Hirsch’s Ballito joined the Rotary Club of Richards Bay recently for a visit to Lungelo Youth Development Centre in Richards Bay. The Organisation provides development for children and youth to assist in moving beyond their challenging circumstances through education as well as providing a safe haven during the day for children in the local community who have no-where to go. Lungelo means “right” or “privilege”, something the youths of Mzingazi are missing. LYD tries to teach them about their rights and give them at least some of the privileges which they are lacking. The aim of LYD is to create an environment of protection where children can be nurtured and develop their skills to their full potential. Through LYD children are supported in their school work and their education is fostered through a culture of reading. Through different programmes and support the children and youth will build their self-esteem and become responsible and caring grown-ups
The owner Mary Mlambos started the day care centre in 2012 as she felt she had a calling to help children in the local community. She left her family in Johannesburg in order to get the centre up and running and only asks for a monthly fee of R50 per child and in most cases the parents do not pay this even though the children receive 3 full meals a day as well as supervised care.
Due to parents not paying the fees Mary found it difficult to fund the day care herself and therefore she found a lady in the local community by the name of Cynthia who now looks after the kids during the day so Mary can work full time in order to earn a salary so she can fund the centre. The organisation depends heavily on donations of any kind: Food, toys, educational material but also money to be able to cover expenses of the different programmes. The children do not even have chairs to sit on due to lack of funding. After hearing her story Hirsch’s decided to take a drive out to LYD and spend some time with the children. Whilst there we handed over our cushions to them so they can be utilised during ‘’nap-time’’ as well as for seating. “Never have I seen such happy children – some children even started crying when they received their cushion. It is definitely a humbling experience and makes you want to make a difference in other’s lives” – Said Ballito’s PR and Marketing Officer Lindy Gray.
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