iKhethelo Children’s Village is a home of love, healing and safety for vulnerable and orphaned children in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa – the AIDS epicentre of the world. We currently serve 45 beautiful children ranging in age from 1 to 19 years old. iKhethelo also serves as a community outreach hub into an area that has been devastated by the AIDS pandemic.
The Children’s Village
The first goal of the Children’s Village is to nurture orphaned and vulnerable children into wholeness. Long term we believe we are raising servant leaders who will help create healthy, sustainable communities. For now we wish to provide them with a loving and safe environment where they will be able to lead normal, healthy lives receiving a proper education and the life skills necessary to succeed. Our children’s greatest need is love, and through our practical Christian ministry we attempt to give them that love and nurture in everything we do.
The iKhethelo Children’s Village is not a stereotypical orphanage but instead tries to create a healthy home environment within each cottage/family, which itself is part of a vibrant, safe village community. Each family unit consists of a housemother caring for a group of eight children, as in a natural family. The house parents are the foundation on which each family is built. They are drawn from the same cultural group as the children and are a mother to them, not just an employee – they love and care for the children as if they were their own. The house parents receive weekly training and on-going support from the management team including our social worker and psychologist to improve parenting skills and address each child’s particular needs. Altogether iKhethelo has a permanent staff of 20 employees, plus several volunteers who assist with homework club, sports and other creative activities. There is also a large recreational cottage, which includes two common rooms with TVs, a library, sewing room, some computers, and a first aid station. The soccer field and sporting facilities are open to children from the surrounding community and as a result the village children are able to mix socially with their peers. Our children participate in numerous extra-curricular activities – at school, in the village, and in the community at-large.
While iKhethelo is first and foremost a children’s village, part of its goal is to positively impact and change the surrounding community, which suffers from multiple social, economic and physical problems. Due to its strategic location within Embo Qadi, and KwaNyuswa Makaphutu is ideally suited to be a community hub – a central venue for training and gathering, as well as a storehouse from which to reach out to those in crisis. To this end there are several initiatives in progress, and others in planning.
The Little Hills Day Care and Pre-school Centre functions out of one of the buildings on campus and serves 79 children from the local surrounding communities.Every day we fetch the children in our minibus and bring them to iKhethelo where they have a nutritious breakfast before a day of songs, educational activities and play.In addition the Hlanganani Early Childhood Development (ECD) Training Centre is run from campus, and is responsible for training and equipping approximately 120 ECD teachers each year. Furthermore there is the iKhethelo Training Centre which has a computer lab, classrooms, and workshops for the training of members of the community.
6,500 meals per month…
iKhethelo also runs a community-based hunger alleviation programme. We distribute approximately 6,500 meals per month, specifically targeting vulnerable children, families in crisis, and those infected by HIV/AIDS.
We do not attempt to do any of our ministry in isolation, but work in partnership with a number of NGOs, churches and community leaders – both to identify, and efficiently distribute resources and to care for those in need.
iKhethelo is a hub for a number of community initiatives in the Valley of a Thousand Hills and offers churches, businesses, and social organisations an ideal platform from which to get involved and positively impact the host of challenges facing this area.
Content from http://makaphutu.org