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DUT: Environmental Health students handover donations to Abalindi Welfare Society

DUT: Environmental Health students handover donations to Abalindi Welfare Society

Media statement by Nomonde Mbadi, Executive Director of Corporate Affairs

The Environmental Health students of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) have embarked on an initiative to raise funds and collect donations which they will be handing over to Abalindi Welfare Society, situated in the informal settlement of Inanda, north of Durban. The donations which were generously donated by the DUT community, bookshops and supermarkets, range from stationery, clothes and food.

The handover of the donation will take place on 19 September 2008 starting at 10H30 at Abalindi Welfare Society at iNanda.

As part of their Community Development Module, in the beginning of this year (2008) students decided to embark on a project to improve the quality of orphans and vulnerable children residing in rural areas.

The main motivating factor for this project, says Siphiwe Gumede, lecturer in Community Development, was teaching and learning through community involvement. He says students felt that there are many young people of their age living in Abalindi Welfare Society who did not have an opportunity to go to university because of socio-economic reasons and constraints. He strongly believes that since these children do not have parents and some of them are affected by HIV/AIDS, they needed someone to talk to and give them hope and support.

Abalindi Welfare Society is a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) that was established in 1998 to empower Inanda rural community. This society runs an old age home, children’s home, a crèche, a vegetable garden, a block-making project and poultry farming. The old-age home accommodates 82 elderly people and the children’s centre accommodates 47 orphaned children (24 boys and 23 girls). Children staying in this home are coming from all areas around Durban and the centre accommodates vulnerable children from eight to eighteen years. These orphans and vulnerable children present themselves or are sent by their relative to Abalindi Welfare Society to be cared for. Abalindi provide uses resources obtained from their different projects they are running to provide shelter, food, clothes and education to these children. Children are being looked after by Abalindi Staff, including one Professional Social Worker.

The Objectives of the Project are:

1. To Enrich and empower the community through equipping orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) with life skills, which they could use to develop themselves.

2. To provide emotional and material support to orphans and vulnerable children living at Abalindi Welfare Society in order to bring back hope they might have lost.

3. To refurbish the children’s home to improve living conditions and enhance living environment.

4. To increase the involvement of the Durban University of Technology in uplifting the lives of the rural communities.

5. Provide experiential learning for DUT Environmental Health students.

For more information, please contact Mr Siphiwe Gumede on 0313732807/0845066337.