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The Litsemba Centre - History of the Property

The Litsemba Centre (The Hope Centre) is a project supported by 4 different registered NGOs in South Africa that have developed an MOU to work together for the good of a rural community called Daantjie.  These organizations are Mamkhulu.org, Meniscus, Emoyeni Ministries and the Abhuleni Royal Charity. 

The Litsemba Project

While realizing the mission and vision of each of the organizations, the Litsemba Centre is a place where skills and visions are merged in order to support orphans and vulnerable children and youth in the local community. Working together presents it challenges, as each organization has boards and people, but by working together towards a common goal, we are achieving far more than any of the individual organizations could hope to achieve. 

In late 2009, the former “Fundza Centre” (now the Litsemba Centre) was donated to Mamkhulu.org. The 4 organizations decided to work together to develop it as a hub for youth development and support in the area. In the days of the former Kangwane Homelands, this centre was built by Chief Daantjie as a commercial centre for the community.  A number of small businesses grew up inside its walls. In 2003 it was abandoned and until 2009, it was a place where local people stored their various goods.  

 

The organizations first came together to renovate and re-create the centre to become a place of refuge for various young men who were in need of shelter. These young men formed the core group of the residents in the centre, and the dreams for the future were built around the skills of all those involved. The group also realized that the centre had huge potential as a community youth centre because of its central location in the township.

 

With the youth as the builders, with guidance from some older people, the renovations have taken place. Some of these youth who took ownership of the centre and began the renovations had started out as street kids themsleves in the local community.

 


Through the work of the pastoral team, they began to learn the skills of laying bricks and plastering. Some of the walls were not straight, some of the floors not flat, but the pride that developed in the youth was worth the challenges.


 

As their skills developed, they began to move more quickly, and under the tutoring of the older men, they learned how to plumb lines, put in pipes, lay bricks, and plaster the walls. They learned how not to paint everything in sight when painting a wall and how to work as a team even when there were differences in opinion.

 

Today the centre has a toilet block, storage rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 training rooms, an office, counseling room, spare room for foster boys, and a large garden area for learning farming skills. Best of all, the centre has already become a place where youth from the community can congregate and learn together.Sitting on bricks, they join the bible studies and plan together.

 

The centre will be the main hub of the soccer camps which are being held in the schools in the local area.  All the cooking for the +- 1000 kids will take place at the centre and be driven to the schools.  All the supplies and equipment will be housed at the centre with youth leaders using it as a meeting place each day to talk, strategize and organize their individual programmes.

 

It will also be a place where boys can be housed who are in need of emergency shelter during the world cup games if necessary.  This will fulfill its mandate as a safe house and also provide for children in need on a longer term basis.

 


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