Mama fulfills charity dreams

TODAY marks Mama Ange's fourth year as part of Sowetan's corporate social responsibility programme.

TODAY marks Mama Ange's fourth year as part of Sowetan's corporate social responsibility programme.

The project has helped countless NGOs faced with a cash crisis, food shortage or lack of resources that threatened to derail their work.

Mama Angel has helped individuals who do not fit into the profiles set by the Department of Social Development and Welfare.

We have buried indigent people, strangers without families and parents who left little children as their only relatives.

We have tried to give back a little dignity to the elderly, providing a little joy at Christmas, on their trips out of town, and feeding and clothing them.

Mama Angel coordinator Lindi Obose says the interaction with the community has taught her humility.

"Seeing the faces of the little ones light up when they see me with toys, clothes and food is priceless," she says.

"I never imagined that the work would be so fulfilling. The joy I share with the people I meet has made me determined to carry on with this valuable initiative.

"I have realised how lucky I am with the little that I have. Many people do not have anything at all - no food, no shelter and, worst of all, no hope."

Mama Angel has had requests from all over southern Africa and all four corners of our country. While the money disbursed to the needy is not much, the publicity the Sowetan gives to the projects has resulted in big companies coming on board.

"We have had companies offering to build proper facilities for crèches and old age homes and also adopting centres that cater for the community.

"The response has been amazing," Obose says.

She says the one niggling factor is the perception that Mama Angel is only for people in Johannesburg.

"We go everywhere we are invited. Anyone can apply"

One of our regular clients, Marjorie Manganye, director and founder of Itlhokomeleng Care of the Aged in Alexandra, describes Mama Angel as a "year-round Angel".

"Mama Angel supports you the whole year round, not just in December during the festive season," she says.

"They bring blankets and slippers in winter, food, counselling and pampering for people who carry the load of community work in the off-season."