In 2003 after our beloved mother Savathree Singh was involved in a terrible car accident, we decided to purchase the land next to our mother's house of 111 Belmont Road, Durban, South Africa. This consisted of a big beautiful parcel of land with luscious greenery as a garden for her to recuperate in. But, her philosophy of always giving back led to the discussion of opening a senior center, which is greatly lacking for the elderly in Durban, South Africa. Our seniors, both male and female, consist of simple and hard working individuals many of whom are retired and have no place to go. Many of them posses fantastic trade and other formal educational skills and have no place to go or to occupy themselves during the day. This center will house both male and female seniors who will live in a simple communal type setting and have access to different activities to occupy their day.
Less than one mile away is located one of the huge informal settlements for Blacks in Sim Place, Effingham Heights, and consists of hundreds of children. These children have no place to go after school and some do not go to school at all. We believe that a combination of these children interacting with the seniors in the afternoons and weekends, learning simple life lessons and skills, will greatly benefit both. The children will be provided with academic tutoring, life skills lessons like sewing, carpentry etc.. The seniors will have a purpose in imparting their knowledge and skills to these hungry minded children. These children will have the opportunity to learn from these individuals of great formal and informal knowledge and also nourish the seniors with their youth. This combination of Seniors and Children will greatly benefit both. Besides providing care and shelter for these seniors, we will also provide one free hot meal to the children at the end of each days' lesson. Individuals have already expressed fantastic interest and support for such an undertaking.
This idea was born from discussions with our mother and blossomed into this concept of combining seniors and children together. For many years, we have taken toys and clothing from California and , with the help of the South African Police, gone into these Informal Settlements and handed out these items. In was then we recognized the need in helping them. We are currently working with the authorities in obtaining permits to allow shipping items on a large scale to South Africa.
Unfortunately the dream of opening this center could not be realized before our mothers death on March 21st, 2008 but she gave her Blessings to this project. This huge undertaking necessitated an even larger area to which our mother had graciously donated her home and land, in 111 Belmont Rd. next to this current piece of land . In her memory, we have decided to call it Belmont Community Center. These two areas of land combined will be sufficient to open a large communal senior living quarters with facilities to teach the children. We have personally funded this project from this concept to our current planning stages.
Virandra Singh, together with his siblings, Suresh, Raj, and Sunitha, as well as their families, who live in Santa Barbara California, USA, have funded this project from the small businesses they currently have. The purchase and current excavation of the property in 109 Belmont Rd. Red Hill , Durban South Africa has come from funding from these stores. Any support given to these stores is translated into more funding for this project. We hope and pray that this dream will be accomplished from the support of individuals like yourself.
We welcome any suggestions, ideas, and support of any kind to help achieve this. We hope and pray that not only will this be realized soon, but will pave the way for more of these kinds of centers to be opened throughout South Africa and in other countries. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Peace and Love to All
Our goal is to provide a safe and healthy environment where the community can prosper. A place where the elderly can live and help teach and nurture the youth with valuable life lessons and skills. A place where every child can come to for safety, shelter, food and education. A place where together we can create a beautiful future.