Mama V's Siyabulela-Home-Based-Care charity for children
These stories of some of the AIDS orphans and abandoned children Victoria Hiatshwayo's (Mama V) charity for children looks after, highlight the remarkable resilience of the children's will to learn, play and contribute, despite the sadness that surrounds them.
It is possible to imagine while reading them, the joy that receiving an article of clothing or a blanket would evoke in these children.
Mama V, working with Ten Thousand Homes, makes it possible for the children to laugh again. Here are their stories as written by Keri Dodge from Ten Thousand Homes.
The Hlatshwayo Family
Victoria Hlatshwayo is a woman we have had the opportunity to partner with since April 2008. Some members of our team call her “Mama V” which always gets a smile from her in response.
About ten years ago, Victoria and her husband Charles were on their way home from town and saw a group of children searching for food near the local dump.
Concerned, Victoria spoke with the children and found out many of them were orphans and some were searching for food because their parents were ill and there wasn’t any food at home. Victoria began to invite the children to her home and started to feed them. As the task grew, she invited the community members to help her. She then established Siyabulela (see-ya-boo-ley-la) Home Based Care in 1999.
Currently, Ten Thousand Homes is helping Victoria and her volunteers provide a meal on Saturdays and Wednesdays (after school) for the orphans and vulnerable children under the care of Siyabulela Home Based Care. The number of kids recently more than doubled! We’ve been feeding 125-150 kids on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Victoria’s daughters Hazel, Thandi, Nomzamo, and Nandi as well as a volunteer named Florence do all the cooking every week. We are so thankful for their faithfulness and heart for the children.
This is Dave Henry from Ten Thousand Homes with Petros.
Victoria (Mama V) recently took four kids into her home because they needed a safe place to live. She treats Lucia, Zanele, Petros, and Nandi as though they were her own kids. For those of us who saw the kids when the first came to live in the Hlatshwayo home until now, it is so incredible to see what God has done in their lives through the family. .
It’s hard to talk about Petros without feeling joy!
Petros is in Grade R and he’s ALWAYS smiling! Petros came to live with the Hlatshwayo family in January 2009. His mother passed away a while ago and Petros had been helping take care of his very ill father. The father wanted to go back to his home in Mozambique and he asked Victoria to take care of Petros.
Petros did not look well in January. He had a bad eye infection and a large sore on his head. Now two months later, after a couple of clinic visits, he is 100% better. Before he came to the Hlatshwayo home he didn’t get regular meals, I’m told there wasn’t always food in his home.
The other kids love Petros, likely due to his smile and the joy he gives others. Kids he doesn’t even know, come to the house wanting to play with him ! But he loves being around people and playing as any other healthy child.
Nandi is a beautiful girl. She came to the Hlatshwayo home in January 2009. Her mother was very ill and went to the hospital at that time. She doesn’t have a father. Victoria says Nandi had a tough time in her home because she was caring for her sick mother and food wasn’t always available. Nandi’s mother has asked Victoria to care for her. Victoria knows life hasn’t been easy for Nandi, but now she is doing well in school, and is a very well behaved child.
LuciaLucia witnessed a tragic accident that took the life of her mother, her only parent. Since that time she moved around and was separated from her other siblings. She wasn’t able to attend school last year. In December 2008, she moved into the Hlatshwayo home. Ten Thousand Homes helped her purchase school uniforms and Victoria registered her for school. Now she is in school and has a lot of friends around at the house. She is a pleasure to be around.
Please subscribe to the
Square Circle ezine
square circle ezine for news of our work with ten thousand homes, other children's charities and of course our blanket tally for the abandoned children and AIDS orphans of Soweto.