The 28th of November 2023 was Giving Tuesday, a global movement of generosity. The last few years Ten Thousand Homes has focused our efforts on this day to raise a large portion of our feeding programs’ yearly budget.
Lafo Ndlovu, a TTH staff member in South Africa, was visiting one of our partner programs this past Giving Tuesday. She vividly shares about an impromptu conversation that happened with the kids. It’s powerful. It speaks of the impact of your ongoing generosity. Thank you! You make this possible.

It’s been stinkin’ hot over here in South Africa, and I really REALLY don’t do well in the heat. So, as I opened the gates to welcome the children, I was already hot and bothered. This program, this place has become a second home to me, so I was very quickly reminded of “why” I’d tackle the heat any day to be here. Then a mob of children came barreling towards me with all their questions and body heat.
I was soon pulled towards the famous Flamboyant tree where an unforgettable moment unfolded in an unscripted, unplanned Q&A.
It started when one of the kids asked if they could see their interview filmed the previous week. I hit play and suddenly we had at least 40 kids around my phone watching themselves and their friends share why they come to the program and what they aspire to be when they grow up.
As the video played, I heard kids shout out,
“Oooooh, you want to be a chef! Wow. Yeah, you make good food.”
“A policewoman; but don’t be corrupt!” “No, she won’t corrupt, she will be a sweet one.”
“A pilot?! Will you fly us to see the world?” “Yes, I want to take my family, then I will take our friends!” 
“What is a FISHIN?” “A physician – he takes care of people.”
“SHHHHHHH, you can ask questions after. I want to hear my video now.”
I wanted to laugh and cry as I listened to them talk through the “movie.” This is a big part of “WHY” I do what I do.
Hearing them dream together, I curiously asked, “Why do you think we asked you to film a video?”
“To share on Facebook?”
“No, to practice how to public speak?”
“So we can be on TV?”
Those who had chosen to accept being filmed quickly spoke up:
“No, because they care about our future so they want to record to remember.”
“Yes, they want to hear our dreams because they care and they want to know how they can help or pray for us when we study for our school.”
“Yes, that’s why I had to think about my future. Because they always ask why I go to school, what I learn, and what I want to be. And now I am prepared to answer because they don’t stop asking!”
“Yes, and maybe they want to show their friends, so their friends can also help us reach our dreams.”
Before I could clarify, the next question came from one of the newcomers who was about 11 years old,
“But what about the food part, where does the food come from?” 
I thought, “What a brilliant question.” I was curious to hear their thoughts. So, I put the question back to the group. One by one they shared, as the rest listened to each one attentively:
“It comes from the Americans.”
“No, it’s from the government grants.”
“Guys, we are at church – the church is providing the food!”
“No, Shoprite [a local grocery store] gives the soup and soap, but they get the meat from somewhere else because the bones are too big to fit in Shoprite.”
“God. God loves us so much. He has provided everything for me. I believe He also provided the food for us.” 
“It’s Ten Thousand Homes, they are the ones who bring the food.”
“No, it’s the mamas. They bring from their homes to cook for us.”
I looked to my husband, Mzwandile, who was translating, and I knew this was a moment we’d both remember. As I tried to hold back tears, we went on to share where the food comes from:
“So, the food is not JUST provided by the Americans. The church does not receive any government funding, and I’m sure some of the spices are bought from Shoprite, but not given by Shoprite. And yes, we do love God and have faith that He is our provider, but God still needs all of us to do our part. The mamas can’t carry all this food here every day, BUT they give their time, energy, and sometimes their own money to ensure you have the best plate of food possible.
“And so, just like the mamas, the food is provided by hundreds of everyday people. Young people, old people, families, business men and women. People from South Africa to America to England to Canada to Norway to Australia, from all over the world. People who are giving what they can.
“There are South African families giving fruits and veggies and a butcher giving the meat.”
“Even South Africa?”
“YES! We have people from all over the world giving R10 or R100, some even more than R1,000.”
“Woaaaah, R1,000?”
“YES! They all give because they see your dreams and they want to be a part of making them come true.”
The whole group sat up straighter and beamed with pride. 
“They believe in you. So, if all these people believe in you but you don’t believe in yourself…”
“…We won’t make it, if we don’t first believe in ourselves,” a long-time program attendee finished. 
“And we won’t make it if we don’t help our friends.”
“I didn’t know where exactly the food came from, but I knew wherever it came from it was because they cared about us.”
Another spoke up, “I also did not know where the food comes from, but I know that the mamas, the church, and Ten Thousand Homes and their friends who visit us – they come because they care.”
All of them sat there in wonder. I haven’t ever seen them that quiet for that length of time. I remembered holding some of these children as babies. They now stood before me 10 years later, strong, healthy, and bright young leaders!
Moments like this would not be possible without you. This small group in rural South Africa now knows where the food comes from: from your belief in them and their future. Thank you for believing.
– by Lafo Ndlovu

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