International Mandela Day
Othandweni Children’s Home gets some tender loving care
To mark what would have been the 100th birthday of the late former president, Nelson Mandela, who will always be remembered for his great love of children, volunteers from WITS Commercial Enterprise (WCE) visited Othandweni Children’s Home on International Mandela Day to spread hope, love and cheer.
The entire team of WCE’s staff swooped into the home to clean up, tend to the garden and prepare a hearty lunch for the children. There were plenty of smiles and giggles from the children as the volunteers spent time cuddling and playing games with them.
They came laden with over R20 000 worth of much needed necessities such as baby formula, nappies, toiletries and maize meal, sponsored by WCE. In addition, WCE staff had, of their own accord and in the generous spirit of Madiba, collected clothing, toys, books and blankets to donate to the home.
Othandweni Children’s Home, located in the Moroka township of Soweto, was established in 1984 and cares for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. The children range from birth to 18 years of age, with as many as 90 of the children currently in the care of the home.
Othandweni, which means “Place of Love”, acts as a place of safety for children until suitable families have been found, either by the Adoptions or Foster Care Departments. While they wait, these children depend on the home for love, warmth, nourishment and shelter.
Those children who cannot be immediately placed stay at Othandweni for as long as is necessary. There is a great need for facilities such as Othandweni as incidences of child abandonment, abuse and neglect are increasing. The numbers of AIDS orphans and HIV+ children needing shelter and special care are also growing.
Othandweni Children’s Home relies heavily on donations and sponsorships from private individuals and local businesses in order to continue operating. Food and clothing for the children is always the biggest need, while operating costs such as water and electricity also mount.
“We are heartened by the passion and commitment of the team at Othandweni Children’s Home to care for abandoned and neglected children in our community. To commemorate Madiba’s birthday, we wanted to spread some hope and smiles, as well as alleviate some of the burden the home faces in continuing their invaluable service. Food, clothing and basic necessities are constant needs. We are pleased that we were able to make a contribution towards addressing these needs,” says Duncan Raftesath, CEO at WCE.