THOUGH MANDELA Day has passed on- for some it’s a continuation as was evident when the Korean Association of South Africa paid a courtesy visit to both Bara Hospital Children Ward and the Orlando Childrens Home in Soweto, respectively.
The Korean Ass of SA was handing over donations as part of their mandate to offer aid were possible every year to the needy in South Africa.
At the Orlando Childrens Center they donated food parcels, kids utensils and other needy material to kids who were jostling for fun with the painter-guy in the playing ground, that was established in 1940 by the then Child Welfare Department.
From the distance it all looks clean and tidy but the minute one enters the huge center, the issue of funding takes center stage.
Pouring her heart out to this reporter, who also landed a hand by off-loading some of the food supplies, Mme Mirriam Mazibuko, the Center Director, says the most basic challenge for them is funding.
With a gentle smile she alluded that although they receive 51% from the State, they also have to mitigate on the remaining 49% of which it’s a challenge because of growing needs the centre experiences such as administration and staff complement.
“We acknowledge the presence and contribution by the Korean Ass of SA in realising we exist firstly, and secondly by planting the seed of love to these kids. It means a lot to us and them despite the daily challenges we face,” says Mme Solanie or Gogo to the kids.
The Center spends almost a staggering R11 000 on bread alone every month that goes on to show running such a center without enough capital is a risk- but as Mme Mazibuko points it out-its a calling.
“I will retire from here since everyone in this center is a family member- though I have my own family,” says Umama a retired professional Social Worker, who also made a calling to other organisations to come on board and help where possible.
The South Africa Korean Association was represented by its president Maeng Hwan Kim and Embassy of Republic of Korea and their spouses.
Ours as the Korean Ass of SA is to offer donation to children, students and also provide funding were possible every year, says Kim.
“Since 1950s when Korea was at war South Africa played a major role in fostering relationship and since then we’ve created bilateral and economical understanding between the two countries, hence today we’re giving back to deserving organisations in this prosperous country,” he says.
For the Orlando Childrens Home and its director Mme Mazibuko that green light might be a bit far but as the saying goes- each mile begins with a step.
Those kids will one day be proud parents in their own communities.
For information on how to offer aid send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image SLM (Kids giving-thumbs up upon receiving donations from the Korean Ass of SA representatives at Orlando Childrens’ Home- Orlando, Soweto).