Othandweni Children’s Home gives love and hope for abandoned children – selected by Bongani Bingwa
The Dalai Lama said, “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay”. The Othandweni Children’s Home has been living proof to this saying for the last 35 years. A place of hope that gives the abused, abandoned and neglected children love and hope for a better tomorrow.
Othandweni, which means a “place of love”, has been a place of safety and care for abandoned and abused children in Soweto and surrounding areas. As a non-profit entity, it caters for 90 children from ages of birth up to 18 years. Some of the children get placed in foster homes with the help of the Joburg Child Welfare’s (JCW) Child and Family Care unit, while some remain at the shelter as much as necessary.
In the years, the residential home has been experiencing greater demands to cater for an increasing number of abandoned HIV/Aids infected children. This as a result of the increasing number neglected and abused children in the country.
At the home, babies are taken for immunisations and regular health checks at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. The Wits Occupational Therapy students also assist Othandweni in offering stimulation and developmental support for babies and toddlers as volunteers.
Facilities at Othandweni
There are cottages and a nursery at the shelter as part of the facilities. These cottages are used primarily to offer supervised care in a family type of environment, for over 60 school children and teenagers. The concept for these cottages according to Othandweni, is to try and reduce any effects of long-term institutionalisation by creating a homelike environment for the children.
The nursery caters for 30 babies who are monitored by qualified nurses and nurse assistants throughout. The 24-hour care routine at Othandweni primarily offers health support for babies who have been found abandoned with illnesses and in need of medical attention.
There’s also limited space for mothers and pregnant women looking for a place of safety.
LottoStar | 702 update: 06 May 2019
The total amount contributed to the Othandweni Children's Home is R110 500.