A group of Public Management students recently visited Baphumelele Children’s Home in Khayelitsha to donate almost 55 000 non-perishable healthy food items.
Situated in the Litha Park area, the Home takes care of children who have been affected by HIV/Aids through abandonment, abuse or neglect or were orphaned when their parents died from AIDS related complications.
Lecturer Mbuso Tshaka, who co-ordinates the community engagement project, says credit should go to his students who worked tirelessly to make the day a success.
“We just did it for the love of it,” says Tshaka. “When I asked an eight-year-old boy what he’d like to become in life, he said he wants to become a pilot. When I asked on whom does that depend he said firstly God, secondly Jesus and the next person is himself.”
The students were able to collect so many items by requesting donations from retail stores with an official letter from the project manager. “This was aligned to their subject Project Management’s learning outcomes with assessment criteria and method,” explained Tshaka.
The Home’s management and staff thanked CPUT for the donation. “We acknowledge receipt of the donation made to us on the 22nd September 2018 of boxes full of tinned stuff. We very much appreciate your generous contribution. Continue helping us to provide and protect these innocent children,” reads a letter signed by Rosie Mashale, the Home’s Managing Director.
The students said they do not wish to forget what they experienced at the Home as it was beyond anything they had imagined. “The shelter’s caregivers were friendly and helpful, the children were happy and playful,” said student Asanda Mgutsi. “We were given a tour around the premises. We were taken to the children’s rooms which are designed to cater for the various age groups of the children and discovered that the rooms were of a high standard and quality.”
A senior caregiver explained to the students how the Home is run and they enjoyed the whole experience.
“The experience taught me to appreciate what I have as the next person might be less fortunate. There we had young boys and girls who had no family support or structure that we as students take for granted,” said Asanda.