Little Monkeys trek for South African orphans

A welcoming party greeted Rachel, Roseanne and Kelly when they arrived at Little Monkeys Nursery and Preschool SUS-150921-121426001

A welcoming party greeted Rachel, Roseanne and Kelly when they arrived at Little Monkeys Nursery and Preschool SUS-150921-121426001

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Self-confessed non-walker and nursery manager Rachel Tregear and her team at Little Monkeys Nursery and Preschool in Horsham, West Sussex beat the clock and broke through the pain barrier to raise money for a purpose-built crèche for orphans in South Africa on 2nd September.

The 30-mile epic trek across the county helped take money raised by the families and friends of Little Monkeys to £5,000.

Their progress was followed by hundreds of Little Monkeys parents and friends on the nursery’s Facebook page where every stumble, blister alert and plaster stop was eased by words of support and donations to their cause.

Rachel said that the support they received spurred the trio on through the toughest parts of their journey and helped them to make it back to the nursery at 5.15pm.

“Roseanne Kelly and myself cannot thank them all enough for their well wishes and your encouraging comments along with all their support on the fundraising side,” said Rachel. “We really felt they were all behind us and it certainly spurred us on when we felt like we couldn’t continue. I can assure you though we will NEVER be doing it again.”

Many children born in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa have lost their parents to the AIDS epidemic and are being raised by elderly members of the local community or their older siblings. Working alongside the West Sussex-based charity the Coco’s Foundation, the families of Little Monkeys have contributed to a range of fundraising activities including a Xmas Jumper Day, Sponsored Walks, a curry night and the designing of special Mother’s Day Hearts.

“We strive to make a difference to children’s lives here in the UK each day and this way we are given the most amazing opportunity to make a difference to children who can only dream of the things we have,” said Rachel.

Work on the crèche began in June and will provide a safe and secure environment for young children while their older relatives work or attend school. The construction of the crèche will be overseen by the team at Coco’s Foundation, a charity that has already built new homes for families in the KwaZulu Natal as well as provided 500,000 meals to children in the region.

“Raising the money we needed for this project would not have been possible without the hard work and generosity of the families at Little Monkeys,” said Little Monkeys’ managing director Stephen White. “This means we can start the construction of our special crèche for the orphaned children of the KwaZulu Natal region in South Africa. These are young lives devastated by the AIDS epidemic and it is fantastic that we are going to be able to give them a better start in the World.”

The crèche is the first stage of what Little Monkeys aims to achieve in the KwaZulu Natal region and the Nursery and Pre-School will now work on the resources needed for the crèche. It also hopes the children in Horsham can get a greater understanding of life in South Africa as well as make some new friends. Two scrapbooks were sent on the team at Coco’s Foundation’s latest visit to South Africa for their new friends to fill out before the children at Little Monkeys send their own in October.

Report and picture contributed by Little Monkeys Day Nursery and Preschool.