Mpophomeni orphans dazzle benefactors

2010-06-23 00:00

UNDER the leadership of the non-profit organisation, Ethembeni, orphans in Mpophomeni proved they have the World Cup spirit yesterday when they turned a small concrete field into a lively sporting arena.

Wearing bright makarapas, and draped in the colours of participating countries, the children welcomed representatives from the Starfish Foundation and the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) to their festive playground.

The World Cup-themed holiday programme is an Ethembeni initiative.

As part of its drop-in facility, Ethembeni gives support to orphans and their caregivers by providing after-school academic support, food, healthcare and holiday programmes.

Ethembeni receives funding from the Starfish Foundation, which in turn is supported by the CMA.

Yesterday, members of the CMA delivered running shoes to Ethembeni, which will distribute them to needy members of the community.

“We are so grateful for the support we receive from Starfish,” said Ethembeni director Grant Edkins. “As an organisation, we give assistance to child- headed households and the wonderful caregivers who look after these children, but of course we need the help.”

Belinda te Riele, programme manager of the Starfish Foundation, said the organisation provides funds and skills development initiatives to organisations like Ethembeni.

“Ethembeni looks after orphaned and vulnerable children, which is exactly what the Starfish Foundation seeks to do,” she added.

Te Riele said the Starfish Foundation’s long-standing association with the CMA is an important link.

“We are one of the Comrades’ five official charities,” she explained.

Although the Comrades Marathon was run four weekends ago, communities are still reaping the benefits of the race.

Increased funds, which are ultimately generated from the marathon, allows Edkins and his team to counsel more families in the community about HIV and Aids, as well as allowing Ethembeni to continue its drop-in programme, which currently serves over 100 orphans in Mpophomeni.



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