Members of the JL Zwane Presbyterian Church’s Masiphathisane Women’s Group descended on the premises of the God’s Grace Orphanage in Langa on Sunday, bearing much-needed gifts in the form of groceries.
The women, mostly from Gugulethu, said they have heard “through the grapevine” about the plight of the home.
The group’s deputy leader, Nomthathi Gxasheka, said when they heard about “the massive struggle that the orphanage faces” they decided to do something about it. “When we got here we were shocked to see their condition and we are going to do more for them in the future,” said Ms Gxasheka.
The orphanage is not officially registered and was founded by Nomute Futshane after she discovered that some of the children involved in the Vuka Nomtobhoyi Dance and Cultural group she was running would sleep on the streets when it became dark. Currently it houses 12 homeless children and during the weekend the number rises to 25 or more.
Ms Futshane said she was busy with having the children registered with the Department of Social Development but was hampered by bureaucratic red tape since most of these children do not have proper identification. “Some of them are not registered at Home Affairs because their parents don’t care or have left them in someone’s care,” said Ms Futshane.
She thanked the women’s group for bringing the much-needed groceries. “My prayers were answered because we don’t have enough food here, the only grant I get is for two children whose registration papers are in order,” she said.
Sheila Zide, who was part of the visiting group, also appealed to members of the community to help the orphanage.
“The leader of the centre is working to ensure that these children are guaranteed safety,” she said.
Phindiswa Ngcauzele said they will continue helping the centre and others in similar situations. “Every year we choose projects that we can help and certainly this one will be on our radar,” she said.
One of the children living at the orphanage, Precious Sithole, who was not there during the visit sent this writer a touching message via WhatsApp upon arriving to find their cupboards and the fridge filled. “My name
is Precious the first daughter from the orphanage in Langa. We heard you were here with mothers from Gugulethu. We were (performing) in Camps Bay not knowing what we would eat, but due to you we had food on the night.”