Winston Churchill said: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” We at PPO have taken this philosophy to heart and are incorporating it into our brand DNA. Our team is so enthusiastic about giving back, and we had the perfect opportunity to show how much we care in April – the month of Easter and chocolate eggs – by dishing out hugs and treats to the beautiful children of the Phehella Day and Night Care Centre in Silverton, Pretoria.
The Phehella Care Centre is a safe house that takes care of AIDS orphans, as well as abandoned, neglected and abused children from the surrounding community. The Care Centre gives them an education and assists in the development of their skills. Phehella, which is headed by Tshwane Woman of the Year 2006, Grace Maloka, is home to 42 children aged between seven weeks and 12 years.
We arrived at their front door, heavily laden with baskets of eggs, and were welcomed with open arms and toothy grins. We made our way to their communal area, where they ushered us to little plastic seats, so we could begin the delicious prize giving.
After introductions were made, and the eggs distributed, we were taken on a tour of the spick-and-span house. Guided by the motherly care givers, we meandered through the endless maize of bedrooms, crammed with beds and cots, and shelves bursting with donated books and magazines. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, with the children seeming at home and at peace.
One of the centre’s inhabitants, John, was celebrating his birthday, which gave us an opportunity to lead the group in song. The “happy birthday” chorus was belted out by all, off-key, but in unison. The morning ended with a giggly group photo filled with little chocolate-covered faces.
We plan on visiting them often in the future, as they have left a lasting impression on us. The PPO team wants to be there for them with hugs and words of encouragement, as we care and enjoy giving back. Success is the sum of small efforts made day in and day out; investing in tomorrow’s adults today means our country’s future will be that much brighter.