ACORNHOEK LEADERSHIP FORUM 2014 COHORT
MATHOMOMAYO DROP-IN CENTRE
Lekina Mashile joined the Acornhoek Leadership Forum in April 2014, just a couple of months before retiring from her role as Deputy Principal of Makgahlishe Primary School. A lifetime of education includes teaching for 31 years and post graduate qualifications in public management.
Lekina’s deep commitment to her community continues as she develops Mathomomayo (New Beginnings) Drop-in center for orphans and vulnerable children in Buffelshoek, where she aims to restore hope, improve self esteem and help the children achieve their goals. The Centre currently provides daily meals, homework assistance, life skills education to minimise early childhood crime and substance use.
The purpose of the Centre is to make children aware of their potential to have a better future. Elderly people in need will also be welcomed to the Centre once it is established to have a meal, spend time with the children, potter in the garden, weave and socialise.
Lekina’s progress is rapid: she located the perfect building which had a vacant wing for her Centre and space for a big vegetable garden and fruit trees. She has negotiated use of this rent-free for five years; has fund-raised to purchase 60 chairs; arranged for a volunteer crew from Hlokomela to paint the interior a vibrant colour. Her friends at the Global White Lion Protection Trust commenced painting a beautiful mural on the exterior.
Her organisation has been selected to be part of the Tree-Preneur Program and is growing dozens of saplings in recycled plastic containers. Lekina also secured her Not for Profit registration in record time, so can receive donations.
Seeds of Light fundraised to buy Lekina and her team a gas stove and cooking equipment so they could start feeding children.
We want to help Lekina get to the point where her drop-in centre is open for business full time so that the children have a place of safety seven days a week. In the long term Lekina hopes that the Department of Social Development will fund the Centre, but until that happens she is doing whatever she can to put food on the table and keep her volunteer carers on board.
It costs R9,000 per week to fund the current 3 day a week operation – R21,000 per month to run the Centre 7 days. If you have an interest in getting involved with this wonderful project, please contact us, or to support Mathomomayo Drop-In Centre, please click here – you’ll be taken to the donation page on the Seeds of Light website and we will forward your donation to Lekina. Thank you!
Another immediate need is tables and some furniture for the Centre – they do have chairs but need surfaces to work on and shelves to store their books. R10,000 would enable a purchase of 12 steel trestle tables, book shelves and some other furnishings.
Lillian Marule is absolutely committed to the well-being of her community. For a year and a half, she volunteered full time as a carer at Ekurhuleni Centre for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, trained as a librarian and worked with a small team to set up and maintain their library.Children adore Lillian – she loves reading them stories and playing games with them.
Lillian has now struck out on her own to open a creche in the RDP village which has been named Lesedi Day Care Centre, where she aims to have a thriving permaculture garden and teach her community about permaculture gardening so that everyone can have a home garden. Only a few months into her venture, Lillian has done extremely well and her community has officially named her a leader. Congratulations Lillian! May your new venture thrive!
Pholo Derrick Maaboi is the principal of Makgahlishe Primary School and joined the ALF in 2014. Pholo has an honors degree in management and is inspired by working with people from different backgrounds and orientations; he thrives on learning and applying wisdom to his work with humanity. A centered, grounded and focused leader, Pholo’s commitment to the learners in his school is that he helps them unearth their talents, achieve their full potential and assist them to become self-reliant. Absolutely wonderful to have you on board Pholo – thank you for your commitment!
Sindy Nkuna lives in Timbavati Village in Acornhoek and works as a Data Capturer at Hlokomela Clinic. Overflowing with good will and confidence, Sindy graduated from Mapuleng Technical College in Human Resource Management, and is currently doing a degree in Training and Development with UNISA. She started a project at a local church in 2010 which is now known as the Bushbuckridge Youth Education and Leadership Support Council. They collaborated with the Dept. of Education on a campaign titled “How to deal with stress during exam fever”.
Sindy believes that South Africa’s future president is from Sgagula Village, which we have no doubt is true! Her goal is to establish a youth centre with a classroom full of computers connected to the internet, enabling youth to learn how to use them, apply for bursaries and do job searches. In addition to this, Sindy is involved in a compassionate project serving Rixile patients with soup, bread and a bag of fruit and veg. This is in collaboration with a local supermarket, and the project members have also secured a site to grow vegetables to supply these patients. One victory Sindy shared with us, is that she identified a young girl at church who has a beautiful voice and is an excellent athlete. With Nedbank, Sindy and her church set up a marathon which this young girl won – getting herself R2,500 prize money which enabled her to register at university to study social work. She is now sponsored by Nedbank and has a bursary to study. Sindy – you are an absolute inspiration to us, and we thank you bringing your vast spirit that not only dreams big, but actualises your vision.
Phetheni Luyanda Mathebula is a self motivated and driven new member of the Acornhoek Leadership Forum. She LOVES children and started a creche in Burlington which she works hard to develop and maintain. A young mother herself, Phetheni was determined to complete her Grade 12 against the odds and is now fiercely inspired to help other young mothers, teenagers and children in her community. Her dream is to create a center for orphans and vulnerable children in her area, and also a youth center for teens to engage in healthy activities. Phetheni is 100% committed to community development – her light shines BRIGHT and we are delighted to support her work.
Cecilia Phakula joined the Acornhoek Leadership Forum in April 2014 – a parallel to completing her Honours in Psychology. She has just transitioned from teaching at Chueu Primary School to the new special needs school in Tintswalo Village. Cecilia declares that she has a passion for developing communities – she is on the board of Vuwiselo Victim Empowerment Program, assisting survivors of crime and is also on the Water Committee (conducted by the Dept. of Water Affairs), which deals with water conservation in Acornhoek. Cecilia is a brilliant woman with intense focus, who concentrates on her own development and immediately shares with the greater community. We are thrilled to have you on board Cecilia!
ALF 2013 COHORT
Leanette Sithole (above, far left) is the remarkable principal of Beretta Primary School, which she started under a tree ten years ago and now hosts over 1,000 pupils. People come from all over the world to see their exquisite permaculture garden, and with Seeds of Light, Leanette and her team hold seasonal permaculture workshops. On her team is Deborah Maunye (second from left), who took it upon herself to ensure that the 100+ HIV positive children in their school are being monitored, educated about balanced diet and how to take their medication, and that they have food and shelter. Moses Mahlaule (far right), vice-principal and pastor, has arranged huge teach-back sessions, with over 100 people coming to learn what our leaders have to teach. Supportive, compassionate, full of wisdom and resolve, these educators are pure inspiration. Daphne Makhubela (front, yellow apron) is using her knowledge of medicinal plants to treat school children with minor ailments, and to educate her community about them.
Emerencia Mohlolo (above, white shirt, blue scarf) is a tireless supporter of the vulnerable in her community. As well as arranging tours around Acornhoek and to the Mapusha Weaving Co-operative, Emerencia with a group of women who run a very poor creche, have set up a community garden where the women cultivate the garden and use the produce at home, the creche or by selling it. Emerencia has also dipped her toe into the world of agriculture by partnering with the Dept. of Agriculture to start a pig farming project. She has taken in some troubled youth to help her with the pigs and the garden and is pleased with the positive changes she is seeing in her group of mentees.
Angy Dibakwana (above, back row, purple headscarf, incredible smile) is a member of the Mapusha Weaving Co-operative and an extremely gifted weaver. Angy graduated from Avuxeni Computer Academy this year and aims to extend her professional life to clerical work.
Mesia Ndhlovu is the founder of the Mesia Family Support, providing assistance to vulnerable families, after school care to 50 children in her area and a home to up to 15 children. Her home is open as a kind of safe house for children in need of a temporary place to stay. She is a tireless and completely motivated person dedicated to providing opportunities for children so that they have a better chance in life. Her experience of the ALF has expanded her possibilities as she identifies the contribution and value of those around her, and has learned to empower others to work as a team.