When their father abandoned them soon after the death of their mother, poverty, fear and despair became a daily experience for the six Sekhobane children.
The children - Maria, 24, Siphora, 18, Johannes, 16, Annah, 15, Makgoshi, 9, and Goitsemang, 5, - were left to fend for themselves at Sekhurunyane village near Lephalale in Limpopo.
The children's mother, Alex, died in 2002 after a short illness.
After that the eldest child, Maria, became head of the family.
She had to drop out of school to ensure there was bread on the table for the family.
The house in which they lived was dilapidated and dangerous.
But all that changed yesterday when the department of local government and South African Broadcasting Corporation gave them a new furnished house.
Accepting the house Maria said: "Today marks the beginning of a better life and brighter future for us."
Speaking during the handing over of the house, MEC Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in commitment to addressing the needs of the most vulnerable members in the society the department, in partnership with the SABC and guided guided by the Freedom Charter, came to the rescue of the Sekhobane family.