Bloemfontein street children and youth honoured



“It makes me feel very great to show that if I go back to my family, I can show them that I was not only staying in the shelter. I did my best and did things that I never did while I was staying in the streets,” says Jason Louw. Louw is one of 10 Bloemfontein children who the Kidz Care Trust (KCT), an organisation that caters for children making a living in the city’s streets, honoured. The organisation held its annual general meeting and awards ceremony at the Windmill Casino last week to honour its benefactors. However, the children were the ones who took centre stage. Louw’s story is one of a child from Heidedal, who found himself on Bloemfontein’s streets after his mother died in 2009 and his father was, according to him, unable to provide a safe and realiable place to stay. But despite the hardships, Louw rose above his circumstances winning most awards during the KCT awards evening, including an inaugural performing awards award named in his honour. “The awards we give out is for the Dux student for the best academic performance in the performing arts college and we were proud to present it to Jason Louw. We do a programme with them where they come three times a week and we teach them in the performing arts – music, drama and dance. Jason was chosen because he is the absoloute best music student with the highest academic performance in the college,” says André Niemann from the Magaung Drama and Dance College. Meanwhile, KCT manager Marita van Kraayenburg says her organisation needs approximately R1 million to buy a property, which will enable it to cater for more distressed children. This will help KCT to attend to the needs of more of the city’s homeless children. “We have a small holding where the children stay, which we rent. The whole idea was to buy the property and the minute we do so we can invite other people to come and assist us,” says Van Kraayenburg. The Kitz Care Trust’s Roodewal accomodation consists of only 16 beds; which is also the number of children it can accomodate at any one time. However, indications are that approximately 30 other children roam the Bloemfontein streets at any one time. KCT plans to embark on a large scale farming project different from ordinary food gardens in a plan to assist its boys to become skilled and economically self-sustainable.