When St. Peter’s Day Care Centre rector Reverend Andrew Mudereri learnt firsthand about the socio-emotional plight of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) during pastoral visits in his Mgoditshane parish it invoked him to breathe life into biblical-derived vicarage compassion.
However, little did the Vicar realize that charting this compassionate vocation would be the gateway to a “beacon of hope” to a fully-fledged day-care-centre accommodating 80 OVCs and 30 afterschool 10 years down the line. The Centre is dedicated to the whole child the whole day continuously integrating physical development and mental wellbeing, says Mudereri.
During the Centre’s 10th Anniversary Celebrations coinciding with the 2013 year-end graduations in Mgoditshane last week, Mudereri said without a committed local and international donor partnership and societal benevolence, the Centre could not never have achieved societal iconic status.
The Reverend said: “Having been touched by OVCs in need of psychosocial and emotional support due to negligence, or loss of parentage due to HIV/AIDS and other fatalities, I enrolled the first 7 into the church premises in June 2003, under the care of 5 volunteers. Thunyane Moeti, Ruth Mabasa and Victoria Kenosi, the elderly ladies, cooked, fed the children and did their laundry, while the 2 youths, Mmamiki Dihutso and Ipeleng Molefi occupied them with learn-as-you-play 8 hour sessions. By year end, enrolment had increased to 11, 2 living with HIV. Average age ranges from 2.5 to 6 years. During our 10th Anniversary, we thank all our sponsors and donors for value-adding the Centre through generous donations.
“St Peters’ Day Care Centre falling under the Botswana Diocese Central African Anglican Province, has established dynamic collaborations with relevant government departments, donor agencies and other stakeholders acting as a managing partner on campus and afterschool to ensure the upholding of cognitive abilities and health.”
As a result of a partnership established between in 2011, Tlogatloga Community Junior Secondary School (CJSS) donated 602 litres UHT milk an increase of about 200 litres from that of 2012. According to the school head Leonard Lekuntwane: “The milk donation has instilled a spirit of giving since giving is considered a biblical principle: ‘blessed is the hand that gives’. Clover Botswana also donated 120 500ml long life milk cartoons. ”
Tlogatloga CJSS teacher and initiator of the milk donation since inception in 2012 Bakadzi Moeti said the gesture could never have survived without joint support from staff, students and parents. “We want to make the donation an annual thanksgiving to forge the partnership!”
Tlogatloga CJSS Form II student One Soele (14) the has health dividends as drinking 3 to 5 glasses of milk per day helps the children develop strong bones, teeth and provide nutrition.
Nomads Botswana Golf Club patron Barry Malan made a stunning P100 000 cheque donation for the Centre’s management and staff sterling efforts. “The donation is part of the funds raised during a 2013 golf tournament and we hope to sustain the initiative over the years.”
Pick ‘n Pay, Global Holdings, Tredinnick Botswana, Canadian Orfund Foundation, ADA Consulting, Anglican Diocese of North Carolina, Trans Africa, Butterfields, Quality Meat Messrs Khan, Goto and Hilda Butler and the Wimborne friends, Basiame Mwela, Joe Lalonde and family have been the major donors.