KWA HILDA Orphanage OZISWENE KwaHilda’s (St Hilda) Orphanage was begun perhaps ten years ago now by the then parish priest Father Thami Shange OGS with the support of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd, an international Anglican Religious Community (www.ogs.net) Its beginnings were small but it was a significant response to the terrible blight of HIV and AIDS on this very large township near Newcastle in South Africa. Originally the orphanage housed children whose parents had died of AIDS or who were themselves infected through the womb. More recently, and now with some government funding it has become a day centre that welcomes children in the mornings in particular. It offers educational programmes about health and social care for the children, as well as activities and food. Many of the older children (aged 12+) are caring for siblings because the parents are dead or away, and the ‘go go’s’ (Zulu for grandmothers) are also central to their care, though the pension in scant. Over 400 children now look to KwaHilda for help. In particular there is a real need for these children to have food. It has always been the aspiration to provide a decent meal at lunchtime for any children who turn up. The government provides some funds but KwaHilda is also dependent on voluntary contributions. One of the downsides of government funding is that others tend to think that they are now providing it all. In reality there is enough money to pay the not overgenerous wages of the helpers and to feed around 60 of the children. This means that some children look on while the others eat. KwaHilda is well managed and proper accounts are kept. The great advantage of this local charity is that it is local and all money raised will be well used, and be greatly appreciated.
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