My Long Walk to Campus
WHEN Xolani Mbuyisa was seven years old, his mother passed away and he was left in the care of his grandmother, Rose Mbuyisa. Over the course of the next six years, Rose lost all her children and was left as primary caregiver to four grandchildren, including Xolani. Her only source of income was the little she earned from washing other peoples’ clothes.
Then Rose Mbuyisa heard about Thandanani Children’s Foundation (Thandanani).
When Rose explained her situation to Thandanani, we began assisting her through our Family Strengthening Program. This program involves supporting families caring for orphans and vulnerable children over a three year period, with the aim of increasing their self-reliance and strengthening their ability to provide for the basic needs of the children in their care. Partly as a result of this support, Xolani was able to stay in school and complete his matric – with exemption – in 2011.
What Thandanani does to support children’s education
It is well known that to secure the future of an individual one of the best investments that can be made is in their education. Education is also a cornerstone for prosperous economies and a key to sustainable development. When families are unable to provide for the basic needs of their children, or when children are rendered vulnerable by the loss of one or more of their parents or a similar trauma, the risk of children dropping out of school is significantly increased. To reduce this risk Thandanani undertakes a range of activities aimed at supporting the education of the children in the families we support.
Many of the families we support cannot afford to purchase school uniforms and stationary for those children attending school. As a result, these children often attend school in old “hand me down” uniforms. This often sets them apart and makes them vulnerable to stigmatisation and ostracism. Consequently, at the start of each school year, Thandanani assesses the condition of the school uniforms of the children on our database and, where necessary, facilitates the purchasing of uniforms for those children whose uniform requires replacing.
Swimmers raise funds for Thandanani
So a huge Thank You to the 8 Mile Club swimmers and congratulations on your amazing swim 4Kids!