Prize from challenge will go long way towards fulfilling homeless needs, dreams - Tebogo Mpufane
Pretoria - The prize from a Spar challenge will go a long way towards fulfilling both the needs of the homeless and the dream of shelter founder and former “street kid” Tebogo Mpufane.
The founder of Centurion Haven of Hope said he could not reveal the actual shape and size of the prize. However, he said the competition was a great morale booster for them.
“It was really a shot in the dark. I received a call from a radio station asking me to talk about our needs and challenges. And so I spoke from the heart. And a couple of days later when I was in a taxi I received the good news that we had won.”
Mpufane said: “There’s no money involved. I was told the winnings included best quality food in abundance, dignity bags and other cleaning products,” he said.
For anyone who has not lived on the streets that might not sound like winning, but for homeless people a toothbrush and just one meal is a goldmine, according to him.
“We are also celebrating that the homelessness policy has been passed by the City of Tshwane. We are here to remove the vein of ignorance that homeless people are dirty or thieves.”
His organisation has a list of aims and objectives which include providing temporary residence, safe shelter, and support services for homeless individuals and families.
Mpufane also encouraged others to initiate similar projects and programmes, which will assist the poverty-stricken. He believes nothing is stronger than a united community and it is clear that he is a strong leader who will have the ideal morals and values set in the right places.
He said he was passionate about homeless people since he was on the street for 11 years.
He said his goal was to give the homeless an opportunity to better their lives and make something of themselves. “Contrary to popular belief, some homeless people are not there because they are junkies and had defied family rules,” he said.
He said some were forced on to the streets by harsh circumstances that left them with no other choice.
“I’m a firm believer that everyone deserves a second chance, or maybe even a third or fourth chance.”
His NGO is housing homeless people at Lyttelton Community Centre.