As Youth Day was celebrated around the country last week, Baphumelele Children’s Home in Z Section, Site B did their bit to entertain and educate their charges about the day.
Social worker Nonkululeko Lolwana commended the speakers at the event for not only coming to speak to the youngsters but also makind donations to the home, and thereby improving their lives.
“We are here to encourage them to take education seriously. They are also showing us their talent but we want them to fuse that with education. They should know why we have such a day because of yesteryear’s youth.
“But the dynamics might not be the same. Today there is a cry of youth unemployment and crimes. But we say to them they should keep on dreaming,” she told Vukani.
Ms Lolwana said June 16 should be an opportunity for all to reflect on the progress that has been made in recent decades and the current state of our country.
“This is the day that should make us all look back. The road travelled was not easy but here we are today celebrating the road,” she said.
“But there should be introspection of what we have achieved and not achieved. For young people, it should be an encouraging moment, and they should take one or two things from the yesteryear generation,” she said.
Among those who contributed to the Youth Day celebration were Bophara, a women’s organisation started by Olwethu Nombembe; Pastor Pamela Sachiwe who was the main speaker; and Kelly Gwenambira of the Anokosha youth organisation.
In her address to the youngsters, Ms Sachiwe spoke about the treatment she received when she first came to the country from Zimbabwe and the language barriers she battled with.
She, however, encouraged young people to never give up on their dreams and to focus on their education. “Education is very important. We also have to be patient and learn. Today I am a pastor, something that some never thought I would be. The future is yours,” she said.
Baphumelele, which means, “you have progressed”, this year also celebrates its 32th anniversary.
The centre, which was started by founder and managing director Rosie Mashale, a trained primary school teacher, has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, and currently accommodates hundreds of abandoned and vulnerable children and adults.
Fondly known by many as Mama Rosie, Ms Mashale was disturbed to see young children going through the rubbish dump in search for food while their parents were away during the day, either at work or in search of work.
She responded by taking children into her home, and together with a group of women from the community, began looking after these unsupervised children. After the first week, they were looking after 36 children.
In addition to the Children’s Home and Educare Centre, Baphumelele has expanded to include the Adult Respite Care Centre, Child Respite Centre, Hospice in the Home, Child Headed Households, Fountain of Hope, and Rosie’s Bakery and Sewing Project.