Bakhita Village (Dwars River)
Tragedy is at our door steps. Can you imagine the heartbreak of children sitting outside their homes? Their young hearts torn by fear and loss as hopelessly they stare in front of them. Inside in a tiny room in their small house their parents lie dying. This is an all too common happening in South Africa today.
So many children are living in child-headed families, unable to obtain sufficient food, clothing or shelter. They can’t attend school and will do anything to find a morsel of food for themselves and their brothers and sisters.
In the early 1950’s Fr. Bill Fleming msc set about buying land in the Dwars River area of the Limpopo. He built a clinic, secondary school, church, workshops and planted vegetable gardens. Over the last 40 years St. Brendan’s school has prospered and developed from a small donation based school to a very successful High School.
The clinic is still used and has become a home for several orphaned children and a Counseling Centre. The clinic has taken the name of ‘Bakhita Village’.
Bakhita Village is a Care Centre in a village setting for orphaned and vulnerable girls. The ambition of Bakhita is to give security in an environment of love, provide for everyday needs, and support the education of the most vulnerable girls of the surrounding area.
Bakhita Village is located on the premises of St. Brendan’s Catholic Boarding School. These vulnerable children don’t live apart from the people. They attend the local primary school at St. Brendan’s. They enjoy the recreational activities of the schools.
Bakhita Village is a work of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart from Australia, Ireland and Africa. They give their full time caring for the village and its 25 young girls. Even for them being so energetic and devoted to their work this wouldn’t be possible without the support of the local community and the willing hearts and hands of local mothers who assist to care for these children like their own.
Nearly all have lost a parent to HIV/Aids. During the school holidays they return to their home areas and stay with some relatives so that they remain in contact with their communities.