106 orphans get new shoes

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Copy of ct Baphumelele Centre  1685 CAPE TIMES Children living at Baphumelele childrens home in Khayelitsha were delighted to receive a new pair of shoes on Monday. Picture: Courtney Africa

Cape Town - Each of the 106 children living at the Baphumelele orphanage in Khayelitsha received a new pair of shoes on Monday to keep their feet warm for what is already proving to be a very cold Cape Winter.

The shoes were bought with funds raised at a recent charity concert featuring local musicians Natalie Johannes and Nur Felix at St George’s Cathedral. Concert organiser David Gummers said R46 000 was raised from the concert and after 40 percent was donated to the cathedral’s roof fund, shoes were bought for each child. Any leftover funds – about R7 000, Gummers estimates – will be used to buy clothes for the Baphumelele children.

Yanga, 15, one of the teenagers living at Baphumelele, has been asking for new shoes for months as his feet have been cold. He was very happy on Tuesday when some finally arrived and said he didn’t mind what kind they were, “they were all nice”.

Rosalia “Rosie” Mashele, who has taken children in since she started Baphumelele in 1989, said the shoes will come in “very handy” for winter and beyond. “But I wish I could have a pair too,” she joked.

Baphumelele has also received donations of beanies and socks recently.

Social worker and manager of Baphumelele’s children’s home, Lira Greeff, said the donations were welcome and very much needed and had been on the home’s wish list for a while. She said she advises people to contact the home before making donations as there are so many things they need that people don’t necessarily think of. “We’re very specific about what we need.”

Raincoats, “the practical school kind”, are a huge need, but different colours are required for the various schools children from the home attend. Other needs include nappies, supplies for toddlers and babies, underwear, beds and other furniture, and bedding, including mattress protectors. And non-perishable food goes a long way.

But Greeff said it’s not just things that the children need, they also need people able to teach skills and tutor outside of school. The older boys have repeatedly asked for someone to give them soccer lessons.

* Contact details and the Bhapumelele “wish list” can be found online at www.bhapumelele.org.za

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