Heartbreak and Hope

Jogébed child and youth care centre, situated in Upington in the Northern Cape is a sanctuary for abused and abandoned children, children with special needs and orphans affected by HIV. Children literally come from a radius of 400kms, as Jogébed is the only place offering shelter and counselling to both babies and women facing unplanned pregnancies.

Since the home first opened its doors in 2005, it has admitted 231 children and each child, whether a day-old baby or a two-year-old toddler, is taken in and receives specialised care and medication.

Many of our babies are placed with forever families, some are admitted to specialized homes and others are placed in temporary foster care.

When Gerda Engelbrecht from African Bank, Upington, first visited the home two years ago with fellow staff members to donate some clothing, her heart broke when she heard that Jogébed did not have enough funds to keep their doors open.

“Being a mom of three I could never live with myself if a sanctuary like this was to close and prevent vulnerable children having a safe place to grow up. These children also need a place in the sun,” says Gerda.

Gerda felt the centre was a perfect recipient for the Bank’s Community Champion Awards. She motivated her project and was successful in being awarded R30 000 to donate to the home which would almost cover the homes’ grocery costs for an entire year.

This is the second year African Bank is running its award programme. “Community involvement speaks directly to the bank’s value of empathy and this programme really shows our commitment to changing the communities around us. We already have a comprehensive CSI programme in place through our Development Trust and the ad hoc projects which are encouraged at branch level but we wanted to include another leg where we could challenge branches to join the executives in identifying projects that require financial rescue but fall outside of the bank’s geographical mandate,” says Kennedy Dembetembe, National CSI Manager of African Bank.

Last year African Bank donated R600 000 to 19 different community projects around the country as part of its Community Champion Awards programme.

“Running a centre like this is costly. We need to be financially sustainable to provide a secure, caring environment for all our children. Donations like these are hugely welcomed and appreciated as they literally help keep our doors open,” comments Alida van der

Westhuizen from Jogébed.

“It is difficult to see how the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable may be neglected and I hope our small donation will go a long way in supporting the amazing staff and helpers at Jogébed,” concludes Gerda.

Jogébed is registered as a BEE company and should you wish to make a donation or contribute to one of its projects you can visit their website on http://www.jogebed.co.za or facebook https://www.facebook.com/jogebed/