Philani, which means 'be healthy', can be found about 45 minutes bus ride from Cape Town and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront where the seven Volvo 70's are docked. Located in one of the newest and largest townships called Khayelitsha (meaning 'new home'), it is aimed at fighting malnutrition, treating infections and other medical problems as well as providing education.
Amongst the group that went from the Volvo Ocean Race were four crew members from TEAM ABN AMRO. Sidney GAVIGNET (FRA) and Justin SLATTERY (IRL) attended from the winning boat on leg one, ABN AMRO ONE, and George PEET (USA) and Luke MOLLOY (AUS) from the second placed boat ABN AMRO TWO.
Explaining why he felt it was important to go along MALLOY said, 'I really wanted to come on this trip as we did a race to the Congo earlier in the year and saw many of the children and the way they lived and it was quite an eye opener for me.
'It is amazing that you have the bustling city with the skyscrapers and the cars and then you just head a few miles out of town and there you are right in the middle of it.'
He also felt he could relate in some small way to the lucky break that the children had been given. 'With our selection process that we had on ABN AMRO TWO we were given a step up in our world and given an opportunity, and to see these kids receiving a step up in their world and a little bit of a helping hand is amazing.'
One of the successful tools that the Philani project uses is the 'Outreach Programme' which currently has 44 Outreach workers, each responsible for a respective area where they go from house to house, weighing and measuring the children and monitoring their development. There are also three coordinators who provide psychological support to help the Outreach worker with guidance in particularly difficult cases. The Outreach Programme
continues to expand and now covers not only Khayelitsha but also Crossroads, Brown's Farm, Mfuleni, Delft, KTC and Nyanga, which are all settlements, or shanty towns on the periphery of Cape Town.
Glenn BOURKE, Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race joined the trip to Philani and found it a humbling experience. 'World Childhood Foundation is affiliated with the Volvo Ocean Race and they support Philani and therefore there is a lot of relevance for this trip today,' he said. 'Although it is not until you actually come here that you realize what an
enormous job the foundation does and more specifically Philani which services half a million people within the townships and over 100 undernourished children as well as educating them and getting them back on the rails.'
Both the Volvo Ocean Race and World Childhood Foundation are global campaigns. The race visits nine countries around the world and the Foundation supports over 70 different projects in 15 countries. During the stopovers of the race there will be fundraising activity and in particular in New York where a large charity function will be held and attended by
Volvo and corporate guests. Philani will be well remembered in New York where a specially commissioned tapestry ordered by Bourke from Philani will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
BOURKE explained, 'Today we ordered a large tapestry in the Volvo Ocean Race colours which the women in Philani will make especially for us. It will incorporate the Philani logo and World Childhood Foundation and we hope that someone will put in a strong bid for it in New York. We will give the proceeds to World Childhood Foundation but we will also pay for it here at Philani so they also see a small benefit from it as well.'
For a complete list of all the news about the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 CLICK HERE.