Lending a helping hand

2018-02-27 06:00

WHEN Pastor Paulos Ntaka and his wife Nelly decided to walk the streets of Shongweni spreading the word of God, little did they know that their lives would be changed forever.

On their mission, the duo discovered an almost blind grandmother picking vegetables from the garden for her grandchildren. However, most of the “vegetables” were actually inedible weeds which she picked by mistake. The grandmother told the couple that she was unable to differentiate between the vegetables and weeds, and would have cooked the weeds for her grandchildren to eat.

Shocked at this, the pastor and his wife stayed to assist the grandmother with her daily chores and decided to check up on the grandchildren at school. When they visited the school which the grandson attended, it was worse than they imagined.

The events of the day pulled at Paulos and Nelly’s heartstrings. Nelly said: “When we visited the grandson at school we were told that there was a horrible incident that day, where the child was so hungry, he resorted to eating the vomit of another child who was sick.

“That really made my heart bleed and I could not sit back and let this family suffer,” she said.

Immediately, Paulos and Nelly, decided to open and orphanage day-care centre.

“Vumelani Orphan Day-Care Centre was opened in 2005 and we never looked back since,” she said.

Nelly stated that the orphanage tries to make a difference to children’s lives because there are some who are the heads of the household.

“They bring the little ones in the morning when they go to school and come back later, there are people who helps them with their homework,” said Ntaka.

The orphanage is currently in the form of a container and as the number of children are increasing, it is becoming difficult to accommodate them.

“We would really appreciate if someone can help us with a building structure, where the children can stay because we cannot accommodate them right now. We cannot even offer them shelter when they need it,” she said.

She said that one such case that happened recently, is when a child’s house was burnt and they had nowhere to stay.

“It was depressing that we could not offer them shelter at the day-care centre. We had to raise funds to build them a place they could call a home. This was difficult as we don’t have sponsors, and all the funds had to come out of our own pockets,” said Nelly.

“We would appreciate if the community can open their hearts and assist when they can.”

To find out how to assist contact, Nelly on 082 093 2719.

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