Teacher quits job to look after orphans

2017-03-28 06:03
 Photo: kalisha naickerEunice Mweli and some of her children at Siyajabula Orphanage.

Photo: kalisha naickerEunice Mweli and some of her children at Siyajabula Orphanage.

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HILLCREST’s Eunice Mweli fondly known as “Ma Eunice”, is no ordinary mom.

The 50-year-old teacher quit her job and has dedicated her life to looking after dozens of orphans at her NPO, Siyajabula Orphanage.

Ma Eunice’s journey to becoming the “mother to those who have no one”, started some time ago.

“A few years ago I was teaching preschool and after school the handicapped twins in my class were not collected at the end of the school day.

“I took them home, cared for them and then took them back to school the next morning, expecting them to be collected, presuming there had been a problem the day before.

“However, that afternoon no one came to collect them.

“It was later discovered that their mother had died and the twins’ sister, who is also handicapped, could not communicate effectively to go and collect her brothers. I also took the sister into my home and the centre developed from there,” she said.

She said she looked after the children for a few months, then a health worker asked her to take in more children. “Within six months I had 14 children and I had to leave work and find a place to take care of them full-time.

“At the time the children ranged in age from six to 17 and I lived from place to place, from outbuildings to churches. Eventually I went back to my childhood village and an old man in the community offered me a piece of land to open my orphanage.”

With the help of donors, Siyajabula was founded in 1998, and is now home to 40 special children.

The youngest girl Lobanzi was brought to Ma Eunice when she was four and Ma Eunice even gave Lobanzi her first bath.

She said running Siyajabula is a blessing from God.

“This is my calling. It brings me joy. These children have now become my life.”

However, Ma Eunice said taking in the children is not easy on her family and it has taken time for them to realise the fulfillment it brings her.

“It was truly an uphill battle and my brothers and sisters thought I was taking on a responsibility that is not my own, yet I never let this get me down. I know this is God’s plan for me.

“All my children look up to me. They give me love and we have a bond that no one can break. My family has come to terms with my charitable work, and now respect me even more,” she said.

Describing herself as a “loving person”, Ma Eunice said that people should not sit back and watch others suffer. “We can all take a stand. God has put us on this Earth to make a difference. I did not give up my life for this - this is my life.

“We all have a little to give, let us start with the simplest thing, which is love,” she said.

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