A beacon of hope for IY’s children

The iKhaya Le Themba Project in Imizamo Yethu provides a structured after-school programme for children aged 6 to 12.

The iKhaya Le Themba Project in Imizamo Yethu has been caring for orphaned and vulnerable children for almost two decades.

Working from a purpose-built campus in the township, it provides a nurturing refuge for children aged 6 to 12 who have suffered from the effects of HIV/Aids, poverty, and other stressful life circumstances.

“iKhaya serves the most vulnerable of the community,” says Susan Hill, the project’s director. And it does this, she adds, with a structured after-school programme and a family-support centre.

“One hundred and eight children attend our programmes daily where they are nurtured, cared for, fed a hot meal by a staff of 10,“ says Ms Hill.

The project provides, among other things, educational support, English and Xhosa language classes, maths lessons, life skills, modelling, dance, public speaking, gardening, structured play and counselling.

“It is provided in an after-school context to encourage kids to thrive in school and believe in their hopes and dreams. The children themselves tell you what/who they hope to be when they grow up, and iKhaya longs for the day every child has hope and a future,“ says Ms Hill.

“iKhaya children have won isiXhosa Poetry prizes in the local schools along with bursaries to high schools in Cape Town. The project provides collaborative partnerships for corporate social responsibility as well as corporate team building.”

Through a recent partnership with the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the project’s older pupils rode the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus to the centre to learn more about future career opportunities.

But serving the most vulnerable of the community comes with its challenges, especially when it comes to funding, says Ms Hill.

“It is a monthly challenge and iKhaya is always seeking sponsorships for the pupils.”

The organisation plans to seek council approval to remodel its original hall built in 2009 to house a classroom, sick room, kitchen and toilets. It needs some urgent renovations, says Ms Hill.

“The stoep needs to be reinforced with steel and the tiles reset. The building needs a fresh coat of paint, and inside, the floors need attention. iKhaya needs a larger library to provide for 107 children with mobile bookcases and multi-media equipment for teaching.”

To get involved or find out more about the organisation, contact Susan Hill on 072 517 4100 or 021 791 6060 or email ikhayalethemba@gmail.com

The project has several after-school programmes focussing on education.
Nomvula Nyangeni is iKhaya’s community worker and the Grade 2 teacher.