New education centre for the kids in Vosloorus

22 Aug 2012
22 August, 2012 - Heartbeat, an NGO that supports AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in Vosloorus, is building a new learning centre for the children of the poverty-stricken township, thanks to a major investment by fleet telematics company MiX Telematics Enterprise.
Heartbeat’s chief operating officer, Phetole Seodi, says the new learning centre will enable the organisation to expand the range and scope of services it delivers to the children of the Vosloorus community. Heartbeat has helped more than 54 000 affected children in the past decade.

Construction on the new centre will start in the next few months, with the aid of an investment by MiX Telematics Enterprise. The centre will support the children through various activities to ensure that they can excel academically. Assistance with homework will be provided, along with other support activities including individual counselling, support groups, youth camps, workshops and puppet shows, all of which focus on and ensure the well-being of the children who will come to the centre. The centre will be able to accommodate about 150 children.

Seodi says the centre will bring new hope to the children in one of Gauteng’s poorest communities by improving their education.

“We estimate that more than 3 million children in South Africa are orphaned through HIV/AIDS. Our approach is to try and keep family units together as much as possible, and this new centre will really help us empower these young people to reach their full potential in spite of their circumstances,” he said.

The investment is the latest chapter in MiX Telematics Enterprise’s long-standing relationship with Heartbeat, with MD Gert Pretorius saying the latest investment underlines the company’s commitment to the Vosloorus community.

“The children of Vosloorus have suffered enormously, especially those who have been orphaned by AIDS. For us, a sound education is their best chance to be successful in life, and we see our investment as a meaningful contribution to improving learning conditions for those who need it the most,” said Pretorius.

Heartbeat was founded in 2000 by Professor Sunette Steyn in response to a call by the then president Nelson Mandela. Its mission is to empower orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and those who support them, to be responsible leaders of the future. The organisation works in close partnership with communities, service providers, donors, government and friends to provide holistic services to these children, including psychosocial support, food, education, care and opportunities for development and growth.

“Our social investment approach is focused on creating capacity and sustainability for the mutual benefit of both the communities we form part of and our company,” said Pretorius. “Our partnership with Heartbeat is one example, in that it represents an investment in young people in surrounding areas who will potentially be our future employees and customers.”

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