German town helps out
By Tabisa Mntengwana
14 February 2012
STRUCK by the plight of vulnerable children during a visit to Buffalo City, the mayor of a German town has sent some cheer down south.
In an effort to improve the children's living conditions, the city of Oldenburg has donated more than R9 000 to the East London Child and Youth Care Centre.
The donation came after the mayor, Gerd Schwadner, visited the centre in 2011. He toured the home with German volunteers who are working at the facility, where they help the children with their schoolwork and reading lessons.
"During their visit, the delegates noticed the plight of the orphans and vulnerable children and decided to raise funds in Oldenburg through selling cupcakes," explained Darby Gounden, the City's manager of development co-operation and international relations.
An amount of R9 700 was raised at the cake sale. Earlier this year, Executive Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha travelled to Germany in to discuss a city-to-city partnership with the City of Oldenburg.
Schwadner entrusted his Buffalo City counterpart with the handing over of the funds to the facility, which she did at the East London City Hall last week.
Speaking at the event, Ncitha said: "The City is grateful to have such ties with foreign countries. For us, this is a lesson that we need to have the same ability as the youth and people of other countries where we would help others without expecting anything in return."
She added that this gesture meant a lot to the people of East London.
The centre houses over 100 street children, abandoned children and children affected by HIV and Aids. Its Glen Stella Campus was recently refurbished by the youth of Leiden, the metro's Dutch sister city.
The boys unit now has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an en-suite room for one childcare worker. It also has a kitchen and a lounge.