UFS students care for street kids

From the left are, in front: Nicole Hufke, Ramabole Rampeta, Ashmika Dowlath, Ntoetse Molapo en Grace Makoro; back: Minet Prins, Riza Ehlers, Chilombo Mung'omba and Cwenga Mgwebi.

After noticing that young boys who live and work on the streets of Bloemfontein are in dire need of medical care, nine third-year medical students from the University of the Free State took up the challenge to offer their time to the non-profit organisation (NPO), Kidz Care Trust.

The Kidz Care Centre is located in Roodewal, on the outskirts of Bloemfontein; thus, there is no public hospital or clinic close enough to offer medical care to the boys. These students, under the supervision of Riza Ehlers, responded to this by organising a mobile clinic from the Free State Department of Health, which will visit the children weekly. Information sessions, immunisation, paediatric aid and psychology sessions have also been arranged for the boys.

Marita van Kraayenburg, the manager of Kidz Care Trust, emphasised how important education is for the boys, which is their most pressing need. “Without a proper education, it is impossible for us to integrate as functioning members of society. The medical students addressed this challenge by approaching Brebner High School, St. Michael’s School and Saint Andrew’s School for donations. The schools donated books and blackboards to Kidz Care Trust,” said Van Kraayenburg.

In addition, the medical students collaborate with education students to teach the boys basic writing, reading and mathematics skills.

Marketing and fundraising are the secondary objective for Riza Ehlers and her team. “The reason we do not focus so much on marketing or fundraising is because both of these are often unsustainable. Both our and Kidz Care’s goal is to establish a solid network that annually collaborates with the organisation to improve the lives of the kids. A once-off donation is simply not enough,” concluded Ehlers.

If you wish to assist the Kidz Care Trust improve the lives of these boys who live and work on the streets of Bloemfontein, Marita van Kraayenburg can be contacted on 082-775-2770. – Seithati Semenokane