Kuselo turns one year old

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    Child centre parties with 750 kids

    HARD TIMES HAVEN: Children from Quzini in King William’s Town were treated at the Kuselo Child and Youth Care Centre’s first birthday on Saturday. About 750 children attended the celebrations. Centre director Amanda Coetzee is confident that they will soon be able to accommodate 60 children once they get the final approval from the Department of Social Development this month Picture: SUPPLIED
    HARD TIMES HAVEN: Children from Quzini in King William’s Town were treated at the Kuselo Child and Youth Care Centre’s first birthday on Saturday. About 750 children attended the celebrations. Centre director Amanda Coetzee is confident that they will soon be able to accommodate 60 children once they get the final approval from the Department of Social Development this month Picture: SUPPLIED

    SARAH KINGON

    KUSELO Child and Youth Care Centre in Quzini, King William’s Town, celebrated its first birthday on Saturday by inviting children from the community to join the party.

    Initially 70 children were invited, but word spread fast and 750 showed up. Children from various schools and other youth care centres performed song and dance items and there was drama, art and tasty treats too.

    Kuselo partners with the Isibindi nationwide programme and, despite the home itself not being operational as yet, it is working to support child-headed families by helping with home-based care of children.

    “Kuselo helps to sustain and support the livelihood of these child- headed households, which often resort to prostitution out of desperation for income.

    “Kuselo helps to stop this child- abuse and ensure families have people checking up on them and counselling where necessary,” said Kuselo director Amanda Coetzee.

    Reflecting on the year gone by, Coetzee was positive about the facility’s progress and thankful for the ongoing support of the community.

    Coetzee established the centre to accommodate the desperate need for residential care facilities for abused, abandoned, neglected and HIV infected and affected children.

    “I have worked in children’s homes for many years and have noticed the overcrowding in homes, because there is just no more space to house the children. I have got many calls coming through each day asking for placement of children.

    “I decided I wanted to help and I knew I could do it,” said Coetzee.

    She acquired a dilapidated building in December, which she and her team have been working hard to revamp, painting and re-installing plumbing and electricity.

    They received a health clearance certificate and now await final approval from the Department of Social Development, after which they will be able to house 60 children.

    After the final approval from the department, they will also begin the Masondleni feeding programme, which creates vegetable gardens.

    Once up and running, they also hope to start the Zuzulwazi programme, which will serve as a crèche and pre-school for children who accessed school late.

    “Without community support, we would not be able to open our doors,” said Coetzee, thanking businesses and community members in King and East London for their support in revamping the centre and catering for the party.

    Coetzee urges the public to continue their support by assisting with food, clothing, bedding, kitchen crockery and cutlery.

    Kuselo will soon be registered as a public benefit organisation, allowing for tax exemption.

    For further information, contact Amanda on 072-512-7227.

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