Bathandwa Children’s Home, based in Khayelitsha is focused on caring for homeless and neglected children. With the help of FoodForward SA, they are able to provide 28 meals a week to their 21 beneficiaries.
The support of FoodForward SA has enabled the organisation to provide additional meals for the children, and the saving on groceries is used for petrol to take the children to school.
The children at the home range from six months to twenty-four years. Virginia and Oliver Simelela founded the home in 2000 when a mentally challenged child’s mother was stabbed to death by her father. The child was left destitute to wander the streets. Mrs Simelala’s deep rooted compassion and love for children inspired her to take the child into her home on a permanent basis.
Soon, other members of the community, and even government social workers, were referring more abandoned or disabled children (who would otherwise be deserted on the streets) to the home. Over five years the home has grown dramatically, and now houses 21 children with new children arriving regularly. One father recently had to leave his five year old twins at the home after his wife died of HIV/AIDs. Due to long working hours he was not able to care for the children on his own.