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Gozololo exists to implement and manage sustainable community based childcare centers that will ease the pain and suffering inflicted on children who are vulnerable, mostly as a result of the breakdown of the core family unit.
To establish 50 Gozololo Centers throughout South Africa. The overall approach is to use the current operating entity with its associated procedures manual as the basis for developing more centres.
Gozololo Centre For Needy Children has a number of centres established in KwaMashu, Umgababa and Bhambayi. They are responding to the need to provide care and support to a number of traumatized, orphaned and vulnerable children. If these orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) are not cared for, nurtured or educated, they will become a lost generation.
Gozololo is a Zulu term meaning "stay awhile; rest awhile or a halfway house". The name was chosen as a result of the vision of the founder, Mirriam Cele. She initiated the Gozololo Organisation along with a group of volunteer women. Mirriam spent 17 years as a community and development worker and was employed by the Diakonia Council of Churches in that capacity. She is the recipient of many accolades, amongst them, the Martin Luther King Peace Award, The Paul Harris Award (by the Rotary Club), the eThekwini Mayor's Awards in 1999, the 2004 Fair Lady Claims Eau Dynamisante Woman of the Year Award, eThekwini Living Legends 2012, and The South African Presidency Award.
After receiving calls from people in the community telling her of children, some as young as 6 months old, being abandoned due to poverty or their parents having died of AIDS, Mirriam would collect these children and take care of them while she traced their next-of-kin, which often proved to be a futile exercise. Gozololo is the response of a growing community of people on a passionate quest to change perspectives, beliefs and, ultimately, outcomes by mobilizing individuals around South Africa to take positive action against the tragedy of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.
The stigma of orphaned and vulnerable children being placed in institutionalized orphanages was not appealing: research has highlighted the negative social consequences of this strategy. Our model ensures that each child is placed with the willing child-minder for the night and attends the centre during the day.
Gozololo Centre is the way to bring hope, where there is only despair. A way to turn sorrow into joy. A way to shelter those who were homeless. A way to wipe out helplessness and build dreams.
- Sandile Cele
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