Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa

by Kingsway Centre of Concern: Thandanani House of Refuge
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Help Educate 22 Children in Zandspruit, S.Africa
Unathi - Then and Now
Unathi - Then and Now

As much as it often distresses any parent when one of their children decides to move out and establish themselves on their own, it is no different when one of our "children" at Thandanani decides it's time to move on, as was the case at the beginning of this year.

Unathi was one of the first children that Thandanani took in back in 2003 when she was presented to us by the police as an 18-month old baby who had been found abandoned on the street, and in December 2019 she graduated from high school! 

As much as there is anxiousness at her moving out, there is also a real sense of pride in her achievement, and at the end of the day this is the way it's supposed to be, and this is ultimately our purpose to empower abandoned and abused children to become responsible members of society who can stand on their own 2 feet.

Unathi plans to study further, and she was also fortunate that we were able to find an uncle with whom she could re-unite and has now moved in with him as she embarks on the next phase of her life.

But not all of our children are so fortunate, and when they finish school at the age of 18 we often have to make plans to assist them and care for them until they can find their feet, and be in a position to sustain themselves.

And that is the reason that we are so thankful for every one of you who have been so generous with your giving, which has allowed us to care for these children who would have otherwise been lost to society.

Best Wishes



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We look back on 2019 and acknowledge each of you who have walked a road with us, and give thanks for your contribution that has allowed our family at Thandanani to not only survive, but to thrive.

To mention but a few examples:
1 Nthabaleng is putting her ECD (Early Childhood Development) training to good effect at one of Johannesburg's big hospitals and has moved out of Thandanani as she's now able to stand on her own feet.
2 Sam has completed another year of his trade in welding, and will hopefully be able to step out on his own in the not too distant future.
3 Mina has earned herself a bursary for 2020 to attend a prestigious private school.
4 Esther and Manana received certificates at their respective schools for achievement.
5 Palesa won a spellathon

And so we look forward to 2020 with anticipation of what we might be able to achieve with these children who would otherwise not have had a future, but for your support.

Let me also take this opportunity to wish you well over the festive season, and everything of the best for 2020.

Best Regards


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An opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to Mina (13) when she was awarded a full bursary to attend Dainfern College, an independent day school in Dainfern, Johannesburg, next year. It is an opportunity that this young girl who came from an impoverished background is planning to seize with both hands.

“I am so excited about this opportunity. This could change my life forever and I am going to take it very seriously. I know I can’t snap my fingers and expect to live the life I want. I will have to work for it and going to Dainfern College is the beginning. I was awarded this bursary because the average of all my subjects is above 70%, so I will have to study hard to keep it up,” says Mina seriously and adds that Natural Science, English and Geography are her favourite subjects.

Mina was born to a single mom whose boyfriend disappeared after her birth never to be seen again. Mina lived with her mother and half-sister, Esther, until her mother died unexpectedly. She was only five years old then and her sister eight. After her mother’s death, her aunt took them in for a short while before a social worker arranged for them to be taken into Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, an informal settlement just outside Johannesburg.

“To live at Thandanani is the closest thing to home as you can get. Our caregivers love us, take care of us and correct us when necessary. When it’s our birthdays they take us out on the weekend after our birthdays. And people from organizations outside Thandanani sometimes take us to movies or I-Jump. It is fun, I like it,”

Mina loves reading, meditating, playing and working in the garden in her free time.

“I love nature and would love to have a career one day where I can connect with people and nature. I’m thinking of becoming a doctor and be part of Doctors Without Borders or maybe a nutritionist where I can work with plants and help people,” she adds.


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Alleta and Tsheamo
Alleta and Tsheamo

“Thandanani is not an institution, it’s a home,” says Alleta (28), who now has a life and future thanks to Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, an informal settlement just outside Johannesburg.

Alleta was born in Pretoria but after her father passed away in 2006 she went to stay with relatives in the informal settlement of Zandspruit. She was 15 at the time and already had a baby boy (Tsheamo).

“Living with our relatives was not a good situation and my baby and I ended up sleeping in shelters most of the time. While I was at school, the woman whose shelter it was and who looked after my baby during the day, tried to give my baby away. Luckily, I had my son’s birth certificate with me that day. I had no choice but to put him into a home at the tender age of 2 years.

“In August 2009 I was offered a home at Thandanani while I finished my schooling, intending to stay there only until the end of the year. When I moved in, it was time for my matric dance (Prom) at the school. Thandanani even helped me with a dress etc., it was all like a fairy tale.

“Although the arrangement was that I would leave Thandanani when I finished school, they did not ask me to leave. Instead, they asked me if I wanted to study further. I decided on Marketing and PR and studied full time, graduating in 2012.”

Her first job after graduating didn’t work out very well due to transport challenges, and Alleta then got a job as a receptionist at a private school. Because she was in a stable job and Thandanani allowed her to stay in a cottage on their premises, she got her son (then 5) back.

“After about two years at the private school, I got a job at an insurance company where I started working in January 2017. I have enjoyed working for them. They are supportive and have helped me to grow my career. They opened an office in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth and offered me a job there, so I relocated to PE at the end of April this year with my son.

“All of this wouldn’t have happened if Thandanani had not helped me. I would probably have ended up as an alcoholic or drug addict. But their support gave me the opportunity to make something of my life.

“They are still part of my life.  They are my family. Even though I have moved out and on with my life, they still care. They keep in contact and constantly make sure that I am alright. I don’t know how to thank them.…”


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Graduation Day
Graduation Day

No one’s history, upbringing, social class or intellectual capabilities should be a stumbling block to accomplish something in your life. Jane Ngeu (27) can testify to that.

Coming from a totally dysfunctional home, she ended up at Thandanani House of Refuge in Zandspruit, an informal settlement just outside Johannesburg, when she was 13. She was moved from Masakani Primary School in Zandspruit to Kingsway Christian School in Randpark Ridge.

“I was never bright at school but I was a hard worker. In grade 7 I was made a prefect.”

When Jane finished primary school she went to Sparrow School where they teach children various kinds of skills. Jane chose to do sewing. At 19 she left to go to Sew Africa, a fashion design school in the CBD of Johannesburg, but after a year she realised that fashion design is not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

It was also around that time that she knew she was going to have to leave Thandanani (due to her age) and that she would have to step out on her own - a daunting task.

“When they told me it was time to leave Thandanani I had nowhere to go. But I refused to do what so many girls do to try and survive and that is to get a boyfriend to support me. And I refused to go and live in a shack.

“Thandanani is an amazing place. My mindset was formed there. I was loved and the house moms were always there for us. They taught me that although life is not easy, I must never give up. They also encouraged me to think about my future and to make plans to fulfill my dreams.

“I asked God to help me and guide me on the right path and then a friend I made at the Sparrow School told me about friends of her parents who had a cottage available on their property. They let me stay there for only R500 (US$35) per month.

“At that time I managed to find a job as a receptionist which lasted two and a half years. After that, the people where I stayed asked me what I wanted to do with my life. When I told them my dream was to become a teacher they paid for me to study at the Professional Childcare College in Johannesburg. They even let me stay in their cottage for free. They are amazing people. They treat me like their own child,” she says.

Jane successfully finished the three-year course as a basic childminder and pre-school teacher and graduated on 16 December 2018.

Now the big hunt is on for a job in a pre-school. Her dream for the future besides getting married one day, is to open her own aftercare centre that stays open until eight o’ clock in the evening to accommodate parents who can’t fetch their kids earlier in the afternoon.


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Organization Information

Kingsway Centre of Concern: Thandanani House of Refuge

Location: Johannesburg - South Africa
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @thandananihouse
Project Leader:
Paul McKibbin
Johannesburg , South Africa
$18,233 raised of $20,000 goal
244 donations
$1,767 to go
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