Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 47
When Nelson Mandela tells you that you’re doing great work but that you could strive to do even better, you do better.
At least, that was Motshidisi Sehola’s instinct when she met Tata Madiba in 1997 and he awarded her R20,000 for the work she was doing for abused children in Thokoza, her Gauteng township.
After their meeting – which is crystal clear in her mind to this day – she began working on what would in 1998 become Remmoho Early Learning Centre. Until then her main focus had been to protect the township’s children from abuse, but that fateful meeting showed her that merely protecting them wasn’t the best she could be doing. She could be elevating them. Teaching them to be better. Making Thokoza better through them.
But a protector she’ll be forever – it’s just who she is.
For over 20 years now, Mama Tshidi (as she’s known to her community) and her home have been the go-to place for a certain corner of Thokoza’s youngest residents. During the week, 47 of them arrive on her doorstep every morning, ready for their beloved teachers to not only fill their bellies with food but their minds with nourishment. On weekends, she’ll often get home after running an errand and find them climbing her gate, begging to be allowed in to be with their favourite teacher.
She always lets them in. She has a painful history of her own and knows what it feels like to be shut out.
Many of Motshidisi’s past students have passed matric by now, and in them she sees the difference she has made in Thokoza.
The centre has received monthly funding for primarily food for 5 years now. That has run out, and the team is back to relying on parents’ fees entirely. This is problematic, as an increasing number of parents aren’t able to pay the R380 per month.
Motshidisi has been running the centre out of her own home all these years, and is currently looking to move out of it and dedicate her whole yard to the children, but as things stand, this is simply a far-off dream.
Photographer: Sakhile Dlamini from Quality on Demand Photography | Voice Artist: Noku Katom | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Children and Youth, Development, ECD, Education, Literacy