Our Mission

Generating growth for African children and communities devastated by HIV-AIDS and poverty, through the goodwill of people in the UK and elsewhere

GAGA Project - Sithembakuye

Sithembakuye

Sithembakuye is a small community-based project; the whole operation is run on a tight budget and with limited resources. They run a weekly luncheon club for the elderly; mostly women who have often been left to care for their grandchildren and in some cases great grandchildren. They often have no access to support and they turn to Sithembakuye to help them with their needs and those of the children they care for.

Sithembakuye on Google Earth

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Sithembakuye was started by Russell Chili and his mother-in-law Thokozane Hlongwane, as a response to the number of children in the community who had been orphaned, abandoned, or in the care of parents who were too ill to look after them. The project is run in a small house within its community, close to both the local primary school and high school. Sithembakuye benefits from varied support, GAGA UK solely funds and supports the GOGO Luncheon Club, but we do assist elsewhere, when funds permit.

Gogo's (Grannies) Luncheon Club

Gogo's (Grannies) Luncheon Club

Sithembakuye runs a Gogos’ (Grannies) Luncheon Club for grandmothers from the immediate community. On average seventy women and a few men attend each week.  The Gogos’ Luncheon Club has provided a network for the grannies in this community who are so heavily burdened by the care of their grandchildren and extended families because of the deaths/illness and unemployment of their children. The grannies often have no one to turn to, and for this reason Sithembakuye started the luncheon club, to give them not only a good meal, but the opportunity to relax and to share their problems with each other. The grannies play netball and soccer, knit, learn new skills, and at the same time have an opportunity to discuss the problems they have in the everyday lives. Often the grannies receive a monthly pension (£70 -£90) and as many as twelve people can be living off the state benefit. The elderly women are often the sole breadwinners for their families, and they themselves can be exploited and challenged by their own family. The luncheon club may sound simple but its benefits are wide-reaching and cannot be underestimated.

At the back but making a brave attempt to keep runningGranny KwaNgidi is a good example. She lost all three of her children, and has been left with six grandchildren to raise with only a state pension to pay for all the needs of her large household. At Sithembakuye she has found people with whom she can share her problems, and the organisation is also trying to help her with the paperwork she needs to complete to receive Government support for the children.

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