Vulnerable and orphaned children empowered

2018-01-24 06:01
                               PHOTO: SUPPLIEDIris Canham and Susie Weekes at the launch of Indwe Learning Centre in Great Barrington.

PHOTO: SUPPLIEDIris Canham and Susie Weekes at the launch of Indwe Learning Centre in Great Barrington.

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

ALMOST 15 years ago, Susie Walker Weekes, a philanthropist from the U.S. doing research on child-headed households visited KwaZulu-Natal and was

devastated by the destruction that HIV/Aids had caused the country.

Reporting back to the U.S., she felt a deep desire to do more than report on the matter and returned to our shores to see where else she could assist with.

Upon her return, she discovered her friend Liz Towell, a local well-known social justice activist’s health had deteriorated.

Weekes visited Towell at Mother of Peace (MoP) Illovo where Towell continued to work hard to transform the lives of children living with HIV/Aids and those affected by the consequences thereof.

Weekes made Towell a promise that someday she would return to South Africa to make a meaningful contribution to a better life for children who were affected and infected by HIV/Aids.

Weekes kept her promise and a new non-profit organisation, Indwe Learning Centres SA, was born, working alongside former general manager at Mother of Peace Illovo, Iris Canham and a group of teachers and societal transformation catalysts.

Indwe recognises their need to be a trajectory for orphaned and vulnerable children, a way to peel off the labels they carry, and to empower them to live a life that will help them restore their dignity.

The model is aimed at supporting alternative child care centres to help them teach, empower and encourage children to engage with their communities.

“Children are just children, hungry to meet their potential, before the labels we place on them, namely privileged, under-privileged, orphaned, with parents, and more.

“We often unintentionally condition their minds by placing labels on them.

“This model recognises the importance of a good system of education that will help heal the tragedies faced in early life.

“It will also integrate children from all backgrounds so that they can interact with the greater community and together come up with leadership solutions that will shape our country for the better,” said Canham, Indwe Learning Centre head.

“It is an exciting time. The Indwe Learning Centre with the first centre operating alongside Mother of Peace, a cluster foster care in Lower Illovo, aims to set the standard for wider community participation in resolving societal problems,” she added.

Leading the way in education, MoP also has an early childhood education centre that is Montessori-inspired to enhance sensorial impact and independent thinking.

“Education is a living system, supporting different ways of learning. We have therefore also incorporated special education needs for pre-school and a bridging class for children, not yet competent in one grade, but are normally promoted on age,” said Canham.

- Supplied.


Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.