As a community, St Luke's places a high priority on charitable giving and supporting those less fortunate than ourselves, and one of the charities we've built links with is Umthombo in Durban, South Africa. There's a large population of children living on the streets of Durban, who have to fend for themselves in order to survive. Umthombo works to support and empower these street children, and to change the way society perceives and treats them. The team is made up of social work professionals and former street children, so it has a unique understanding of their experiences, and is able to build trusting relationships with them. (You can learn more about Umthombo at www.umthombo.org
St Luke's has supported Umthombo over the years through donations, fundraising events (for example, our community choir Vox Holloway raised over £6,000 for Umthombo in 2009), and visits by members of the church to work alongside the Umthombo team at events such as the Street Child World Cup.
Recently, a young man in Durban called Thutukani became the first former street child supported by Umthombo to gain acceptance at university. Unfortunately, he was accepted too late to apply for grants and financial support. In response to this, one of our young people at St Luke's, Grace Wroe, is currently trying to raise £500. Grace says: 'I'm attempting to raise this money to ensure that Thutukani's chance at further education (a chance many of us have enjoyed) doesn’t have to be forfeited.’
Grace has raised £375 so far (we’re proud of you, Grace!). If you can help boost the amount up to the £500 needed to send Thutukani to university and give him a chance of a better future, you can donate at www.justgiving.com/Umthombo-University. Thank you.