MAKAPHUTU – A LOVING COMMUNITY
WHAT WE DO?
Today Makaphutu is both a children’s village and a community outreach hub. The first goal of the Children’s Village is to nurture orphaned and vulnerable children into wholeness. Long term we believe we are raising servant leaders who will help create healthy, sustainable communities. For now we wish to provide them with a loving and safe environment where they will be able to lead normal, healthy lives receiving a proper education and the life skills necessary to succeed. Our children’s greatest need is love, and through our practical Christian ministry we attempt to give them that love and nurture in everything we do.
The Makaphutu Children’s Village is not a stereotypical orphanage but instead tries to create a healthy home environment within each cottage/family, which itself is part of a vibrant, safe village community. Each family unit consists of a housemother caring for a group of up to eight children, as in a natural family. The units housing our children consist of 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and an open plan living/kitchen area. Houses are suitably furnished and equipped. The house parents are the foundation on which each family is built. They are drawn from the same cultural group as the children and are a mother to them, not just an employee – they love and care for the children as if they were their own. The house parents receive weekly training and on-going support from the management team including our social worker and psychologist to improve parenting skills and address each child’s particular needs. Altogether Makaphutu has a permanent staff of 20 employees, plus several volunteers who assist with homework club, sports and other creative activities. There is also a large recreational cottage, which includes two common rooms with TVs, a library, sewing room, some computers, and a first aid station. The soccer field and sporting facilities are open to children from the surrounding community and as a result the village children are able to mix socially with their peers. Our children participate in numerous extra-curricular activities – at school, in the village, and in the community at-large.
While Makaphutu is first and foremost a children’s village, part of its goal is to positively impact and change the surrounding community, which suffers from multiple social, economic and physical problems. Due to its strategic location within Embo Qadi, and KwaNyuswa Makaphutu is ideally suited to be a community hub – a central venue for training and gathering, as well as a storehouse from which to reach out to those in crisis. To this end there are several initiatives in progress, and others in planning. The Little Hills Day Care and Pre-school Centre functions out of one of the buildings on campus, and has suitably qualified teachers. 96% of the 72 children at the crèche come from the surrounding communities. In addition the Hlanganani Early Childhood Development (ECD) Training Centre is run from campus, and is responsible for training and equipping approximately 120 ECD teachers each year. Furthermore there is the Makaphutu Training Centre which has a computer lab, classrooms, and workshops for the training of members of the community. SETA courses have been run in the past, and several FETA courses are scheduled to be hosted in 2012 in conjunction with Elangeni College. A fully equipped welding workshop is in the advanced stages of installation – with new courses due to begin in June 2012.
9000 meals per month…
Makaphutu also runs a community-based hunger alleviation programme. We feed approximately 9000 meals per month, specifically targeting vulnerable children, families in crisis, and those infected by HIV/AIDS. We do not attempt to do any of our ministry in isolation, but work in partnership with a number of NGOs , churches and community leaders – both to identify, and efficiently distribute resources and to care for those in need. Makaphutu is a hub for a number of community initiatives in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, and offers churches, businesses, and social organisations an ideal platform from which to get involved and positively impact the host of challenges facing this area.
Our Pre-School on site has 72 children coming from the local community surrounding Makaphutu Village plus a few of our own. Every day we fetch the children in our minibus and bring them to Makaphutu where they have a nutritious breakfast before a day of songs, educational activities and play. No matter where you are in the village you can hear the joyful voices of the children as they go about their day. We have children in Grade 00, Grade 0 and Grade R and we are confident that they will start their school career equipped with the necessary skills.
We live in a place of spectacular natural beauty – the Valley of a Thousand Hills! Yet this beautiful place is sadly in the opinion of the experts the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the world. Within yards of our front gate are the heaped mounds of the state sponsored “paupers” graves were thousands of AIDS victims are buried. The last members of entire families wiped out – buried nameless en-masse, in long trenches dug by back hoe, a dozen or more at a time, placed vertically to safe space, then covered with quicklime. Traditional Zulu family structures and support systems have crumbled under the magnitude of needs – particularly those of the children – orphaned and vulnerable. First they have the trauma of watching their loved ones die, and then they must fend for survival and food. Hopefully a relative or responsible community member hands them to a social worker, and that is how children come to us….
All of our children’s parents are suffering or have died of AIDS. Some of the children are HIV positive, some have been abandoned or raped, others physically and/or mentally abused. Children are placed at Makaphutu when their families and the community in which they live are no longer able to support and nurture them.
Makaphutu was founded about 20 years ago in a private home in Durban in response to the plight of street children. The need to provide a home for children who had been abused in one way or another became obvious and the project moved to larger premises in a semi-rural area. As the AIDS pandemic grew, so did the need for a home for orphaned and vulnerable children. The project was renamed The Makaphutu Children’s Village in 2001, when a Section 21 Company (not for gain) was registered. In 1995 a 50 acre farm had been purchased with funds raised by the Rotary Club of Hillcrest to establish a permanent home. It is situated in The Valley of the Thousand Hills on the northern boundary of Botha’s Hill adjacent to the Embo tribal area, which falls within the Ethekwini Metropolitan area. At first the original farm house was renovated, and then three small cottages and one medium size cottage were built. By 2004 a further seven larger cottages were constructed. Since 2006 Makaphutu Children’s Village has functioned under the operational control of the Lily of the Valley Trust, which also runs a sister village called Lily of the Valley near Eston, about 40 km away.
From 2001 until November 2011, Makaphutu was registered to care for 28 children. In response to the constant requests we receive for placement of vulnerable children we applied to the Department of Social Development for an increase in the number of children to 48. In November 2011 we received this approval. Currently, Makaphutu has four cottages functioning as family units, each comfortably housing 8 children. We are now activating two further cottages and have begun an orderly process of taking in needy children. The village already has in place all the necessary infrastructure for the increased number of children, but is seeking donors to assist with some of the incremental costs. While Makaphutu’s mission was originally focussed entirely on the specific children under its care, its impact on vulnerable children and young adults in the surrounding communities of KwaNyuswa and Embo is now considerable.
Office Staff: Zandile Nhlumayo (PA), Nic Addison (CEO), Nombuso Dimba Ndaleni (Social Worker)
Our Mission Statement is:
Raising vulnerable children to become servant leaders in order to develop sustainable, healthy communities
· Centrality of Christ
· Servant Leadership
· Maximising the Individual Potential of each child
Chair: Nomphepho Ntloko
Treasurer: Raj Moodley
Bernard Gaza, Dennis Wesley, Noel Wright, Pat Wright, Ken Walton, Pat Draper
Chief Executive Officer – Makaphutu: Nic Addison
Chief Executive Officer – Lily of the Valley: Brendan Stapelton
Chief Executive Officer – Valley Fresh: Ken Walton
Welfare Programmes: Nombuso Dimba Ndaleni
Physical Programmes: Togo Gumede / Dr Karin Volker
Education Programmes: Jonathan Tanyanyiwa
If there is any further information you require please feel free to contact me.
Chief Executive Officer – Makaphutu Children’s Village