Not the SAME Sustainability

The beautiful children of Keholani Village outside of Pretoria, South Africa greet each day’s sunrise with a significant set of challenges. Most of the orphans of Keholani live with the unrelenting struggles including illness, severe poverty, dehydration and malnutrition. They are quick to hold your hand or reach for a hug and will gladly share their large smiles with any new visitor.

SAME (South African Medical Expedition) was founded in 2004 with the intention of giving small villages in rural South Africa a sense of hope and a better way of life. Through growing relationships with third-party individuals as well as their cooperative efforts with local South African providers, SAME provides health care, food, HIV testing and treatment to orphans and vulnerable children.

SAME is unparalleled with their relief efforts in South Africa, acting as a liaison that connects other nonprofit organizations to other rural areas of South Africa. SAME connects people by providing opportunities for those who want to help rebuild communities with physical and financial support.

They use their funds to provide for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children of South Africa. Their most recent project brings clean water to the area through SAME’s partnership with a Holland, MI nonprofit, Aqua Clara. Together, they build sustainable and environmental-friendly water purification systems that provide clear water for an entire family for seven years.

The local Holland company partners with many Michigan-born charities to provide clean water around the world. Clean water is a non-renewable resource that sustains life and cultivates growth around the world, yet it is scarce. In developing countries, like parts of South Africa, have the daily struggle of finding a resource that many take for granted. South Africa also has high numbers in terms of HIV infections, one of the highest in the world. An estimated 5.6 million people live with HIV or AIDS in the country. SAME is helping to make these staggering numbers shrink through education and treatment. SAME builds HIV testing a treatment centers throughout the Limpopo region of South Africa.

With the lack of clean water, nutrition and medical resources, a South African child has a small survival rate but SAME brings hope for a new day. These preventable diseases and deaths bring challenges to the caregivers and leaders of SAME who strive to make an impact on future generations of the rural villagers of South Africa.