Soaring with Indwe Learning Centers - South Africa

Do you remember the first time you learned what it meant to be an orphan? I do.  It was one of the awakening moments in my life where I realized that my life and opportunities were unique to me and it inspired me to think creatively how I could share those opportunities with children my age and fulfill some need that they had. When I encounter organizations like Indwe Learning Center it that process starts all over again.  The world is sometimes so big and overwhelming but it can be made better and more connected when we engage with the stories that flow from those far off lands from the people who bring them to us.  

A few of the children of Indwe pictured here and an image of the school

A few of the children of Indwe pictured here and an image of the school

Iris telling the guests at Marketplace Kitchen about the magic that happens at Indwe supported by founder, Susie Weekes Roeder Members of the board of directors of Indwe Learning Centers

Iris telling the guests at Marketplace Kitchen about the magic that happens at Indwe supported by founder, Susie Weekes Roeder

Members of the board of directors of Indwe Learning Centers

Indwe hosted a special event at the Marketplace Kitchen Table in Great Barrington, Massachusetts to share with the community about the school, raise awareness and funds for the mission.

Items depicted were handmade by students of Indwe Learning Center 

Items depicted were handmade by students of Indwe Learning Center 

The once bustling cafe atmosphere was transformed into an intimate gathering of old and new friends who lent their ears and their time to connect with the needs of some special children thousands of miles away.

The Marketplace Kitchen did a fantastic job catering the private event

The Marketplace Kitchen did a fantastic job catering the private event

Everyone enjoyed each hors d'oeuvre as it made rounds about the room. There was a pleasant hum of conversation and laughter throughout the evening. Charity doesn't have to be somber, you know? If you really think about it, giving to charity is an investment in the future of our world and that's cause to celebrate!

Clockwise: Information and a slideshow of Indwe Learning Center, Charlie (son of Susie Weekes Roeder) speaking with Iris (Center Principle), enjoying each other's company and the spread

Clockwise: Information and a slideshow of Indwe Learning Center, Charlie (son of Susie Weekes Roeder) speaking with Iris (Center Principle), enjoying each other's company and the spread

The zebra wine holder from South Africa is an example of putting the cheer in charity and the magical beet hors-d'oeuvre was a favorite with all

The zebra wine holder from South Africa is an example of putting the cheer in charity and the magical beet hors-d'oeuvre was a favorite with all

Living in the Berkshires is sometimes a bit like living in a treasure hunt where unless you find the clues, you pass by the treasure.  For the children in South Africa, the success of this event could have an enormous impact in their lives and yet one has to know that such an endeavor is being carried out to contribute.  

What you need to know:

The Mission: "To provide a model learning center offering a quality education, including academics, life skills and real world experiences, for orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa."

The Name: Indwe, the Zulu word for blue crane, is the national bird of South Africa. This revered bird symbolizes patience, independence, determination, resourcefulness and versatility. The Indwe is the only bird to soar with its neck outstretched, looking toward the vision that lies ahead.

The Need: As stated on the website of Indwe Learning Center: "Over 4 million orphans and vulnerable children have survived the AIDS pandemic in South Africa – and it’s where the need for help is most extraordinary...Education is the answer."

The Program: It is a Montessori style education aiming to bring education, empowerment and engagement to children. The school is hosted adjacent to the Mother of Peace Orphanage in  Illovo, South Africa. 

A stone crane grazes on the delicious spread at Marketplace Kitchen Table

A stone crane grazes on the delicious spread at Marketplace Kitchen Table

Learn more about the stories by reading the full article by local writer, Monica Bossinger, here. 

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All Photos by Avida Love Photography

The Marketplace Kitchen Table is a restaurant/cafe located in Great Barrington, MA. "The delicious food you’ve come to expect, in a family-friendly, fast, casual restaurant. Stop in for a treat, dinner or espresso."