A GROUP of Wits students is offering aid to an orphanage in Hillbrow through their community outreach project, Batho Bothong.
The project helps 75 children, between the ages of two and eighteen from Malaika Orphanage Home with schoolwork through tutorial sessions twice a week and with items such as food, clothes, sanitary towels and stationary.
Batho Bothong volunteers tutor the children in Physical Sciences, Maths, Maths Literacy, Biology and English. The initiator of the Batho Bothong programme, Khutjo Maganyele, said they also help with homework and other assessments for other modules when the children need assistance.
Malaika orphanage founder Juma Sebichuwu said they have seen great improvement in academic performances of the children ever since Batho Bothong came on board in 2014.
“The results of what they [Batho Bothong] have been doing here are visible to us, to guardians of these children and to them as well. Their grades have improved a lot,” said Sebichuwu.
Malaika orphan Nondumiso Mlambo, 18, is starting the first of year of her law degree at the University of Johannesburg. She said if it wasn’t for Batho Bothong, she would not have achieved the grades that secured her a place at university.
“The programme really helped us. We were a group of three girls (doing matric) and we all passed. If it wasn’t for the project we wouldn’t be where we are right now,” said Mlambo.
They also organise motivational seminars for the children to motivate them. Maganyele said it is necessary to instil positivity on children who are determined about their education and goals in life. “The kids are passionate about where they want to go in future. And they are such a bunch of kids, full of joy and potential,” said Maganyele.
Maganyele said he took a conscious decision to start the project as a result of the struggles he faced when he was in his first year at university as someone from a poor background.
“In my first year, I struggled with my self-image. I had like three trousers and a few tops to wear. And I chose to focus on people who are worse off than me,” said Magabyele. He said he chose Malaika because of the “appalling conditions” he saw at the place.
The project was formed by Maganyele and seven of his Wits friends in 2014 with 15 volunteers at the time. They started with few kids and he says the number has grown ever since.