Haven for kids in sad state

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After 25 years, home’s founder still saving lives

HOME TO MANY: Nonkululeko Maneli makes use of her very modest home to run the Enkazimulweni Ncedanani Life Care Centre that is home to 14 needy children Picture: DAILY DISPATCH FILE/ALAN EASON

DUNCAN Village resident Nonkululeko Maneli, has been running the Enkazimulweni Ncedanani Life Care Centre from her home for the past 25 years.

The centre is home to abused, abandoned and HIV-affected children.

“Many people come here, different people of all ages come here each day. God directs them here because He knows they will find a home and food to eat,” Maneli said.

She said she was only doing what God had instructed her to do, which was to open her home to vulnerable children, providing them with care and support.

The 65-year-old prays that the Lord will grant her more years on this earth so that she can do more.

Children as young as two days old land up on Maneli’s doorstep, at times brought to her by their struggling and destitute young mothers who still need love and guidance themselves.

Maneli said she had taken care of children who are now married and have their own families.

“I will not boast about what I have done and what I am still doing for these kids because it is what God wants me to do. He ordered me to do this, therefore I shall obey. His rewards to me are priceless,” she said.

The centre, initially a four- room house, was extended in 2009, courtesy of the Rotary Club, and is home to 14 children, with the eldest in Grade 11.

Maneli said she would love the centre to be renovated to provide more and better facilities for the children.

When the GO! & Express visited the centre last week, Maneli was busy with her daily house duties and the children were playing outside.

The house needs to be repainted and the floors need to be re-tiled. In the yard is an old jungle gym that the children showed no interest in.

“The children would appreciate some sort of recreational playground put up for them. There is just so much

DEPRESSING STATE: This old jungle gym is all that the children at Enkazimulweni Ncedanani Life Care Centre have to play with. The centre was opened 25 years ago by Nonkululeko Maneli to help abandoned, abused and other vulnerable children in impoverished Duncan Village Picture: THANDEKA NTLONTI

I can do with this place if I had the funds, but I know with God in my corner, anything is possible,” Maneli said.

East London Child Welfare director, Soraya Leeuw said: “Child Welfare has provided a capacity-building and mentorship programme where we assist with organisational development in terms of processes and administration. We also assist by redistribution of donations” for the centre.

A nearby resident, who did not want to be named said: “What Sis Nkuli [as she is fondly known in the community] is doing for these kids is remarkable.

“Taking in children you do not know from the streets and looking after them as your own takes a lot of courage. We hope she will continue with the great work she does.”

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