The Zanokhanyo Children’s Safety Home in Makhaza received a donation of food and clothes from members of the South African Defence Force this week.
The home suffered a major blow last year when their facility was reduced to ashes in a fire believed to have been caused by an electrical fault (“Fire tears through Khaltsha orphanage”, Vukani November 22, 2018)
The home found itself having to beg households nearby to house their children and provide shelter.
This was a traumatic experience for the volunteers of the home. Zanokhanyo director, Nolubabalo Ndita, said the centre was solely dependent on the donations to cover operational costs.
Ms Ndita said it was extremely difficult to run the centre and at times she feared that the children would go to bed without having food.
An emotional, Ms Ndita said when the home was engulfed by fire, a resident had offered them a place to stay.
While space was limited, it provided them with temporary relief.
She said donations were coming in bit by bit, but she appreciated everything that they received.
She praised the army for their continuous support of the home and urged them to continue making a difference.
Ms Ndita said the biggest dream she has was to see their home being rebuilt so that they could be able to continue their services. They are currently housed in a bungalow which has six rooms including a kitchen.
Ms Ndita said the home was established in 2010 and had grown over the years. They now look after 22 children.
“For the coming weeks we at least know that the children will have something to eat.
“The army has been our key supporter for over five years now. We are volunteers here; we don’t get paid but we have dedicated our lives because we want to make a difference.
“We want these children not to feel different from other kids. “We want them to feel loved and appreciated.
“We want to provide a platform for them to flourish and be something in life,” she said.
Sergeant Steve Ngcobo said through the donation they wanted to create a better relationship between the community and military.
He said the goods they donated had been paid for by the members themselves and not by the army.
“We at least want to see one child succeed in life. We are here because we chose to serve the country. We want to be counted among the people who made a difference ,” he said.