Taxi organisation’s drive to uplift

2008-05-19 00:00

CHILD-headed households devastated by HIV/Aids have become the norm in many South African communities and the Howick Taxi Association has decided not to turn a blind eye to the situation.

The body will be donating money to assist the Zenzeleni Project, which looks after the welfare of children orphaned by HIV/Aids in the community of Mpophomeni near Howick.

Yesterday, the taxi association made their pledge after Zenzeleni wrote to them for assistance.

The project provides care and support to vulnerable children, orphans, child-headed households and the elderly affected as a direct result of the pandemic.

Project director, Fakazile Mchunu, said that some 120 children benefit from the project’s feeding scheme, which is called Lula Isindla — Zulu for “reach out”.

“We provide after-school meals for the children three times a week. We also provide them with homework supervision because they either live alone or live with old and sickly grannies who can’t help them. Also, some of them might need emotional support after being raped and we help by referring them to counsellors.”

According to Mchunu, the project is sustained through donations and depends on 10 volunteers, who are mothers from the community.

Mchunu said the project came about after a group of unemployed mothers in the area started craft work to help sustain their own families through the Zenzeleni Community centre.

“As we worked as women, we found out that many of our direct neighbours had died through Aids, leaving children all alone or with grannies who are too old to take care of the children. And we started throwing ideas around and that’s how the project started.”

The women not only cook, but also do house visits and offer home-based care for the elderly by cleaning, doing washing and running errands, such as getting medication from clinics.

sphumem@witness.co.za

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