Written by a TNA Reporter on the Nov 7 2011:
“Lungisisa Indlela Village is like no other shelter you have ever seen before and is likely to set a benchmark for such facilities in future.
The R90m village for vulnerable children, which was officially opened by Premier Zweli Mkhize at the weekend, is a joint government and private sector initiative.
The shelter is based on the Operation Sukuma Sakhe model of integrated services.
Each of the houses boasts a guardian, or house mother, who looks after a “nuclear” family consisting of up to six children per house.
The project is in an environmentally friendly setting, with most of the energy needs for the houses taken care of through solar energy.
Water heating and most of the lighting is run off the solar system while minimal lighting is done through the main electricity grid.
Gas cooking stoves are fitted in all the housing units as standard. There is even the Wonder Bag concept of cooking using an energy-saving technique.
The village has a school, which starts from Grade 00, with a plan to eventually take it up to Grade 12, and is already up and running.
Once completed, the village will boast a multipurpose sports court, a clinic, a crèche, primary school and a secondary school to cater for the children.
Mkhize said the village was a great model for dealing with the problems facing communities like poverty, abuse and joblessness.
“We are going to end up with a situation where the village can produce its own vegetables for instance, which can also be sold on the open market,” said Mkhize.
“This can be a source of employment, which will help to alleviate poverty in the community.
“As a long-term programme, we would like to see villages like this one being replicated in all parts of the province,” said Mkhize.
He said it was important for communities to participate in these kinds of initiatives and to intervene in the interests of children – specifically those who come from unfortunate circumstances.
“If we fail to do this, we run the risk of having a whole generation of children who do not know what it means to be loved and raised in a proper family environment with values and principles,” said Mkhize.
Lungisisa Indlela Village founder, Titch Smith, said if the church, government and business worked together it was possible to put a roof over the head of every vulnerable child in the country.
“I truly believe we can give each child a mother figure who loves them, feeds them and educates them. If we do this the face of the nation will be changed,” he added. – 701198 ”
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