Monday the 20th of December couldn’t come quick enough for the children at HOKISA, a small children’s home located in the Cape Town township of Masiphumelele. The Cape Point Partnership, who own and manage the tourist facilities at Cape Point, was hosting a Christmas party in their honour.
With mounting excitement the 18 children, between the ages of 3 and 17, travelled to Cape Point for what would proof a unique experience. The blustery day started with a ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular, which is an effortless way to reach the look-out points and top lighthouse at Cape Point. It was re-launched in June 2010 with upgraded safety and environmentally-friendly features with bigger windows that allow for better views. For many of the children this was the first time at Cape Point and they were in awe of the sheer cliffs and the crashing waves below.
A glittering white Christmas tree, a delicious meal and a pile of presents greeted the HOKISA children when they entered the Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point. The 340-seater restaurant perched high on a cliff has magnificent views of False Bay but the kids only had eyes for what was under the Christmas tree. Face-painting created a brief distraction, and they yelped with excitement when Mother Christmas finally appeared to hand out the presents, in exchange for grateful hugs. Other patrons of the restaurant got caught up in the children’s excitement and were clearly moved when the talented restaurant choir serenaded the group, a capella style. A fitting end to a day dedicated to creating a very special experience for the HOKISA children and childcare workers.
HOKISA, cares for children infected with or affected by HIV and AIDS who cannot be looked after by their family. While at HOKISA, children receive educational, nutritional and medical care as well as counselling where possible. Regular holidays and outings are arranged and children are encouraged to participate in sports, art and cultural activities. All childcare workers are residents from the surrounding community and have been given the opportunity to grow and develop their skills. HOKISA also plays a role in educating the community and promoting a culture of openness towards HIV/AIDS, reducing the stigma associated with the disease.
Cape Point, a spectacular finger of land jutting out into the ocean with sheer cliffs and vast fynbos-covered plains, is home to 1200 species of indigenous plants and various mammals including the red lynx, many antelope including the rare Bontebok, ostriches and zebras. Visitors can enjoy swimming, diving, angling, hiking, surfing and bird-watching. The area is also the final resting place of the hundreds of ships that have been wrecked on the treacherous coast since the Cape was colonised in the 1650s – many of which can still be seen today.
By Marinda B. Ramalheiro