Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 37
Walking down the dusty, dilapidated streets of Mhluzi, a Middelburg township, leaves you with a keen sense of scarcity. There is a thrum of industry – people scurrying to make ends meet – and a certain hopelessness.
The people are poor, and their poverty has made their township a victim of crime and rape, to which the young are particularly vulnerable merely because they cannot yet defend themselves. Parents who cannot afford to pay for things like daycare resort to leaving their young children alone or under substandard supervision while they are at work.
In 2010, Thoko Khumalo decided that she had seen one too many toddlers wandering around aimlessly while their mothers worked. She knew exactly what she would do: she would begin offering to care for her area’s little ones, and if their parents couldn’t pay her, so be it. She went around, knocking on doors and offering her services.
She didn’t have premises, really. But she had a house of her own and a heart big enough for all the babies in Mhluzi.
These days, Thoko and one other caregiver love and educate 37 children under the age of 5. They have moved out of her home and into a garage on the premises built for this purpose. Here, they learn the alphabet, the numbers, and the instructions for life. For much of the year, a handful of students also sleep in Thoko’s home during the week while their parents work long hours.
An important project for Thoko at the moment is the making of uniforms for all of her students. It worries her that some children come from homes so poor it shows in their clothing, and her aim is to make them all feel equal, at the very least when they are at school.
Glowing Hope Day Care receives fluctuating income from fees that parents pay. This income almost never covers all of their expenses, and additional aid will ensure regular, nourishing meals for the children and might enable them to move to a bigger, more secure premises.
Photographer: Prince Mndawe from Captain Prince Photography | Voice Artist: Usisipho Ngxubaza | Writer: Ané Breytenbach