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Kgomotso community centre taking care of the youth

Written by More Matshediso

Vulnerable children and youth in Greater Taung Local Municipality in the North West are benefitting from the psychosocial care and support services offered at the Kgomotso Community Care Centre.The Kgomotso Community Care Centre gives psychosocial services to vulnerable children.

Kgomotso Community Care Centre Social Worker Stella Makhubele said a group of women in Kgomotso village established the centre in 2003 when they realised that many young children and youths were affected by HIV/AIDS.

“As mothers and sisters in the community, they stood together in a fight against many challenges brought by the effect of HIV/AIDS in the community, which mostly threatened the lives and the future of young people,” said Makhubele.

The centre provides services and skills development to orphans and vulnerable children, including child-headed households and youth. It also serves as service point to bring government services to the doorstep of rural communities. This includes services rendered by the departments of Social Development, Home Affairs, Health and public entities such as the South African Social Security Agency  and the National Development Agency.

Makhubele said the centre also offers families support group programmes that cater for members of affected families, sports activities and community outreach programmes.

She said the centre employs 31 people, including 16 caregivers, who regularly visit communities to identify families in and around Kgomotso village who need their services.

"Most of the beneficiaries of the centre’s programmes are child-headed households and youth."

German-South African partnership

The Department of Social Development started funding the centre in 2009.

As a result of the department’s partnership with KfW, which is a German state-owned development bank, the centre now has new facilities, which means it can offer more services.

Kgomotso is one of six community care centres in the North West established with financial and technical assistance from the KfW.

The partnership between the Department of Social Development and KfW has built 17 community care centres in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the North West.

She said the goal of building community care centres in rural communities is to enhance the quality of services to orphans and vulnerable children within their own communities.

Community care centres complement existing child protection interventions and services. They  aim to strengthen families and communities as the first line of response in the care and support of vulnerable children.