The best way to explain why we exist is to share a story of a child who grew up under our care.
As a young boy, Siyanda’s parents were unable to provide for him. Their limited education and knowledge of English shut them out from stable employment, and Siyanda often found himself eating as much as he could at school in order to stay full through the night, since there was no guarantee of food at home.
When Siyanda was 9, he learned of a children’s home nearby, Emasithandane, which opened its doors to all children who were hungry or needed a place to stay due to various family circumstances. Siyanda quickly found himself coming to visit the children’s home on a daily basis to eat dinner, and during this time built a strong relationship with the granny who ran the home, Mama Maposela. “Mama” always spoke to the children about the importance of education in transforming their lives for the better. She would personally attend all parent-teacher meetings as representative for all of the children who stayed in her care.
With the love and encouragement of Mama Maposela, Siyanda was able to graduate from high school and set his sights on university. Interested in social work, he began a degree in the humanities while staying involved at Emasithandane, supporting the children who have come there after him. Today, Siyanda is finishing up his second degree in education, and has taken over the management of the children’s home which he used to call home. His experience has come full circle, and he hopes to pass on Mama’s spirit, who taught him that anything is possible through education, to all new children who enter through the doors of the home.
This story, in a nutshell, is why we do what we do. We believe that compassionate, committed people like Mama Maposela know best what the children in their communities need. Our role is to provide resources and training to help their vision come to life, as the community itself (and not CHOSA) remains at the center of the development process. We do this by providing unrestricted monthly grants, capacity-building services, networking opportunities, and volunteer support for after-school programming. We work with children’s homes like Emasithandane, as well as early childhood education centers and other education-focused, community-run projects. Learn more about: What We Do, Who We Serve, and What Sets Us Apart. (that last one should link to the “Why CHOSA?” page under Get Involved.)