25:40 is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization, founded in 2003, to help save children impacted by HIV/AIDS and poverty in southern Africa. The core of our mission is to empower communities to save children. We are inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew Chapter 25, verse 40: “And the King shall reply, ‘Whatever you do for the least of these brothers of mine, you do for me.’”
25:40’s focus is on children living in the rural areas of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, which is characterized by extreme poverty, high incidences of HIV/AIDS and other disease and high incidences of violence toward women and children. For all of its beauty, the Eastern Cape (and the Transkei in particular) is sadly among the poorest regions in Africa. Second only to Limpopo, the Eastern Cape leads all other South African provinces in poverty, with more than 72 % of its people (about 4.6 million) living below the poverty line.
In an effort to combat the devastating impacts of poverty, disease and violence on orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) in the Transkei, 25:40 is collaborating with the Small Projects Foundation (SPF) and the Canzibe Mission to fund and implement comprehensive, community-based programs designed to identify and save these children.
The Canzibe OVC Action Project
This project was initiated in 2009 in the Ngqeleni area, a vast, rural and widespread region of about 360 square miles that stretches from the city of Mthatha in the North to the coast in the South. The project is premised on empowering communities to care properly for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) . For a number of reasons, we believe that community-based efforts offer the only sustainable solution for saving the thousands of children at risk in this region (and in South Africa in general).
In 2009, 25:40 and the Small Projects Foundation (SPF) engaged dozens of community workers to conduct a comprehensive survey of villages in the region. As a result of that effort, we have identified more than 2,000 children who are orphaned or vulnerable to becoming orphaned. We have gathered considerable information on each – all of whom are tracked through a centralized database.
As part of this project we are engaging relevant governmental agencies to register these children and obtain support grants that are available. The registration campaign began in earnest in 2010 and will continue until all the children have their proper birth certificates and receiving the support grants for which they qualify.
Under the OVC Action Program, we invite schools to become part of a Caring Schools Network (CASNET). CASNET is a program that educates schools on meeting the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. In addition, we are constantly exploring methods for further strengthening and engaging schools, and removing barriers to education these children face.
While the community workers conducted the survey in 2009, we discovered that the children most often said what they needed most was a safe place to stay after school. So in 2011, 25:40 and the Canzibe Mission launched an after school care program, where 60 orphans and vulnerable children in and around Canzibe come after school for a hot meal, help with homework, health monitoring, life skills and emotional and spiritual support.