Busy Bee Crèche

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” Mr Nelson Mandela. These famous words were what inspired and motivated this group of students to help out at a crèche. Abigail Cona, Garesha Coetzee, Mveli Sokupa, Tarryn Jonas and Wandile Nkosi identified the Busy Bee Crèche, which is located in Gelvandale, as pre-school in need and set out to assist them as far as possible. .


The group wanted to help a pre-school because they believe that this is where the foundation of education is established. The crèche is run by Mrs. Daniels, and caters for the needs of children between the ages of 1 – 5 years.  It is based at Rufane Donkin Primary School. Mrs Daniels provides porridge in the mornings and lunch for the children at the crèche as well as running a soup kitchen for those who attend Rufane Donkin Primary School.


After meeting with Mrs. Daniels the group identified the following needs:

For the classroom:

• Toys for boys and girls

• Fun and educational posters

• Stationary

• Porridge

For the soup kitchen:

• Vegetables

• Bread

• Soup mix

The group members donated R200 each and divided tasks amongst themselves. They were able to provide each learner with an educational pack made up of colouring books, crayons and a puzzle. They also received donations of old toys and educational posters. With the money they also made up a hamper containing rice, pasta and porridge.


Through spending time with the children of Busy Bee Crèche the group learnt to be patient and to value their family and friends. They were inspired with hope for the future grew when they saw how eager the children were to learn.

Eastern Province Child & Youth Care Centre

Animal Welfare Society

Group members Ashley Higman, Banele Mgwali, Clairise Hefke, Warren Pearce and Thokozani Mbonani were so passionate about their Pay It Forward project that they chose to help two organisations. As a group they wanted to help both children and animals which lead them to choosing: Eastern Province Child & Youth Care Centre and Animal Welfare Society, both of which are located in Port Elizabeth.


Eastern Province Child & Youth Care Centre is a haven for children between the ages of 3 and 18 years of age. These children are not orphaned, but come from tough family backgrounds and require a more supportive and nurturing environment. They live in groups with house mothers who cook for them, look after them and make sure that they attend school and do their homework. The children are only allowed to stay at the Centre until the age of 18.


At EPCYCC the students assisted the children with their homework. This was not an easy task as they had to refresh their own memories before they could be of help. They also interacted with the children, got to know one another and secured a sponsorship for food and toys intended for all the children.


At the Animal Welfare Society the group spent time walking and playing with dogs.  These abandoned animals need volunteers to assist with  exercise and to provide loving attention.


For the group their biggest challenge was finding a project to dedicate their time to and also determining how they could best assist their chosen organisations. They also had to learn to work together as a group comprised of individuals with different personalities. The most important thing that they learnt was to be grateful for everything that they have. Through meeting young children who have faced hardships but are working  towards reaching their dreams they became inspired to never give up on their own dreams.


Enkuselweni Youth Centre, which is situated in KwaZakhele, is a youth centre for boys who are under the age of 18 and who are regarded, due to their criminal behaviour, as either a threat to themselves or the community at large. The centre houses 60 boys and their facilities include:

•  a school for grades 1 to 7 which is run by the Department of Education, and

• a secure part of the Centre is run by the Department of Social Development


The young men in this group, Evans Zemba, Amica Mazingisa, Xhanti Tom and Sibabalwe Mcetwa, adopted a different approach by going to a Youth Care Centre for troubled boys. Our students wished to spend time motivating the boys, but before they could do this, they were required to familiarise themselves with the staff, the facilities and daily operations of the Centre, and become acquainted with the boys. To this end an induction was held. The purpose of the induction was to inform the group of how they should conduct themselves in a protected area.


There were some challenges to overcome in the beginning, such as language barriers, as well as some boys who did not seem welcoming towards the group. To overcome these challenges, slang was used to help create a neutral ground when communicating. The group drew up a proposal and vision which they presented to the staff to show them what they wished to do, which was to help motivate the boys and develop a positive mindset. A social worker also gave them tips on how to address the boys. The group shared some of their own stories in the hopes of being able to relate and build relationships with the youngsters.


The group informed them about realistic career options available after school, such as learning a trade. A sports day was also held to teach the youngsters about team work as many of them came from rival gangs. The group focused on boosting morale and creating loyalty, the responsibilities associated with being an adult, and how to be a trustworthy citizen.


There was one young man who refused to interact during their visits.  However, he opened up on their last day which was very rewarding for the group. They got to see some of the passions of the youngsters, such as one who wants to become a DJ. The youngsters also  showcased some of their handmade crafts.

This was truly a unique experience for everyone involved.

Jerusalem Home Based Care Centre

One group of second year students spent time at the Jerusalem Home-Based Care Centre, located in KwaZakhele. This home was started by Mrs Vinqi in 2006. She uses her pension to take care of a group of 15 children who are orphaned and vulnerable. She also runs a feeding scheme for more than 25 children.


On their first visit to the centre group members Azaskhe Blandine, Vuyolwethu Molefe, Mvuzo Mbangi, Precious Mdluli and Zikhona Manyakanyaka, met with Mrs Vinqi. During this visit they learnt about the purpose of the centre and determined how they could best be of assistance.

The group spent time with the children doing the following

o Helping with homework

o Playing with them

o Cooking

o Cleaning

To help the centre grow their own food they started a vegetable garden

They also wished to atain sponsorships regarding; security, sustainability, the children’s’ wellbeing and enhance the development of the children

They wanted to provide Mrs Vinqi with some accounting training, so that she could take better control of her finances.


A door - to - door donation was held to collect tinned food.  In addition, the group received sponsorships from Cashbuild, Shoprite, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Nedbank


The students experienced a great learning curve when they approached Standard Bank for a sponsorship. At this meeting they discussed the possibility for securing funding to renovate Mrs Vinqi’s home. However, after meeting with Standard Bank and discussing the implications of taking on a project of this size and scale with their lecturers, they realised that they needed to focus on doing what was possible in terms of their time and capabilities


At the home they spent time cleaning and making sure the house was safe for the children e.g. securing exposed electrical wires. They helped with homework, assisted in the soup kitchen and cooked a meal for all the children using the tinned food that they had collected. The winter rain made it very difficult to start the vegetable garden however as soon as the weather cleared, they could begin their task. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sponsored seedlings, garden tools and cultivated soil. A representative from the department came to demonstrate how to go about preparing a proper vegetable garden. Mvuzo, a group member, put up a fence so that the children could have a more secure home environment.


Through their involvement these students learnt the true meaning of Ubuntu by helping those in their community in any way they could. They saw the love that Mrs Vinqi has for the children that she cares for and it melted their hearts.

Ubomi Obutsha Centre

Nomvuyo Xhali, Mombulelo Dyamshe, Cikizwa Simayile and Nomawethu Sintili chose to be of help at the Ubomi Obutsha Centre in Salamntu, KwaZakhele. The Centre was established by Mr Mark Lawler and Miss Nondumiso. The Ubomi Obutsha Centre takes care of neglected and orphaned children.


The Centre relies on help from the community and other volunteers and provides  the children with a day care centre, which has a soup kitchen and facilities for the children to play games. Life skills training is offered as well as an outreach in the form of home visits to the children catered for in the centre. In addition there is an active Sunday school and holiday tutoring is provided.


The group assisted by joining in on activities such as playing games with the children, singing, building puzzles, helping to tidy the library as well as assisting with homework. They also helped out in the soup kitchen and with feeding the younger children.


The children who attended pre-school through the centre, and who are now at primary school, often come to the Centre after school for soup. The staff makes use of a registration system to ensure that all the children receive food. If a child does not arrive they will visit their home to determine the reason why and to drop off a food parcel if necessary.


To assist with finances and their feeding scheme the Centre has a vegetable garden. The produce grown is sold to Daku SPAR. In addition they receive food hampers from Daku SPAR.


Overall the group learnt to appreciate the things they have in life. They realized it doesn’t matter how you help, as long as you are helping.


Huis Minette and CROW

Siyolo Puza, Cikizwa Giba, Angela Goniwe, Tabisa Breakfast and Mishka Sirkhotte spent their Pay It Forward time helping out at Huis Minette and C.R.O.W.


Huis Minette is owned by Mr Gerrie Bezuidenhout and his wife Isabella. They started the home in 1994 for adults who live with mental disorders. They named the home after a mental health assistant. Huis Minette is home to 33 adults and can is located in Uitenhage.


During their orientation at Huis Minette the students wanted to become acquainted with the residents. Over time they learnt everyone’s names as well as their personalities, what they like to eat and their love for dancing. That is exactly what they did with the residents. Along with the dancing the students spent time building puzzles , playing games and colouring in with the residents.


 A surprise visit was planned after the students had “said good bye” to everyone at Huis Minette. They planned a party day for everyone and this would be their last visit to the house. Much to their surprise, the students learnt that the residents had been suffering from separation anxiety and were overjoyed to see our students once again.


The second project at CROW was run by Angela Goniwe, who spent her time during the period of Pay It Forward in Durban.


C.R.O.W is the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife. Angela took part in various volunteer activities, such as making food for the animals, helping with feeding time, cleaning facilities and assisting at the Edu Centre.  This was a first for Angela, who was unaccustomed to working with animals, which included birds, dassies and pigs.  She really gained an understanding of the importance of need for care and protection of our wildlife species.


Both these projects were rewarding for all those involved.  Being able to help and bring joy to the lives of others was regarded to be a humbling but rewarding way to spend their time.


The 2015 Top Pay It Forward students