Working hard to help orphans

2016-07-05 06:00
Yenzanathi Community Uplitiment founder Lydia Hlophe at the centre. Photo:nosipho mkhize

Yenzanathi Community Uplitiment founder Lydia Hlophe at the centre. Photo:nosipho mkhize

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YENZANATHI Community Upliftment Project was established in 2007 by Lydia Hlophe of KwaNyuswa with the aim to help orphans whose parents died due to HIV and Aids, most of these orphans live with their grandparents in the Upper Highway area.
Hlophe was a domestic worker in Kloof, but she left her daytime job in 2013.
“I started helping 10 families who I knew were needy with a soup kitchen, but now we help 65 families. When I was a domestic worker I spoke to my former employer about the soup kitchen and she spoke to her book club about my initiative. They then donated instant porridge to give to our clients.
“At that time we cooked for a local crèche and for our clients twice a week, but after I resigned I was able to focus more on the organisation. We now cook everyday depending on what we have.

“The Department of Social Development assisted our beneficiaries and child-headed families where it trained five members on basic computer skills and donated a container which was changed into an internet café in 2010. Operation Jumpstart also built our centre which was completed in April this year. Our soup kitchen is funded by Shoprite as they give us soup every Tuesday and Friday.

“A community member Bongani Blose, who is also a member of the organisation, donated 0,5 hectors of land for the NGO to help train local women in planting vegetables.
“We started the garden in 2013 with the help of National Development Agency [NDA] which funded us gardening tools for 65 households. They also donated 100 layer chickens for us to sell eggs and give to our clients, however the chickens only produce for a certain period then the cycle stops so we want to sell them for half price and buy other layer chickens. A man by the name of Simon Hodgeson from South African Cover Crop Association Solution [SACCS] trained us on how to plant vegetables. He taught us a very easy system for gardening and now we also share our skills to other community members and other organisations.Yenzanathi has a borehole donated by an organisation in England, but it is still under construction.”

Ward Councillor Zibani Phewa assisted the organisation with grant-in-Aid where it received sponsorship of a computer and internet café resources. “As an organisation we help community members as much as we can therefore we also assist in referring them to the right channels for birth certificates, identity documents and clinics. At the moment we face a huge challenge with transportation as well as having enough food since we need to feed our members, the crèche and the chickens for survival.”

For more information on Yenzanathi email yenzanathi@yahoo.com or phone 073 122 2632.

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