WASH - Clean water, Safe Sanitation & Hygiene Education, Siyajabula Children's Home (Place of Happiness), Molweni, South Africa
In 1998, in the Madimeni area of Molweni, South Africa, a teacher named Eunice Mweli was about to find her life’s work. One day, out of the goodness of her heart, she took in disabled twins abandoned at her school. Their mother had passed away suddenly, leaving them orphaned. Over subsequent years, one orphaned child after another was delivered to her, and not having the heart to turn any of them away, took them in. Realizing the abundant need, she left her job to rededicate her life to caring for orphaned children.  She is now known as “Ma Eunice” by the 54 residents of the Siyajabula Center, ranging from 9 months to 24 years of age.

Despite tremendous acts of love and kindness from their community, Eunice and the Siyajabula Center are in dire need of help.  The children live in a small building with a separate small space for the older boys. They have no running water and have to take turns sleeping on the few available beds they have.

An overflowing sewer system placed the children at great risk of contracting disease, and the centre was under a real threat of being shut down.

Volunteer caretakers of the centre reached out to the President of the Rotary Club of Durban Bay, Dr. Marion Spence. She and her husband, John Hinck, recognized the desperate need for a WASH program and immediately went to work getting quotes and preparing the global grant documents. They secured an international partner in John’s Rotary Club of Shelton Skookum.

Marion reached out to fellow Rotarian and friend Elva Heyge (D7820 International Chair), who, in turn, reached out to Paula Fleming from the Rotary Club of Sussex. Plans were set in place for monthly Zoom meetings to coordinate the necessary fundraising efforts.
With overflowing sewage on the premises, there was an urgent need that could not wait for the global grant process. Elva sought enough funds from clubs in D7820 to purchase a new septic system. Torrential rains delayed the installation, but as of January ‘21, the orphanage has a functioning and safe septic system.

Exchange rates and Covid-19 have introduced significant setbacks but the full sum of $85,371 US has been raised and GG2119219 has been submitted. Upon approval, this will provide the purchase and installation of toilets, sinks, showers, proper rain gutters with holding tanks to provide consistent running water, security fencing around the property, paving and drainage to further improve sanitation, solar power for electrical needs, and a vegetable garden with grey reuse for watering.

The Rotary Club of Sussex would like to sincerely thank our Rotary friends from Woodstock, Florenceville, Chatham, Perth-Andover and Belleville ON for their financial support.