Creating a safe haven for vulnerable children

2017-04-12 06:02
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyileMagrate Thembile Qali's smile and warmth welcomes vulnerable children at Ekujabuleni Child and Youth Care Centre.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyileMagrate Thembile Qali's smile and warmth welcomes vulnerable children at Ekujabuleni Child and Youth Care Centre.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE plight of orphans and vulnerable children has become a passion for Magrate Thembile Qali who maintains the day-to-day running of the Ekujabuleni Child and Youth Care Centre in Edendale.

The 80-year-old retired professional nurse with more than 40 years’ experience is known for her big smile and warm personality and is referred to as “Ma” .

She says it is her loving nature and staunch Christian upbringing that makes her job easy and she has taken care of 45 children between the ages of one and 17.

She treats each child as her own and is committed to providing rehabilitation and education for them so that they may one day, lead productive lives.

“We provide shelter for children who have been put in our care by an order of the court. The children in this facility have been abandoned or neglected by their parents, abused or come from families that cannot provide life amenities because of unemployment or other related reasons.”

Qali originally from Sobantu said it was through her experience in paediatric nursing at Edendale Hospital that she developed a special love for caring for children.

“I’m very passionate about community development and working with children and the youth. The greatest satisfaction I get from this job is seeing these children, some who have been sexually abused receiving the needed counselling and getting an education and rising above their circumstances.”

Qali started managing the centre in 2012 after she was approached by the board.

“We try to create a homely space for the children so they feel loved and wanted. When they come back from school I always make sure I’m around to receive them - I play the mother figure.”

She said they encourage the children to participate in school activities and church programmes to stimulate and challenge them.

“We also try to teach them the basics that are usually taught at home. We encourage the older ones to do small house chores under supervision on weekends. I always say this is not a hospital, it is their home and therefore they must be active in keeping their space neat.”

Qali said their biggest challenge is making sure the centre has sufficient funds to cover all the expenses.

“We rely on public funding and we also use grant money to cover the necessary expenditure for clothes, holidays like Christmas, birthday parties, food, salaries for staff and other home maintenance necessities.”

Qali encouraged the black community to consider adoption to decrease the number of orphaned children.

“There are many children who will enjoy being part of a family through adoption, but there is resistance from black communities where “stranger” adoption is not a cultural norm. It’s also sad that extended families don’t consider taking these children in, that spirit of Ubuntu in our communities is gone.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/News
 

Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!

Hundreds of complaints are filed every year from victims who were scammed when buying a dog online.

 
 

Paws

WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
11 animals before and after they were adopted from shelters
Competition pet grooming – creative or too extreme?
5 Celebrities who are afraid of animals
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.