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The Terry Bear Totos Project (formerly the Terry Hope Centre) has managed to struggle on in a very much smaller capacity since the disaster of several years ago, when our Centre was bulldozed to the ground because the land we had been loaned was sold for commercial development.
Then we fed 75 children daily and assisted others with funds to go to school. Now, sadly, we are greatly reduced in number, many of the children have gone up country to live with family members and are, in fact, leading a better life out of the slums. Although we were devastated not to be able to continue with our feeding programme and for the Centre to be available to 75 children who used to come and eat, play and learn in a safe environment, we have not given up. Through the sponsorship of friends together with the small income earned from knitting and selling of our Terry Bears and various other items and the gaily coloured animals, birds and patchwork items we make, we are currently able to send 11 children to good schools, (3 at Boarding School) and 2 boys to Technical College, where they are receiving a good education, are safe and are well cared for, clothed and all necessary items like books, uniforms etc are purchased for them.
The Mamas who sew the animals and help with the knitting of the Terry Bears, also receive sufficient funds to help them pay their rent and buy food. One of them was recently evicted from the dreadful dwelling in which she and her children lived, as she was unable to pay the rent. Fortunately this came to my attention and I was able to help her. Now she is sewing away, and she is the top animal maker. I have supplied her with two sewing machines and her cousin is also helping. Every purchase made goes towards helping these women and buying school necessities, text books etc for the children.