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Children of the Dawn is run by Magali Malherbe and works closely with Fanang Diatla.
How was Children of the Dawn started?
Children of the Dawn started in 2002 when we realised the scale of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South African and the thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children it leaves behind. Many informal, semi-formal or formal groups of women were trying to help the children in rural areas, however they lacked financial and technical means. Children of the Dawn was therefore created to offer sustainable financial and technical support to community-based organizations caring for orphaned and vulnerable children. We have a deep faith in community development, and that communities know best how to care for their own children.
How did Agnes get involved in it, is it part of Fanang Diatla?
Ms Qwabe and Fanang Diatla Self-Help Centre were involved from the very beginning of Children of the Dawn. In September 2002, we piloted a child sponsorship programme. Each child received funding from an individual within South Africa or from overseas and their basic needs such as food, clothing and education were covered. We started with 10 children from Ga- Mathabatha. When the project worked, it was extended to more children and to other villages.
What services do you provide?
We provide holistic care to the children. We cover the following: nutritional programme (food parcels, lunch boxes, meals at care centres, nutritional complements), school support programme (school fees, school uniforms, homework support, liaising with teachers), hygiene programmes (hygiene products, training), monitoring of health, counselling, ground work to access government social grants, leisure activities (trips, games, etc...). We are not an orphanage or a closed institution. We care for the children within the community. The children continue to be in their original home with a guardian (or not in some cases) and we operate from care centres.
How many children are you taking care of?
A present we care for 149 children (through 4 Community-Based Organisations)
- 60 in Mathabatha, Limpopo Province
- 40 in Bushbuckridge, Limpopo Province
- 39 in Kgautswane, Limpopo Province
- 10 in Phuthaditjhaba, Free State Province
Who are your main funders?
We rely on individual sponsors, mostly South African, but also French, British, Swiss, and Canadian. We are also funded by private companies.
Is there a need for other support to help sustain initiatives like this one?
YES definitely. With the number of orphans and vulnerable children growing by the day, everything must be done to take care of these children. A partnership between NGOs and government is necessary. It is something we need to explore further.
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