Over the past eighteen years, many orphaned and vulnerable girls have found refuge at Bakhita Village. As they grew, Bakhita Charities focused on their education as a sustainable path to a brighter future.
We were happy to visit with two of the girls who are now working to achieve a college education with the assistance of Bakhita Charities. Phillipine is beginning her third year of a law program at the University of the Free State and is doing quite well. Cynthia, who graduated from St. Brendan’s in 2016, has just completed a couple of accounting classes in preparation for registration at a business college in a diploma program.
It has been a struggle for both, but they are persevering with the help of the Sacred Heart Sisters and Bakhita Charities.
We took them out for lunch one day, bought them some staple food for school living along with other school necessities. We met these girls as Bakhita Village orphans many years ago and it is so great to see their bright future on the horizon.
The Bakhita Village home for orphaned and vulnerable girls was closed in December 2017 because the Sisters could no longer staff it. The girls who were in residence at that time went to live with various guardians.
We are in the process of visiting each of the girls in their villages to present their gift bags brought from the United States. We give them a large food parcel, check to see if they are attending school and assess other immediate needs. We get lots of help with language and directions from former staff of Bakhita Village and Sr. Amaka.
The news isn’t all good or all bad.
Three sisters, Maria, Paulinah and Maphala are living with a family member in very difficult circumstances. They are living in a very small but sturdy home with two other children. They have no electricity or light of any sort, no furniture, no kitchen at all and there is no means of support.
After our first visit, we returned the following day with items of furniture donated by the Sisters. We helped sort out information the girls needed for their new school and arranged for someone to purchase needed school items. The only bright side was the response from the three girls when the they saw us – beaming smiles and hugs all around. And, of course, they were very happy to get their gift bags and happy to see that we brought gifts for the younger children with whom they are living.
Maggie, Sr. Amaka, Dinah, Family
Visiting Nelliah was another story. Her mother was able to take her back because her health has improved greatly in the past few years. Nelliah is enrolled in school and living in a home that has electricity and a family to care for her. She was thrilled to receive the gift bag from the United States and she was very happy to see us and her former Bakhita care-giver Dinah who accompanied us. It was a good way to end the day.
Maggie, Nelliah, Mother