PGP helps Baphumelele secure halfway house in Philippi

The Khayelitsha-based NGO “Baphumelele” has opened a new halfway house on a farm in Schaapkraal, Philippi (Cape Town), aimed at assisting vulnerable orphaned youngsters who have grown too old for their child-care facilities.  The brand new facility, named “Rosie’s House of Hope”, was opened in November 2011, and its first five occupants have already moved in.  Pam Golding Properties’ Southern Suburbs offices have been championing the venture as part of their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme, the “Joy of Giving”.

PGP’s area manager for the Southern Suburbs, Howard Markham, says the association between his region and Baphumelele dates back over two years now, and has ranged from donations in kind and fund-raising, to staff members volunteering at Baphumelele’s various projects.  For the new halfway house, PGP helped locate and facilitate the purchase of the property, and then also donated furniture including new beds for the house, as well as linen, curtains and other requirements.

“The home will now provide a safe haven for young adults, some of whom are still trying to complete their schooling,” says Markham.  

“Without this facility, these youngsters might have been left on the streets to fend for themselves, after being forced out of child care when they turned 18.  But instead the House of Hope will provide a transitional home, giving them a roof over their heads, and a safe place to study.  The facility will also offer life-skills training aimed at helping them integrate into society once they turn 22, as well as offering workshops to equip them with skills like woodwork, culinary training and other trades.  This will help them to seek employment or launch their own entrepreneurial ventures, helping to break the cycle of poverty.”

Baphumelele was founded more than 20 years ago by Rosie Mashale, a primary school teacher who was disturbed to see young children going through rubbish dumps in search of food each day.  

With the help of other women in her community, she began to look after these unsupervised youngsters.  From these small beginnings the project has expanded to include a formal Educare centre, children’s home, soup kitchen and HIV care centre, as well as a woodwork shop, all based in Khayelitsha.  Mashale has been recognised for her work by receiving the Youth Mover Award at the 2011 Women of the Year awards, recognising her lifelong commitment to helping orphaned and abandoned children.

In addition to the CSI support from its Southern Suburbs offices, PGP’s Western Cape region also elected to support Baphumelele via its 2011 annual year-end function, attended by all PGP agents and support staff.  They were asked to put together Joy of Giving boxes for the festive season, including toiletries and gifts for the children cared for in the Baphumelele network.  PGP’s MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener, says over 150 boxes were collected at the event.  PGP also arranged a Christmas Day party for some 80 of the younger children being cared for in one of Rosie’s homes.

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