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Doing much with so little

By unknown | Jul 03, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

With a growing population of children comes a need for more resources and that's the problem facing the Hope Orphanage Shelter in Daveyton, Ekhuruleni.

When Sowetan visited the shelter earlier this year, Nkosingiphile Buthelezi and her husband Daniel Mabuza were looking after 85 children.

Owing to another nearby shelter closing down, the number at the shelter grew to nearly 100. They get little help from the local authorities.

"It has become really tough," Buthelezi says. "We are still waiting for the social services department to assist us. At present we rely more and more on the public for donations."

This husband and wife team, who opened the shelter in March 2007, have sacrificed the normal home life they might have had for their community.

Their humble two-bedroom home is open to those in need. During school holidays there is a constant stream of children knocking at their door from as early as 6am.

They spend the day with two teachers who help them with school work and ensure that the children go home after having had a nutritious meal.

"The children are safe here and we follow a strict timetable," Buthelezi says. "Lessons start at 8am and at lunch time we have a break for a meal and then the children have a nap.

"At 2pm it is bath time and then it is a case of making sure the children are ready when their parents or guardians come to pick them up."

With the cold weather having set in, the blankets that Mama Angel donated earlier this year come in handy.

"Two or three children share a blanket when it is time for their afternoon nap," Buthelezi says. "We are really grateful." Long-term plans for the couple include getting a site to build suitable quarters for the children.

"Right now we desperately need clothes, shoes and groceries," Buthelezi says.


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