Smiles to poor children

2018-12-20 06:00
Peace in Africa committee members together with the founders of Unako Children’s Home Care demonstrating some the clothes and drinks were donated. From left: Peace in Africa Coordinator Prix Mvulana, Julius and Lulama Bonani (both founders of Unako) and Wankie Jewell, also a member of Peace in Africa.          PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Peace in Africa committee members together with the founders of Unako Children’s Home Care demonstrating some the clothes and drinks were donated. From left: Peace in Africa Coordinator Prix Mvulana, Julius and Lulama Bonani (both founders of Unako) and Wankie Jewell, also a member of Peace in Africa. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Life will not be same for children at Unako Children’s Home Care in Barcelona after they were given clothing, including refreshments from the Peace in Africa Organisation.

The organisation, which is based in Gugulethu, also organised a braai for the children to celebrate the end of the year.

Unako is an orphanage and home to 31 abandoned children aged between two to 22- years-old.

The majority of children are referred to the home by social workers while others are brought by their parents who are struggling to support them.

Accepting the gifts, Julius Bonani (71), the co-founder of Unako, described the contribution as a blessing for Christmas.

“To them (children) these clothes mean a lot because some of them do not have the means. We are happy and relieved that at least they have something to wear during Christmas,” said Bonani.

Bonani said he started the home care in 2002 after he saw the conditions under which the people of Barcelona lived.

“I started my church, the Barcelona Baptis Church in 2002. A few months later the social workers arrived with a four-year-old girl-child from the area, and urged the church to look after the child after it was alleged that her father sexually abused her. I accepted the child and the social workers kept on bringing other children. Then I decided to register as an NPO(non-profit-organisation),” said Bonani.

However, he said they are struggling to provide food and clothes for the kids as they are not getting any funding from the government.

“We are surviving on donations from the community and other organisations to sustain the home care. I applied for subsidy to the Department of Social Development in 2002 but my request was turned down, because the home care is in an informal area and doesn’t have a proper structure as we are still using the night bucket system,” he said.

Peace in Africa coordinator Prix Mvulana described the event as an initiative to support and improve the lives of needy children.

He described the organisation as a nonprofit organisation which was established in 2013 in an effort to deal with social ills in the community.

“The organisation was mainly funded by carousers at Kwa 1, Xola’s Place in Gugulethu. We currently have about 40 members.

Instead of focusing just on drinking, we decided to think broadly on how we can change society,” said Mvulana.

He said they had adopted both Unako and Ekuphumleni Frail and Aged Care Centre, also in Gugulethu, to offer their support.

City Vision spoke to Cayla Murray, from the office the Western Cape MEC for Social Development Albert Frits, who explained that before registering a home for children, the applicants must first comply with municipal by-laws regarding health and fire safety.

“There are numerous NPO’s based in informal settlements which are compliant in terms of infrastructure and programmes and that are registered and funded by this department,” said Murray.

She said the department examines the governance and financial capability of the organisation.

She said this is done by determining whether they have a functional board, regular meetings, minutes of meetings, a process to elect board members every two years, do proper bookkeeping system, receipts for transactions, an asset and donation register.

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