Woman struggles to make ends meet

2019-02-07 06:01
Lindokuhle Children’s Centre premises in KhayelitshaPHOTO: siyabonga kalipa

Lindokuhle Children’s Centre premises in KhayelitshaPHOTO: siyabonga kalipa

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Pamela Kulashe, from Khayelitsha, runs a children’s centre for destitute children and children who were born in prison, but says she is struggling to make ends meet.

According to her, she started the centre after visiting women who were doing jail time in Pollsmoor prison.

“When I went to visit Pollsmoor, I saw a lot of young children who were born there and I felt it can’t be good that if a mother is serving a sentence a child should also do the time,” she said.

Kulashe said she decided to approach the Department of Correctional Services so she can do something about those children.

She said she was then given permission to look after the children and started doing so from her own house.

“I wanted to look after children born in prison but police and social workers would just come and drop destitute children as well,” she said.

She said the numbers of children grew and the space in her house was just not enough and she sought help from the Khayelitsha Community Trust who offered her a show house which was for a housing project.

Kulashe said she has 10 children in her care at the moment between the ages of one and 15 years and that she only gets R27 per day per child which, she says is not enough.

“The money I’m getting from the department is not enough because nappies run out and I have to pay from my own pocket and pay for transport for those that go to school,” she said.

She is sending a shout out to anyone who can help her buy the property and help her in any way they can.

Esther Lewis, from the Department of Social Development, said they are aware of the facility but it is not registered as a child and youth care centre, that is why it is not funded.

She said the department is in the process of removing the children and placing them in registered centres.

Lewis said, however, they will try to assist the owner with the registration process and compliance.

She said that usually when babies have to leave their mothers’ care in prison a family placement is considered. “In cases where there are no family members able to take care of the child, a social worker is assigned to facilitate the matter.”

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