ITHEMBA Lethu, meaning “I have a destiny”, is an NGO established in 2000.
It runs three programmes which have a significant effect on the community in the greater Durban area.
Their small team of 34 staff members facilitate an HIV prevention programme for Grade 5 to Grade 9 pupils in various primary and high schools in the Cato Manor area.
iThemba Lethu has a breastmilk bank which provides vital nutrients to orphaned and vulnerable babies in the transition homes.
Since inception, the organisation has successfully run two transition homes with house mothers who care for up to 12 orphaned or abandoned children, with the aim of facilitating their reunification and adoption into families.
“Over the past 14 years we have facilitated 88 adoptions and 24 reunifications of orphan and vulnerable children through our family integration programme,’’ says Karen Brokensha, programmes co-ordinator.
“We believe that all children belong in a family,’’ says Brokensha.
“Our priority is to unite the children with their biological or extended family and, if this is not possible, for them to be adopted by a same-race family, followed by a cross-cultural adoption.”
Compass Medical Waste Services has supported the family integration programme for the past four years and ended off 2015 by handing over a cheque of R10 000 to iThemba Lethu.
“We are thrilled with this unexpected donation as food, clothing, nappies, medical support and other expenses cost us about R3 500 per month, per child, which needs to be raised through the generosity of corporates and individuals, and so we deeply value our partnership with Compass & other donors.”
Ian Du Randt, Compass MD, says it is their honour to support an organisation doing such wonderful and necessary work.
“As a company we are passionate about uplifting the people in our country and involve ourselves in a number of projects which strives to give hope to the hopeless.’’
In 2016 iThemba Lethu will be setting up a pre-school facility on its property for their toddlers in order to provide them with tactile stimulation, activities which develop muscle tone and co-ordination as well as the basics of reading, writing and numeracy.
For more information on iThemba Lethu, visit www.ithembalethu.org.za or phone 031 261 7723