Today, we traveled nearly an hour outside of Johannesburg to the historic township of Munsieville. There we met children whose lives will be forever changed through the influence of a health initiative called The ThoughtfulPath.
The Thoughtful Path is an ambitious program undertaken by our colleagues at Project HOPE United Kingdom. Its purpose is to bring long-term health and well-being improvements to orphans and vulnerable children in the community.
During the fight against Apartheid, many of the courageous and heroic men and women who fought against racism and for their country's civil freedoms found safe haven from their oppressors in Munsieville. Now, the children of Munsieville find safety from violence, abuse, disease and extreme poverty through the people and programs of The Thoughtful Path.
As for heroes, they still reside in Munsieville. I witnessed the compassion and dedication of a handful of nurses at the Dr. Martinez Ramirez Clinic who care for more than 300 patients, most of them children, six days a week. I saw the influence of HOPE-trained daycare workers who provide a nurturing and healthy environment to stimulate the development of the children in their charge. I heard the enthusiasm in the voices of the community leaders as they described what this program means to the future of Munsieville.
Nobel Prize winner and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, whose hometown is Munsieville, has described The Thoughtful Path as "an important and impressive initiative." After seeing the healthy smiles on the faces of countless children, I couldn't agree more!
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