Ithemba Labantwana, which means “Hope for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children” uses a family-based-care model to support orphaned and vulnerable children in Alexandra. This project has two streams. Firstly, the Ithemba Labantwana project which focuses on children living in the community. Secondly, our foster family that cares for children who were abandoned, while at the same time working on re-uniting them with family members.
While tragedy is the common thread that binds the 30 families together that are part of the programme; the primary goal is to restore hope and dignity by working with the families in the community. Most children have experienced the loss of one or both parents, some have also experienced abandonment, abuse or neglect. All the children involved in the programme live in Alexandra where they are looked after by family members, usually a sibling, aunt or grandparent. They have been included because of their desperate circumstances
After extensive discussions with the families, schools, police and other community organisations, the programme partners with the families to meet these ten major needs:
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- Homework Club– Tutors are needed to help children with reading and homework during the week in the afternoons from Monday to Thursday, 15:00-16:30. Stationary and art supplies, etc. are also very much needed.
- Work Placements – Employers who are willing to provide entry level jobs for young people to enter the working world.
- Training opportunities – We need people with any skills and expertise to pass on to the youth and families.
- Networkers – We need people who can connect us with people who might grab these opportunities.
- Donations– Cash, good used clothes (especially boys), household items, etc., would be very much appreciated.
- Food– Fill a Rays of Hope bucket, monthly, with non-perishable food, fruits and vegetables for our food parcels. Birthday cakes or cupcakes, and / or small gifts are given often so that each child can celebrate their birthday.
- General repair work– Skills in painting, fixing doors and windows as well as, general maintenance, are always needed.
- Cooking– preparing a meal for homework club children to eat after school (30 children) or providing a meal for the foster family (10 people).