Free Dental Care For Thuthuzela Orphans
A dental practice has stepped in to give 66 orphans happy, bright smiles free of charge. This is the story of the linking up of one caring woman and mother and three kind hearted dentists.
The mother is Elizabeth (Lizzy) Monyela, founder of Thuthuzela Aid Community Centre. Previously working as a childminder from 1999 to 2004, the she then worked at Acres Of Love, a place of safety for vulnerable children in Bryanston, Joburg. It was taking care of these abandoned and neglected children coupled with the pain of seeing children being neglected in her community, and the heartache of losing her son, Julius, who suffered from Down Syndrome that inspired Lizzy to establish Thuthuzela Aid Community Centre in 2005.
Says Elizabeth: “Nineteen children whom have been removed from parental custody for various reasons such as abuse, negligence, rape, abandonment, call Thuthuzela home. The children are referred to the home by the SAPS, social workers and Child Welfare. HIV/AIDS infected children receive the essential treatment at the home. The children, aged six to 12, attend school while the younger ones (below six) stay in their day care section.
“Most of these children (below six years old) come from financially disadvantaged families and our staff do their best to give the them a basic foundation of education and care and attention. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided every day. All together 66 children are cared for by Thuthuzela.
“Ten volunteers contribute to make Thuthuzela a place where the children can feel safe, loved and cared for. Teachers, care givers, cleaners, cook; handy-man and administration personnel are working together to make this place work despite the daily challenges. Amongst them, only eight are receiving small monthly stipends.
“Thuthuzela is still a work in progress. We would like to run the home efficiently and make it as homely as possible for the children.”
About two and a half years ago Dr Norman Cahi of Cahi Dental & Prosthodotic Practice and his staff contacted the Alexandra Community Help Centre after speaking to various contacts for suggested worthy causes for their charity outreach programme. Says Dr Cahi: “Our preference was to help those most vulnerable and in need which are orphan children.”
He chatted to various other home mothers but felt a particular connection with ‘Mama Lizzie and Mama Otillia’ from Thuthuzela, who he says are ‘women of exceptional humanity’. And so a wonderful relationship was born.
Says Dr Cahi: “Cahi Dental & Prosthodotic Practice has always extended our professional services to those less fortunate than ourselves and have done and still continue to do PRO BONO dentistry for certain impoverished members of the community, members of the clergy and always step up to cries for help from genuine cases of poverty and abuse.
For example, a few years ago we assisted in the 94.7 Christmas Wish List where a lady was fully orally and dentally rehabilitated from a severe beating to her teeth and mouth from an abusive partner.”
Recently the Cahi Dental & Prosthodontic Practice, who are official sponsors of Miss SA in collaboration with Cell C, Sun International & SIC productions, hosted current 2016 Miss SA Ntando Kunene and the top 12 Miss SA 2017 finalists, invited guests and the media to their open day Community Service Outreach Programme.
Dr Cahi said the aim was to ‘raise the public awareness of their outreach programme, which serves to alleviate much pain, anxiety and fear in these very vulnerable children’.
“The practice has once again committed to helping, treating and managing all 66 children, on a pro deo basis. All their dental treatments will be done by their top five dental professionals free of charge for the entire year.”
Dr Cahi hopes by publicising this cause that other professionals will follow and offer their medical/allied services too.
All three doctors who own the practice firmly believe that ‘what you give you shall receive tenfold’.
How you can help:
Elizabeth faces many ongoing challenges keeping the home operational and trying to accommodate the children that are constantly brought to her for her care. Here is what the organisation needs:
- They need help with buying fuel so as to be able to transport their children efficiently.
- They desperately need qualified staff such as a social worker on site, as the children they accommodate come from different environments and different situations and require a qualified counsellor.
- They are struggling with a shortage of helpers and care givers as they cannot afford to pay them adequately.
Thuthuzela Aid Community Centre (TACC) is a Non- profit Organization (NPO) registered in March 2007. (No: 053-733-NPO)
For daily needs: Banking Details: ABSA bank
Balfour Park Branch
Account Number: 9184795126
For maintaining our home: ABSA bank
Balfour Park Branch
Account number 9270108188
THUTHUZELA AID COMMUNITY CENTRE
NPO No. 053-733-NPO PBO No: 930031232
(t): +27 11 656 0855
(e): [email protected]
No. 6 Gousblom Crescent, Marlboro Gardens, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dr Norman Cahi
CAHI DENTAL PRACTICE
Atholl Square, Sandton
2711 305-9300 – office
2711 305933 – fax