Child-care centre receives donation from Mama Angel
"I feel like flying with joy," was the response of Maria Manoto, the director of the Emthonjeni Child Care Centre, when Mama Angel donated toys for the children at the centre.
The educational toys handed over on Tuesday included building blocks, alphabet puzzles, drawing books, wall charts, art supplies and writing slates.
Papi Serathi, 4, and Karabo Mokoena, 4, who had accompanied their grandmothers to the centre, were round-eyed with wonder when they saw all the toys.
Manoto said: "The toys are simply wonderful and the children will have a lovely time playing with them. God has answered our prayers."
The centre, which was founded in 2003, provides meals and after-care for more than 4000 children and assists 164 child-headed households.
"We are funded by the departments of social development and health," Manoto said.
The centre counsels grandmothers who have to raise their grandchildren after their parents died as a result of HIV-Aids.
"The grannies used to come with their children to work on some of our projects. The numbers quickly grew until we had satellites at four sites in Zone 7, Evaton North, Sonderwater and Evaton West," said Manoto.
She said that Emthonjeni and other NGOs catered for about three-quarters of the orphaned children in the area and there was a need for further intervention.
The centre has a staff of 10 young volunteers who look after the children. In addition, a number of guests visit the centre to assist as counsellors.
Emthonjeni coordinator, Mojabeng Muoe, said: "The children come here every day for a meal, they do their homework.
"Afterwards, we have guest speakers on subjects such as life skills, career guidance, various sports and games, the arts and to give motivation.
"Most of the guest speakers have enrolled as pathfinders," she said.