Bloemfontein - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will investigate allegations of racism at a Free State school, it said on Monday.
“There were complaints that some of those kids (in the school) have been called k****rs,” said spokesman Isaac Mangena.
Though they are not biological brothers, the love and appreciation they have for each other is clearly evident.
Whether it is playing soccer or hanging out on the steps of the orphanage, the boys at St Theresa’s Home in Sydenham share a bond.
The home provides shelter for more than 70 boys between three and 18 years who have been orphaned, abandoned, or infected or affected by HIV/Aids.
However, things have not been easy with the increasing cost of food and the upkeep of the home, said Debbie Bowes, its director.
“We have been trying our best to provide for the boys, but it has not been easy, as the cost of living has increased so drastically this year.”
The home is appealing for donations of non-perishable foodstuffs in the run-up to the festive season.
“We want to try to make this Christmas as special as we can for our boys. We would be grateful for any donations of food that will help not only over the festive season, but during the year as well.”
The high medical cost of looking after growing boys is also another concern, she said.
“A few of our boys need glasses, but it is very expensive. An eye test costs R100, while glasses are from R300 upwards, something we just can’t afford now. Any donations for the boys’ medical upkeep would also be very welcome,” she said.
St Theresa’s also tries to find host families for the boys to stay with over the festive season, something the boys look forward to the entire year. Those who are not placed with families will spend Christmas and New Year at the home.
“If people cannot afford to donate money, hosting a child for a day or two over Christmas would be the best present they have ever received. They would love to feel loved and to be spoiled. Anyone who wishes to host a child is welcome to contact us,” said Bowes.
Readers can drop off donations at Independent Newspaper in Greyville. Ask for Sharon Zunckel of Community Projects.
Mark your donation for the Sunday Tribune St Theresa’s Home charity appeal. The collection point is open weekdays from 8am to 4.30pm.
Monetary donations can be made to the following account:
First National Bank
Account No: 50840161249
Branch no: 221426
Please use the reference “Sunday Tribune Charity” on the deposit slip.
For any inquiries, call Sharon at 031 308 2428.
Home cries out for help
Youngsters at the St Theresa Children’s Home for boys have fun at the playground. The home is appealing for donations of non-perishable foodstuffs.
The old South African flag and a picture of expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema alongside that of a monkey were also reportedly put up on a classroom wall.
The SAHRC said it conducted an on-site inspection of the Wilgehof Primary School, in Bloemfontein, after a white pupil's parent laid a complaint.
“We have opened a file to investigate charges of racism and inequality,” said Mangena.
He said the SAHRC would work with the basic education department on the matter.
“After opening the file, we will be speaking to the respondents; the school, the principal and the teachers.” - Sapa