Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 70
Zodwa Best Daycare Centre stands as a testament to the power of purpose. Its founder and namesake, Zodwa Malatsi, walked a long road to being Salvokop’s favourite gogo.
Zodwa’s story reads like a horror story, though it has the happiest of endings. The story begins in the late nineties with Zodwa being hit by a car while walking down a street. After being in a coma for six months, Zodwa reawakened to doctors telling her that she would probably be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
She, however, learnt to walk again, but not before her husband abandoned her and their two sons in fear of having to care for his invalid wife forever.
Zodwa recovered. She began selling food at Pretoria Station to keep the family afloat, but an accident involving a glass window one day did great damage to both her hands, leaving her semi-crippled from her fingers to her toes.
It was while she was in the hospital for these injuries that the seed for her daycare centre was planted. It came in the form of a dream, in which it would start pouring rain. Her dream-self’s first instinct, she tells, was to bring an unknown baby to safety.
She took this dream as an instruction: gather up the babies of her poverty-stricken Pretoria suburb. Feed them. Keep them safe.
That is exactly what she’s been doing since 2014, first in the rooms of her little home, and later in three donated container classrooms in her yard. Zodwa and her team of four take care of 70 of Salvokop children up to 6 years old. Their job isn’t easy – the area is poor and crime-ridden – but to them, that just proves how necessary it is that they continue.
Of these 70 children, three live with Zodwa in her home. All three were left in Zodwa’s care by mothers who could no longer care for them. The youngest of these was abandoned on Zodwa’s doorstep at three weeks old.
The daycare survives through monthly fees from parents, but struggles to get by most months. Zodwa, her team, and her 70 children, are grateful for every single donation. Zodwa’s dream is to open a soup kitchen for Salvokop plentiful hungry residents.
Photographer: Zithulele Mnguni from KwaMnyamane Stories Photography | Voice Artist: Noku Katom | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Babies, Children and Youth, Community, Development, ECD, Education, Vulnerable Children