Ikusasa makes life easier
Mama Angel has had the honour of meeting several dedicated young men and women who work hard to uplift their communities.
Ikusasa Lethu Youth Project is run by a group of young volunteers under the direction of the founder, Joey Monane, and social worker Makhosonke Dlamini.
The container and tent centre is in Freedom Park, Devland, just off the Golden Highway and next to Eldorado Park.
Ikusasa was orginally a peer counselling group which then expanded into home-based care. The volunteers visit HIV-Aids patients to clean, feed and bathe them. They also offer bereavement counselling for those left behind, create job opportunities for the afflicted, and act as a referral point to government services.
"The youth centre began when we realised that many children did not have adequate uniforms, which we then helped to source," said Monane.
"We offer breakfast as early as 6am because some of the children have to walk as far as Pimville to attend school.
"They come back after school for a full meal that includes vegetables. They get bread to take home but most of them eat it on their way home. They are afraid that the adults will take the food away from them," Monane said.
Freedom Park is a mix of RDP houses and shacks. Most of the adults are unemployed and live on piece jobs.
The mothers are usually found at the Eldorado Park rubbish dump searching for food and discarded clothes.
There is a lot of sickness in the area, which is also very dusty and depressing.
Mama Angel arrived with educational toys and other goodies for the children. There are no amenities in Freedom Park and the toys will be used over weekends to entertain the children.
"We offer a free after-care service. Our volunteers help the children with their homework. We have 495 children and 71 volunteers who also look after 134 HIV-Aids patients during the day.
"We hope that one day we will have a proper building, instead of the tent and containers. These are very uncomfortable in Freedom Park's sweltering weather.
"We thank Sowetan and its readers for responding to our plea and hope that you will continue to look after our community," Monane added.