Visit to Kids Care, Zithobeni, Archdiocese of Pretoria
The SACBC AIDS Office visited Zithobeni on 21 September2012 to monitor the recent shelter repairs. Three families were visited.
The first home we visited is headed by a mother who is reported by the site as being very irresponsible. There are 2 boys in this home that are registered at Kids Care. One is 15 years old and the other one is 9 years old. Most of the time they live alone as the mother has a boyfriend she visits. Sometimes she spends more than a week without checking up on the two boys so that they end up having to fend for themselves to survive. Mr. Mahlangu who did the repairs mentioned that this particular home was one of those that was really badly in need of repair. Most of the corrugated iron used to build the shack was rusted and as a result whenever it rained the rain water just went in. He put new corrugated iron on the roof as it was all rotten and painted the sides of the shack and installed a new door and window panes.
The second home we visited is headed by a mother. She has three children. The eldest is no longer in the Kids Care program as he has turned 18; there is a 15 year old girl and a 12 year old girl. All of them are still at school. Their home caved in when they builder went to repair it and as a result they had to start it from scratch.
The third house visited is headed by a mother who has five children. The eldest is a 17 year old boy, then there are 13 year old twins, a boy and a girl, and 8 year old and 6 year old boys. They are all at school. The mother recently acquired a job in Bronkhorstspruit; when she spoke to the care giver she was very excited that she will now be able to look after her children with the little that she is earning.
We later did a home visit where we found a grandmother looking after many orphans and a daughter in law whose husband had passed away. The daughter in law is irresponsible, leaving the children with their granny and not help with looking after them, misusing the child support grant money.
The social auxiliary worker at Kids Care who is working on the case said slowly but surely things are looking good. The mother of the children is trying to take some responsibility in raising them but it’s going to be a long way to get there.