IN an effort to keep Nelson Mandela’s spirit alive, local NPO Khayalami Children’s Home has taken an initiative to spread love to abandoned children and orphans. Khayalami was formed in 2004 as an NPO by Miriam and Hans Christian Holst and the local board as overseers. Being an orphanage and house for the homeless, the centre believes that it is important to know both traditional and modern culture and try to expose the children to both as much as possible. Madiba was known for promoting the rights of the children — and the centre is dedicated to sharing Madiba’s teachings. Holst said: “All these children are in the unfortunate situation where they have been left either orphaned or abandoned and don’t have anywhere else to call home.”According to Holst, the organisation believes that the future of the country is the hands of the youth. Nelson Mandela once said in his speech at a National Men’s March in Pretoria: “Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” Holst said young people need guidance and vision, something which is lacking. “The aim is for Khayalami to eventually be a self-sufficient, local run organisation. We work closely with Child Welfare and the Department of Social Development. The plot used to be the old stock yard in Greytown and consists of 5,7 acres of lawns, trees, and vegetable gardens. “The children stay as families in cottages and all their needs are provided for. Each house mother bears responsibility for the children in her cottage, including cooking, cleaning, etc. “The social worker has a health and development plan for each child and where possible children visit relatives during holidays. “Our youth coach works with the child individually as well as in groups and also assists with homework. “We also have our own homework club where the children do their homework assisted by staff and volunteers.”CONTINUED ON PAGE 3There is table tennis, snooker, a swimming pool, and soccer field for activities. “We also run holidays programmes,” Holst said. The centre has 10 cottages caring for 57 children with the help of 10 housemothers, two releasers, a social worker and a youth coach. “We also function as a place of safety for children in need of temporary care. We serve the whole of Umvoti with a population of 103 000 and there is currently only two centres serving this vast area. We are the only organisation in Umvoti which accept infants,” Holst added.