The Tikvha Foundation's Rashid Cader socialises with three of the four orphans, Julius Shilenge (3), Endlani Shilenge (5) and Nkhensani Macuvedze (14).
The ability of community journalism to reach good hearts was proven once again when a philanthropist foundation extended a helping hand to the Macuveze orphans.
The Tikvha Foundation read the story of the four orphans, Palmira Macuveze (17), Nkhensani Macuveze (14), Endlani Shilenge (5) and Julius Shilenge (3), in a January edition of Limpopo Mirror and decided to pay the children a visit. They found that the children were living in abject poverty and were all complaining of hunger.
The siblings do not have birth certificates and as such they cannot access SASSA grants. The Macuveze family is a child-headed household living in Mahatlani village. Both their parents, Mr Louis Macuveze (2008) and Ms Anabela Shilenge (2013), had died. Apparently, the children’s late father originally came from Mozambique and this is given as a reason why there was a problem in the issuing of birth certificates to all four children.
In 2013, after the death of her mother, Palmira, then aged 13, assumed the role of mother and father to her three siblings.
On Friday, the team from the Tikvha Foundation delivered groceries to the orphans and spent quality time socialising with them. The foundation felt that they were mandated to look after the well-being of orphans and vulnerable children as a way of bringing relief and hope.
“It’s a great privilege to have donated food parcels to this household,” said Tikvha Foundation's representative, Ms Nhlalala Tlakula. She said that Tikvha Foundation planned to distribute food parcels quarterly to orphans and widows around the communities with the aid of funding from various organisations. “Henceforth, we plead with different institutions to come on board and work hand in hand with us in reducing the plight of poverty in child-headed households,” she said. “This will truly help in reaching out to more households.”
On receiving the food, Palmira said: “We do not just acknowledge the fact that you brought us food. We sincerely thank you all for coming here to our home and spending the day with us. You make us feel like other children.”
Since the deaths of the parents, the local Sanco chairperson, Sammy Mabasa, tried in vain to assist the orphans to acquire birth certificates from the Department of Home Affairs, so that the children can get grants. Social workers who were handling the case apparently failed to assist the children. The Department of Social Development’s Vhembe district office had been mandated to assist the children late last year.
Mabasa thanked the Tikvha Foundation for the food donations and Limpopo Mirror for highlighting the four children’s plight. “If it were not for Limpopo Mirror, these children would not have received the food today. The newspaper is playing a vital role in our lives as community members,” he said.
Date:05 March 2017 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.