27 Khayelitsha orphans get a new home
On Wednesday, 12 October, Vuyo Mahlati, chairperson of the South African Post Office, handed over the newly renovated and refurbished building to the Zanokhanyo Children’s Home in Khayelitsha.
Since the successful 2010 chairperson’s golf day and gala dinner, the South African Post Office has been focusing its efforts on ensuring that the funds raised have been delivering results and making a difference at the Zanokhanyo Children’s Home.
Zanokhanyo is home to 27 orphan children all between the ages of 2 and 20, many of whom are HIV-positive or have severe learning disabilities. The home is run by Nolubabalo Ndithas, a community caregiver and local mother whose primary focus is to look after and provide for these children. In 2007, the Zanokhanyo Children’s Home suffered a devastating fire, and as a result it was left under-equipped and the building infrastructure a fraction of what it needed to be to house the children.
Currently the home receives no funding from authorities and many of the children’s birth certificates were destroyed in the fire making it impossible for the orphanage to apply for grants. In 2010, the South African Post Office adopted the project with the vision of revamping the home, renovating and extending the building and providing facilities for the children.
Part of the refurbishment of the home includes an education centre with a computer room and library facilities, a dining room which will also be used as a homework room, new ablution facilities, new living quarters, a patio and a lounge. The new 100m² structure now joins the existing 126m² building that these orphans can now call home.
“It is part of the South African Post Office’s mandate to enrich communities with sustainable projects that enhance society and make a positive impact on the standard of living. It was heart-wrenching to see the poor standard of living of these children,” said Mahlati.
“The success of this project would not have been possible without the instrumental support of our partners and sponsors,” she added.
Since the adoption of this project the South African Post Office has had a vested interest in this community initiative and has been donating food, beds, a jungle gym and miscellaneous items to the home over the last year. They also encouraged their employees to spend Mandela Day at the shelter, just helping out. The board members have volunteered their time, cleaning the premises and reading to the children.
“Now each child can have their own beds, they no longer need to eat outside on the floor or do their homework in their dark rooms. The Post Office has given us a real home,” said Nolubabalo Ndithas, Zanokhanyo caregiver.
The generous sponsors who assisted the South African Post Office build the home include: Sisonke Printers, Oasis, Time Quantum, Inyathelo, Sizwe Ntsaluba, Dimension Data, Kunene Bros and Gobodo.
The South African Post Office will host their 2011 chairpersons golf day in KZN this year and funds raised will be used to initiate a similar project in the region.