Kids’ home celebrates early Christmas

Heidi Edson from GrandWest Casino plays with some of the children at Baphumelele.

Christmas came early for the Baphumelele Orphanage, in Site B, Khayelitsha, when a casino threw a Christmas party for the children on Thursday December 7.

Social Development MEC Albert Fritz joined the fun, handing out Christmas gifts and groceries, while the angelic voices of the children had everyone on their feet.

Established in 1989, Baphumelele provides temporary shelter to orphaned, abandoned, abused or neglected children.

This community-based project also cares for HIV-positive adults, while providing skills development for the unemployed through a bakery, a sewing initiative and a soup kitchen.

About 70 children, between three and 13 years old, enjoyed the party last week.

Bukhosi Mpalweni, human resource manager at Baphumelele, said they were grateful to have companies visiting them and entertaining their children.

“We appreciate the gesture, the love and caring of everyone who remembers us all the time. We are truly grateful and we extended our gratitude to all those who come here to entertain our children,” he said.

The young souls had a day full of fun.

Heidi Edson, the socio- economic development manager at GrandWest casino, said the aim of the party was to keep children entertained.

“We organise this party every year in an attempt to give children a happy, memorable day that is all about them,” she said.

Ms Edson said they also provided 40 hampers to children between the ages of 14 and 18. The kids were treated to a magic show, jumping castle, face painting and a balloon artist. “The children really enjoyed the day. It makes us so happy to be able to give something back to the community,” said Ms Edson.

Spokesman for Mr Fritz, Sihle Ngobese said his department would continue to encourage the private sector and other big corporates to donate and partner with registered NGOs, especially those rendering services to children and other vulnerable groups.

The facility is funded by the department to render critical Child and Youth Care (CYCC) services in Khayelitsha. “The CYCCs are a critical part of our child protection infrastructure in the province and have been allocated R98.2 million this financial year,” said Mr Ngobese.