Sihle, is 10 years old. Last year his mother passed away. When Sihle’s mother passed away Sihle’s 72 year old grandmother, Thandeka, had no choice but to take in her three grandchildren – Sihle and his younger brother and sister, Sifiso and Naledi – and care for them.
Although she loves her grandchildren it is not easy. At 72 years of age Thandeka’s health is not good and the only income she receives is her state pension of R1 350 (ZAR) per month. The family live in a small two roomed mud and daub house, which is in need of repair, have no electricity and very little in the way of basic household goods.
The loss of her daughter and the burden of care she now carries has been very hard for Thandeka and she worries about her grandchildren’s future and what life may have in store for them.
Children growing up in these sorts of circumstances are extremely vulnerable. They often have to care for ill and dying parents and may be traumatised by loss. When their parent dies the family usually loses income and children are often left without adequate, care, shelter, food and clothing. Even when the extended family or community members take them in they often still struggle as the extended family now has to stretch the little they have to care for the additional family members they have taken in.
In circumstances like these, children often go hungry, drop out of school, experience emotional or behavioural difficulties and even sometimes take to the streets often being forced to beg or become involved in petty crime or sex work just to survive.
Ultimately, this maintains the cycle of poverty and undermines the ability of the child to live a full and meaningful life.
4Kids aims to help change this by providing ordinary people, like you and I, a means to make a real difference in the life of a vulnerable child like Sihle.
In this way, 4Kids brings to life – and modernises – the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”.
So join the 4Kids “virtual village” today and help change the life of a child in need.