Wilhelmina 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.
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.
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