Through Annual Fundraisers, North Carolina Citizens Provide a Future and a Hope - Through Free Schooling - to South African AIDS Orphans Half a World Away

DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mukhanyo Christian Academy (MCA), a free private school for South African AIDS orphans and vulnerable children, owes its start to the generosity of North Carolina and other U.S. donors who provided enough support to launch the school with two grades of students in January 2010. Now volunteers are hoping for a repeat performance, at fundraisers to be held Friday, October 22, 2010, through Monday, October 25, 2010, in private homes and other venues in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham, North Carolina. Funds from the four weekend events, which are open to the public, will be used to expand the school to a K-2 operation and begin a capital campaign to build a permanent facility.

Many U.S. citizens are moved by the plight of South Africa, where 1.4 million children have been orphaned by AIDS, 43 percent of the nation's citizens live below the poverty level, and 40 percent of the school-age youth still lack access to free education, according to the Christian Science Monitor and South African Government Website. Some 16 years after apartheid, its legacy still lingers, as South Africa's black students are six times more likely than whites to repeat a grade and only 14 percent possess high school diplomas, state media sources AllAfrica.com and the Huffington Post. Even the lucky few who do graduate likely won't qualify for college. An NPR article on the state of South African education found that 83 percent of all high school graduates can't qualify for college, due to their inferior public school education.

Mukhanyo Christian Academy is uniquely designed to address the societal ills posed by hunger, poverty, AIDS, and an education system Newsweek recently ranked as the fourth worst in the world. The school offers AIDS orphans and other at-risk children free schooling, two daily meals, and healthcare. Children learn core subjects in English beginning in kindergarten, preparing them for the all-English curriculum that is used throughout the country in Grade 4 and is thought by educators to be a key reason so many students, plagued by illiteracy, drop out after Grade 9, when compulsory education ends. MCA's pupils are taught by a South African headmistress and a U.S. teacher using Charlotte Mason teaching methods and a curriculum that has been localized to meet their needs. The daily feeding program ensures that children, who may not eat at home, are ready and able to learn, while field trips open their eyes to the world outside their village. Dr. Flip Buys, the school's founder, and Isaac Maleke, the South African parent of an MCA student, will present at the events and speak on the moral and social crisis presented by the lost children of South Africa at the 11 AM services of Church of the Good Shepherd and Faith Community Church in Durham, North Carolina, on Sunday, October 24th.

To receive an invitation to one of the four fundraisers – Friday, October 22nd (Raleigh), Saturday, October 23rd (Chapel Hill), Sunday, October 24th (Durham), and Monday, October 25th (Durham) – please call or e-mail the media contacts listed below. Donations to the school, which are tax-deductible, may be mailed to Friends of Mukhanyo, c/o Keith T. Brown, 129 Timberhill Place, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-1586.

About Mukhanyo Christian Academy

Mukhanyo Christian Academy (MCA) is a free, private, faith-based school for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children located in rural Mpumalanga, South Africa, an hour northeast of Pretoria. The school is a joint venture between South African and American educators and volunteers, who seek to provide South Africa's neediest children with the first-class education, Christian training, and social services they would likely otherwise never receive in the overburdened, under-resourced South African public education system. The school serves children who have experienced firsthand the devastating effect of the AIDS crisis, including the loss of one or both parents, daily struggles with hunger, and grueling poverty. For more information, please visit http://mcasa.net.

SOURCE Mukhanyo Christian Academy



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