Frequently Asked Questions about

How do you identify the children?

The children are recommended by their teachers or principals as children in great need.  Sometimes we take requests from community members or Home Based Care workers.  All items purchased for the children are personally given to the children at school with teachers present or at home in front of family members so that they can be verified and recorded.

Sometimes the children come to the Litsemba Centre asking for help.  They are then referred to our counseling team for debriefing, and depending on the problem, are referred to government services for help.  The Department of Social Services provide social workers, SASSA provides grants, Department of Home Affairs provides identification and birth documents necessary if they are to receive financial assistance.



Is direct giving the right way to go?

Some organizations would rather give to a community than to individual children.  There are also individual needs that can be identified through different community and government organizations.  Children without parents often go without clothing and blankets during the cold South African winters.  Some children go to school in socks because they have no shoes.  Or they wear all their clothes underneath their uniforms because they don’t have proper jerseys for school (yes, it gets cold in winter!).  These children need these items in order to do well at school.  Without proper clothing, uniforms or food they often do not cope.  Survival is a basic human need and while it is important for the school to have water, an individual child without food cannot function or learn at school.

Most orphans in South Africa receive a foster care grant which provides support for them and their families.  The problem with this is that there are many children who fall between the cracks.  Either they don’t have the documents in order to apply for social grants, such as their birth certificate, or their parents death certificates, and they don’t have anyone who can advocate for them through the maze of government officialdom. 

This programme provides direct relief for immediate needs, as well as working with the families to get help from the government departments to locate or process documents so that long term, the children are supported through these grants.

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