Jan Buchanan, from Gympie (Queensland), lost her husband while holidaying in Thailand when the tsunami hit Phuket in 2004. She was saved and subsequently wanted to make a difference in the lives of others by word and deed. After teaching for 35 years and being university trained in Community Development and Counselling she was well fitted to launch the project in Avian Park, Worcester, South Africa to rescue young people.
Avian Park – a Tough Place
Our community development project works in the formerly disadvantaged suburb of Avian Park, situated 5 km outside Worcester and focuses on children aged 10 and above, as well as organizing effective parenting courses for their parents. Gangsterism, linked with drug addiction and theft, are major problems, so we are beginning to work with gangsters and addicts too.
What Jan Does
Our aims are to see vulnerable children’s lives transformed; to provide a safe, secure environment away from rape, abuse, trafficking, and gangsterism that are prevalent in the area; to train and mentor future leaders; to provide knowledge of the best design for families, in an area where single parenthood is the norm; to provide adequate nutrition and preventative health teaching, as our community suffers high rates of HIV and TB; and provide homework classes and recreational activities.
At present, we work out of a 3m by 9m wooden garden shed, behind a concrete block house we rent. We own 2 big blocks of land where we plan to build. In the future, we would like to offer skills training in basic carpentry, plumbing, cookery and crafts. We are raising money to enable us to erect a building where we can run our youth programmes, Micro-Business Startup and skills training. Local people are gradually being trained to staff and manage these programmes.
Do you want to help?
Jan is an essential part of “My Father’s House” and without her presence and input, the project would probably collapse. You can help her to stay on and keep the project benefiting the community by donating here.