Ratang Bana Community Child Support Project

Notwithstanding the roll-out of ARVs, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has had a devastating impact on the lives of South African children. As a result, in 2009 Ingrid Moloi, a social worker and resident of Alexandra Township, founded Ratang Bana. This is a youth outreach project, offering support to child-headed households and other disadvantaged young people growing up in Alex.

Ratang Bana, meaning “Love the Children” offers care, counselling and psychosocial support. The project has also helped many children to access education and to give them hope for a brighter future. Ingrid, whose energy and resourcefulness seems endless, is assisted by a team of local volunteers. Gumboots, in conjunction with many individuals and other organisations, now provide an umbrella of support to 10 000 children and young people from hundreds of households.

Progress and development at the project have been considerable, with new initiatives getting off the ground each year, such as:

  • In 2012, the project moved from cramped and dingy premises to a new location on a hilltop overlooking the township.
  • Outside a thriving food garden and shaded outdoor area was established.
  • A learning centre with computers was added, providing local children with both the space, peace and quiet they need to do homework and extra studies.
  • A recycling programme was started where, in return for receiving food parcels, the community collected bottles, cans and plastic for recycling.
  • A beautiful, landscaped playground was also created for the children, thanks to our sister organisation Kidlinks World USA.
  • More recently, Ingrid has provided accommodation at a “safe house” for a small group of orphaned children with a resident house mother.
  • A visiting group of UK donors funded a much-needed solar-heated shower.
  • Since 2012, with the help of four gardeners, the food garden has quadrupled in size. In return for free vegetables, grandmothers are encouraged to help in the garden at least once a week. Ingrid operates a policy of tough love “nothing for nothing”.
  • The centre has also grown to include an HIV/AIDS support station, a large kitchen and an outdoor area for meetings and performances.
  • An ongoing support programme helps families and individuals with the process of obtaining the necessary documents to qualify for state financial support – an incredibly lengthy and bureaucratic process that they would simply not be able to manage without the additional help.

Ratang Bana is an example of how Gumboots has provided seed funding and support to help create a thriving and independent much-needed facility for thousands of underprivileged children.




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