Dog lovers assist kids

Source:  News24
Posted: Jul 30, 2019

In the spirit of Ubuntu and giving back, a group of dog owners and lovers made the day of children at Elonwabeni Child and Family Centre (ECFC) special by donating some much-needed items to them.

The donation happened at the centre’s premises in Colorado Park on Sunday 21 July.

ECFC is a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) that houses children who are victims of parent neglect, domestic violence or HIV related issues. The NGO works closely with the Department of Social Development and has in-house social workers.

Items donated include clothes, toilet paper, sanitary towels and body lotion.

Lizelle Bakkies is a member of The Enduro Pits, the group that made a donation. Enduro is a club of dog lovers who do community awareness events to discourage people from ill-treating dogs.

She said fundraising and giving back to the community is a big part of who Enduro Pits is as a club and ECFC is a perfect clinic to benefit.

“The Enduro Pits committee are very family orientated and we consist of a large number of female club members who themselves are mothers and wives.

“Elonwabeni Child and Family Centre also comprise of mostly female caregivers and facilitators and we wanted to thank them and honour them for their hard work,” she explained.

She said that they would like to assist the centre in the future and because their mandate as the club is to help impoverished communities.

Wilma Brown and Florence Stuurman, who are house mothers at the centre, expressed gratitude to the team that donated. Stuurman wished them well and for God to increase their territory.

The evangelical Brown said the deed of the donors was noted by God and they will be rewarded for it.

“Shalom and God’s richest blessings in their lives. By giving to our children they are enriching the soil of their children,” she expressed.

According to the duo, the centre currently houses 32 girls and boys. Part of duties of the five women who are the guardians of the children is to ensure that the children do not feel like they do not belong and, in fact, feel at home and special

“We always tell them that they are no different to other children out there and that they have the full potential to become whatever they want to become,” said Brown.

Brown said some of the values they instil in the diversified bunch are that of giving back, trust, acceptance and love.

“The life choices that are made by them, whatever choice they make will determine their future,” she said.

Working in the organisation is not glamorous as they are faced with some challenges but they choose to look at the brighter side, they said. 

They said the challenges they face include children whose parents are hard to trace. They revealed some come to the centre with no documents such as a birth certificate.

Speaking on behalf of their housemates, Erinnery (15) and Aphiwe (17) thanked the donors. They also urged them to continue doing the great work. They wished for them to be blessed abundantly.

Erinnery said she enjoys staying at the shelter with the mothers whom she described as both “wonderful” and “strict”.

“They spend time away from their families and spend it with us and that means so much to us,” she said.

For Aphiwe, the donation is more meaningful than one can imagine. She said she appreciates the fact that the donors thought about them in the shelter.

“I want to thank them for what they did. It means a lot to us because they thought about us as we are not with our biological families,” Aphiwe expressed.

Aphiwe is currently doing Grade 11 and wishes to pursue law when she finishes high school.

“I want to change the world. I want to stand up for children who cannot stand up for themselves,” she explained.

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