Landmark centre for orphans opens in township

2010-04-30 00:00

LIBERTY Properties and a number of donors officially opened the Reach Out Community Centre in France, Pietermaritzburg, yesterday.

The centre, which is estimated to have cost the donors about R4 million, is the brainchild of Melanie du Plessis who has been caring for orphans in the France area for more than 12 years.

Having more than 50 orphans under her care, Du Plessis saw the need for a proper structure for the children and she approached Liberty Properties for help.

“I approached them about two years ago and they were more than willing to get on board.

“Arrangements were made and here we have a centre.

“I am happy for these children because from now on they will be able to get attention under a proper structure. I’m also grateful to all the businesses and people of Pietermaritzburg for the clothing and food donations they have given us,” said Du Plessis.

Liberty Properties contributed R2,4 million towards the project and other businesses donated the rest.

The centre has a clinic, a child advocacy unit, a soup kitchen, a community hall, laundry facilities and education and training facilities.

The clinic will be serviced monthly by the Department of Health.

The child advocacy unit will deal with abused children.

Liberty CEO Samuel Ogbu said it is an honour for his group to be part of a worthwhile enterprise.

He thanked all the partners, especially Liberty Midlands Mall, for pulling together to improve the lives of needy children in Pietermaritzburg.

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