In 2012, my sister and I started Stix Together, a charitable organization that brings access to care, donates clothing, school supplies and lacrosse equipment to underprivileged youth. With a trip scheduled to South Africa in December 2014, including spending a day at Baphumelele Orphanage in Khayelitsha, we were looking for additional ways to help. We contacted the Henry Schein Cares Foundation which generously donated enough dental supplies to treat 72 children.
Khayelitsha, near Cape Town, is the second largest township in South Africa and has close to 1.5 million residents. The HIV/AIDS infection rate is suspected to be at 40% and unemployment is a huge problem.
Baphumelele Orphanage was founded by Rosie Mashale who moved to Khayelitsha in 1989 from the Eastern Cape. She consistently saw young children left alone playing in the streets while their parents were away at work. Together a group of women in the community began caring for the young children. After the first week they were caring for 36 children. The name given to the project is “Baphumelele,” a Xhosa word meaning “progress.” Today, Baphumelele orphanage provides a home for over 100 children, day-care for over 300 children, a soup kitchen and hospice for AIDS patients.
As a result of the generous donation made by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, the children at the Baphumelele orphanage have a vast supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and fluoride treatment. Thank you to the Henry Schein Cares Foundation for “Helping Health Happen.”