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By Obusitswe Keboneilwe

MAHIKENG MAIL-MAHIKENG: With the society grappling with myriad of challenges, children in the most instance bear the brunt of neglect and abuse but with” I am a Dreamer Foundation” and Bakwena ba Mogopa, children around Rustenburg have better prospects to normality.

“I am a Dreamer Foundation” from Freedom Park in Rustenburg has over the years established relationship with children and communities that are hard to reach.  Central to its core, the foundation aims to protect the best interest of children especially the orphaned and vulnerable.  
A passionate Simon Mpaakanyeng who leads the foundation said their journey started in 2016. 
 “We were worried about the plight of the children, especially at the height of gender-based violence (GBV).  We could not fold our arms, especially with the need to seize the opportunities to improve the life of our community.  
“The community nutrition development centre provided us with the opportunity to impart our skills to the 300 who get a warm plate daily.  We offered training to orphaned and vulnerable young people including caretakers in small scale business management and entrepreneurship.  The caretakers can now generate income through various activities, ensuring improved economic situation in some families”, he said.
On receiving a funding to the tune of R1.8 million from the department of social development, Mpaakanyeng said the money would ensure more children were reached.  It is a massive boost from our caring department and we will make sure that every cent is spent as intended.  
“The youth-led organisation hailed compliance to NPO prescripts such as submission of monthly expenditure reports as a pre-requisite to access funding from the state and other donors.  We are grateful for the assistance of the department of social development in the North West, but also welcome their workshops and encouragement to look beyond the department for financial help.  We must not always be dependent on government but also help it to rid the social ills in our community.”
During Thuntsha Lerole accelerated service delivery programme at Bokamoso informal settlement in Rustenburg, Bakwena ba Mogopa, received R1.4million to continue to promote the interests of children.  
Valentia Tshidi of Bakwena ba Mogopa home based care in Bojanala said they were honoured to be one of the NPOs that receive funding from the department of social development to provide services to children affected by HIV/Aids and children with disabilities. 
“Other than rendering services to children, we also identify needy families in our community provide them with food parcels. We do monitor grants that are administered by SASSA,” Tshidi said.
 The organisation also promotes the interest of children, especially girls.  The organisation offers multifaceted services to the community of Bethanie and beyond.  The proudly have 13 beneficiaries in football, having passed trials at Lerumo Lyons that plays under ABC Motsepe League. They also offer school shoes during the annual Bakwena Walk for Charity, which also keep the adults in top physical shape.

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