This project was started in 2005 when various social workers asked Mosamaria to give very needy orphans and vulnerable children ongoing support.
Mosamaria works with 140 OVC in Support Groups at our centre in Digaretene, Bochabela in Mangaung, Bloemfontein. They are children from 5 -18 years old, who have lost either one or both parents, and children living in extreme poverty who have been made vulnerable because they are either infected with HIV or live in conditions of need because they have been affected by HIV.
Our project manager, Kelebogile Ditema works with 3 Trained Child Care Workers who meet every day of the week in Support Groups with 140 children to teach them essential life skills with resilience programmes, and sports programmes three times a week to keep the children fit and off the streets from the clutches of gangsters and substance abuse. Regular home visits to assess the children’s living conditions are also done. Support services like homestead vegetable food gardens, and Voluntary Saving and Lending Groups are offered to their families.
Services provided to children by Mosamaria’s OVC Programme are:
Access to food and food security after an assessment by the OVC Project Manager, which includes: Food parcels; a peanut butter sandwich, fruit and cup of juice at Support Group meetings,
General healthcare education and HIV prevention, ART for HIV+ children, sexual and reproductive health education, basic hygiene.
Child protection – educating children and their families about Children’s Rights and Responsibilities, preventing children from being in abusive and exploitative situations, and having them removed by social workers where necessary, facilitation of child identity documents and birth certificates.
General Educational Support – supervising homework, facilitating school fee exemption, providing school uniforms where needed, identifying learning difficulties, and monitoring educational progress. We have box libraries so that children can learn to read and write proficiently and begin to value books.
Psychosocial Support like helping the children to make memory boxes and deal with bereavement, and keeping up traditional songs and dances and developing cultural talents, assisting children to draw their own family trees, encouraging the children to express their emotions and learn important values in life, through creating their own dramatic sketches.
At present we work with 140 orphans and vulnerable children in Support Groups in Mangaung. Our 4 Childcare Workers meet them every afternoon after school and provide the services listed above.
The municipality has imposed very stringent water restrictions on everyone, so it is difficult to plant vegetables at the moment. However, our intrepid gardeners have planted vegetables for summer as they say they are dependent on this source of food.
The 10 JoJo water storage tanks which were donated to us by the Rand Water Board in 2013, have made a huge difference to those who were able to store water. It would be absolutely wonderful if we could have more of these water storage tanks donated to our families.