Happy Family in the Diocese of Dundee
Maria Ratschitz Mission serves a remote area of rural Zululand, in the Diocese of Dundee. SACBC AIDS Office funds the orphan housing program there, building 24 square meter, two-roomed houses for destitute orphans. Progress has not been easy – there are almost no service providers in the area. But Sr Collette Mthimkhulu soldiers on, and has built 18 houses for destitute child-headed households to date. The last house to be completed is for the Mnchunu brothers, in Ebusi village just outside Wasbank. The oldest, Philani, is 18 years old,He has had to leave school, to look after his two siblings. The three have been orphaned for four years, and rely totally on the support they get from the Church. The youngest is Siyabonga – he claims to be 16 but looks no older than 12. Their other brother is a substance abuser, living in the streets, and coming home occasionally.
Philani and Siyabonga are ecstatic about their new house. Finally they have a place of their own, and a sense of stability and belonging. They now request a fence from Sr Collette, so that they can plant a vegetable garden.