Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 29
For most of her life, Betty Njomo was a farmer. She gave her best years to the land and to people that owned it until, in late 2014, the farming company she had worked for so long, closed down. They didn’t need farmers any more, and Betty was out of a job she had thought she’d be doing until she retired. She was in her early fifties then, and didn’t have many options.
What she did have, though, was a fierce love for children.
“I might as well do what I’m good at,” she thought in that dark, jobless December of 2014. “I might as well take care of all the children.”
Betty lives in Mhluzi, a township just outside of Middelburg in Mpumalanga. It has its struggles, as most townships do, and one of the top ones is adequate care for the children of working parents. So, Betty paired her motherly instinct with a need in her community, and in 2015, Thuthukani Day Care was born… In Betty’s garage, no less.
These days, Betty and one other caretaker nurture 29 children every weekday, giving them food as well as space to develop in a healthy way. The space has been transformed into a safe haven, with children’s drawings neatly lining the pastel-coloured walls.
Betty asks parents for a R250 monthly fee, but all parents can’t afford to pay it every month, which makes Thuthukani Day Care’s financial situation always precarious.
Photographer: Prince Mndawe from Captain Prince Visuals | Voice Artist: Noku Katom | Writer: Ané Breytenbach