Nthabisang Moreosele

Nthabisang Moreosele

Mama Angel swooped on Ikageng Itireleng Aids Ministry to cheer up the children affected by HIV-Aids. Lindi Obose, Sowetan's Mama Angel, donated food worth R5000.

Ikageng is a non-governmental organisation founded by Carol Dyanti in 2002. It was in response to the negative comments she received from the community after she adopted two Aids orphans.

Her work with the children expanded and she now looks after 1700 orphaned and vulnerable children. About 45percent of this number live in child-headed households and are cared for in their own homes.

"We prefer that the children remain in their homes rather than be uprooted to a new environment," Dyanti said,

"In this way, we avoid separating siblings as well as fostering the bond between them. We sometimes have to have volunteer care givers to concentrate on a particular family until the children can cope."

Some children live with their grandparents and depend on the pensioners' grant, which does not go far in meeting the family's basic needs.

There are others who care for their terminally-ill parents. These are supported by Ikageng's home-based care section which teaches the children how to care for the patients and for one another.

"Because of culture and tradition, and to spread the limited financial support as far as possible, we think this model serves as a starting point for providing real aid to Africa's orphans.

"Since 2006, more children are joining this group of orphaned and vulnerable children as the epidemic tightens its grip on society."