This year marks 20 years of the Fund being in existence since establishment in 1995. The Fund has been working tirelessly over the years to change the way society treats its children and youth. On its 20th anniversary, the Fund wishes to reflect on the results of the work it had done. That reflection is an invitation to children and youth to share their experiences in the journey they have travelled with the Fund in its search for a hero in every child. Listed amongst these fellow-travellers, are heroes and heroines that make the story worth telling.
The 2015 Children’s Celebration
This year’s Children’s Celebration took place on 10 July under the theme “There is a hero in every child”. Attendees included children and youth from around Gauteng and some from as far as Limpopo and North West Province.
Showcased day were various forms of children’s special talents which included traditional dance, poetry, music, brass band, ballet, etc. The audience was captivated by the raw talent exhibited by children and it was in that spirit that we purposely sought to draw out a hero that is within every child.
This allowed children and youth to express themselves, share their talents and stories.
The Programme of the day was co-hosted by Rorisang Thandekiso (who started working with the Fund from an early age) and Reabetswe Mmekwa (who was being mentored by Rorisang on the day). Below are the profiles of the Heroes who participated in the event.
1. Reabetswe Mmekwa – Female, (10 yrs)
Reabetswe is the co-founder of Ditsala Children’s Shield and Projects founded in 2013, which aims to empower children from disadvantaged communities to make a difference in their own and their communities’ lives. To date the organisation has both young and old as partners in promoting positive social change in communities. The organisation is cognisant of the fact that people have different talent and therefore embraces participation of all people who preach positivity, selflessness and goodwill in their communities.
2. Ashley Magutshwa – Male, (15 yrs)
At 15, Ashley has not allowed his circumstances define him. Having lost their grandmother, Ashley and his sister were taken to the Ikageng Itereleng Ministry Orphanage, which became their home. He then joined Sparrow Schools for children with learning difficulties. The Sparrow Foundation School turned out to be his perfect home, through the support he received at the school, he rose above his circumstances.
Ashley is now an active Ballerina at the Johannesburg Theatre and a drama student at the National School of the Arts.
3. Lebohang Motebang – Male, (5 yrs)
Lebohang enjoys playing drums and musical instruments. He started paying drums at 18 months in a local church choir. He is a member of a church’s brass band, and also plays at weddings and other functions. In 2013 he was invited to play musical instruments at a church conference hosted at NASREC to an audience of 1000. He is very passionate about music
Thando and Ndodla both 13, and come from Zola, Soweto and attend Thathane Higher Primary School, where they are in Grade 7. Thando is embracing her love for music daily. This dynamic duo is inseparable. Ndodla’s dream is to build a successful business
Kgodiso’s involvement with Efeng Bacha helped her to develop a family away from home with Efeng Bacha members and the Fund’s staff. This helped her to obtain her grade 12 with distinction, be in the North West province’s top 20 matric pupils in 2004 and obtain a BSc (Hons) degree in Actuarial Science from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008. She believes in constantly learning and developing herself, and is currently pursuing a masters degree in Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town. Efeng Bacha also helped her realise her passion for leadership and how to use it to truly realise a better future for all South Africans. As such, she got involved with the Association of South African Black Actuarial Professionals (ASABA) when she got to university and eventually founded its women’s committee. Later on, she became President of ASABA – a role that she currently occupies.
Kgodiso has grown within the NMCF family over the past 12 years and is now a Trustee of
6. Musa Mbele – (Male)
Musa’s journey with the Fund began 10 years ago when he joined Efeng Bacha. Currently a law student, Musa is passionate about community development. He started a book collection initiative which aimed at opening a library for Kholowane Primary School, in Jabulani (Soweto). Musa’s target is to collect 10 000 books. Musa also helped with fundraising for a school that is currently being constructed.
We also took the time to invite other organisations that are involved in changing lives to showcase their work. The following organisations exhibited their wares:
National Council for Persons with Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA)
Southern Africa Youth Project
Sparrow FET College
Through partnership with industry, Sparrow FET College continues to make great strides in ensuring that its vision and mission of equipping youth with skills is realised. The FET College strives to build strong partnerships with members and representatives from various industries. Through these partnerships, the College is able to offer bursary programs and learnership opportunities to students who would normally not be able to further their education
The Fund is extremely grateful to Pick n Pay for sponsoring the event, thus ensuring that all guests are well-fed. We would like to thank Pick n Pay for the sponsorship of meals, cake, drinks, and water as well as for the special meals packs which were given to children as take-away gifts. We are also thankful to Pick n Pay for their staff who were ready to serve on the day.