.
Aid to South Africa started 11 years ago through WCU’s Honors Student Association and Honors College. According to Haley Paiva, the event director, the Honors College travels to South Africa every other year to provide service and research for the community. They visit the three beneficiaries and see the need that they have first-hand.
“The uniqueness about this trip and Aid to South Africa is that the delegation of students and staff personally hands the check of the money we raise to our beneficiaries in South Africa,” said Paiva.
Ways to participate in the event included going to the carnival to help raise money, registering to play for a soccer team or people choosing to sponsor the event. Some of the sponsors included The Office of Student Affairs, the Rotary of Thorndale, The Baptist Church of West Chester and multiple organizations and fraternities and sororities on campus.
All proceeds from the event go directly to fighting childhood hunger and HIV/AIDS. More information about the event can be found on WCU’s Aid to South Africa page, which includes several facts about the many adversities in South Africa.
Some of these facts include that 66 percent of the 18 million children in the nation live in poverty, AIDS reduces their life expectancy to 44 years old, and about 34 percent of the South African households make less than $2 a day.
Dana Perkiss is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at DP785965@wcupa.edu.