iKhethelo Children’s Village, formally known as Makaphutu, is a children’s home set in the Valley of the Thousand Hills, near Durban in South Africa. The home cares for over 50 vulnerable children, ranging from a few months old to 18 years of age – the majority of whom have lost one or both of their parents to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Originally started by June Van Vuuren, in the early 1990s, the first home was built in 1995. The village is now run by village managers Graeme and Tami Wright, with the support of dedicated social workers, teachers and operational staff.
The children, residential staff and volunteers all live on campus together. Each child lives in a cottage with seven other children and a housemother, where together they operate as a family unit. The children attend school in the local community. In addition to taking care of the children, iKhethelo volunteers and staff also work to assist the local community with initiatives including a pre-school and hunger alleviation programmes. TWOWEEKS is now helping to support iKhethelo’s community outreach work.
TWOWEEKS started working with iKhethelo in 2006, initially performing health reviews on the children that lived there. Since this time we have continued to develop this work and our volunteers have provided recreational activities and assisted with educational programmes. We have supported with staff training on a range of topics, including basic life support skills.