Samaritans to the rescue

A RECENT Sowetan exposé has touched the hearts of Good Samaritans and made them come to the rescue of displaced local and foreign children in Limpopo.

A RECENT Sowetan exposé has touched the hearts of Good Samaritans and made them come to the rescue of displaced local and foreign children in Limpopo.

Scores of children at the Beulah Children's Centre in the northeastern outskirts of Polokwane are forced to travel more than 15km to school at Khaiso High in Seshego.

The children's hardship has been partly alleviated by the intervention of a concerned group of local women, businesspeople, a financial institution in Polokwane and the provincial department of education.

They have all come together to help the needy children.

The province's education department has undertaken to provide scholar transport for the pupils, effectively ending their gruelling walk to Seshego.

The group of Good Samaritans, led by Sophie Ledwaba of Seshego, has donated school uniforms, stationery, toiletries, dishes, cutlery, food parcels, beds and linen.

Ledwaba said she was touched by the state of affairs at the centre.

"It was painful to see children suffering like this," Ledwaba said. "But we are determined to make sure that they will receive all they need to encourage them to attend school.

"I want to thank everyone and the financial institution and businesses that contributed to this noble cause."

Johan Knell of Dial-a-Bed, which donated items to the value of R5000, said: "I was really touched when I first read the article in Sowetan. I had to do something to help these poor children."

The orphanage is notorious for the terrible stench coming from its dysfunctional drainage system. This health hazard is only a small part of a host of problems at the centre.

Since some of the children are Zimbabwean nationals with no South African identity documents, they are unable to access a range of social grants and food parcels.

Violet Molefe, a general worker at the centre, said overcrowding was also a major problem.

The centre is supposed to cater for only 40 children but currently houses 75, some of whom share beds while others sleep on the floor.

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