“The centre has six prefab buildings, one is a preschool with an enrolment of 19 children from two up to age five and we offer them two meals.
“We have ablution facilities because there are none in the area and a kitchen.”
Xaso said the after-school programme included a hot meal for 71 schoolchildren from grade R to grade 12, with homework support, group and individual counselling from social workers and team-building games.
“For some of these children, that’s the only meal they get. I have no children and I’m not married, so this gives me life. All these children are like my own.
“Every single person regardless of their challenges understands that there is a reason they are at the point that they are. I am someone who looks at a person, I try to understand why.”
Jika Uluntu has five permanent staff members and three volunteers and recently employed 27 young adults from the area as part of the NYP programme as youth ambassadors.
“We are funded by Solidar Med from Switzerland and get a lot of support from Lilyfontein School and rely on donations from the East London Agricultural Society, who leased us the land for free.”