Wilhelmina

WilhelminaWilhelmina was one of the early trainees from one of our courses and I first met her three years ago. She was terribly abused as a child, ran-away from her foster home, and lived at the railway station from 8 years old transacting her body for survival. She was ‘rescued’ by a lady at 14 years old, funded through school, and given a home. At 18 years old she hooked up with an older man who treats her kindly – her ‘sugar daddy’ - and she completed her education by the time she was 20 years old.  She is bright, gorgeous, and very determined.

Wilhelmina

 

In 2006 Wilhelmina persuaded her man to donate a very ramshackle building and started an orphanage in the middle of nowhere for damaged, abused and abandoned street children. What she has achieved so far is astonishing and now has the police placing abused or abandoned children with her as a place of safety; she currently has 22 children from 3 years old up to 18 years old, boys and girls with the most gruesome histories and problems; just feeding them halfway decent food everyday is problematic. She hopes to have the orphanage registered this year, but has only just secured a stand pipe and earth latrines – it is very basic, but there it is, called Mogodu and Wilhelmina is very strong-minded. Children at Mogudu orphanage

The girls at Imisebeyelanga have been very supportive of Wilhelmina and her efforts, but I know from my visit in November 2009 that the funding for the orphanage food suddenly stopped, so we will donate enough money over the year so that the children can be fed every day.

The future? Well, we just have to see what emerges

 

Children at the Mogodu orphanage

 

 

 

 



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To date, with the help of DHL, we have sent from the UK to South Africa, over 2,500 soft toys for vulnerable children. The outpouring of love and donations of beautiful soft toys has been quite amazing and we thank every child and parent/guardian who have donated. Each and every toy that we sent will be cherished in their new home. We are now stopping accepting toys because those lovely people at http://theteddytrust.wixsite.com/home do this all the time, again with DHL, and send toys to children all over the world. Any kind people who wish to donate will now be referred to them.

Click here for more information

We are proud and honoured that our work has been recognised by the UK Prime Minister, and that he has given Lesley his Point of Light award, stating
With the Infant Trust Lesley has empowered thousands of women across South Africa to protect and safeguard children in their communities. The education and training she has provided has helped to improve the lives of over 800,000 children, tackling the violence and abuse that affects too many of them in their early years. As we mark International Women’s Day this week I am delighted to recognise all that Lesley has done.”
You can find the full story at https://www.pointsoflight.gov.uk/2268-2/


Why are so many small children abused by male perpetrators in South Africa? Our researcher interviewed 27 perpetrators in prison in South Africa; all are in jail after being found guilty of some of the most terrible crimes against some of the most vulnerable children – some as young as a few days old. Those interviewed are all men aged between 16 years and 84 years old, and all have brutalised and raped at least one child. But the findings aren’t maybe what we might expect – it makes interesting reading.  We have been funding research into this for 5 years and it is finally finished and published – you can read the summary here

Our flagship Caring for Crèches programme has reached into some of the poorest communities in five of the nine provinces in South Africa and we have crèche leaders everywhere clamouring for the training. We have now trained over 2,200 people and they in turn have already positively impacted on the lives of over 160,000 children … and will continue to help many hundreds more children for years to come


Just once in a while, amongst all the amazing work that is done to help children in South Africa, we come across a shining star. One such is Wilhelmina who determined to setup a refuge for abandoned children.
Newsletter The report from our most recent visit to South Africa

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