With the dawn of a new year, the team at the Holy Family Care Centre in Ofcolaco, South Africa, have hit the ground running. With more than 10 children joining the community at the centre in the space of a few days, the centre’s director Sr Sally Duigan writes, “The new year – and especially the school year – has got off to a very action-packed start!”
Founded in 2002 in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, the Holy Family Care Centre has been providing care for young children who are very ill, often with HIV, for over 20 years. Many of these children have been orphaned or abandoned, and have nowhere else to go. Run by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, with the support of the MSC, the centre can accommodate 70 children and is stretched to capacity with many children needing urgent care.
Welcoming new manager JJ
The team at Holy Family recently welcomed a new manager, Jeanette Joalane Lesise, affectionately known as JJ.
“I never knew or even thought that I would ever leave the City of Gold, the hub of Gauteng to Ofcolaco,” writes JJ in an update on the Holy Family website. “Here I am, in the middle of mango and sweet corn farms. Surrounded by nature, fresh breezes of air, sweet melodies of birds, beautiful sunsets, hot summer days and showers of rain as the sun goes down.”
“I am surrounded by love, joy and happiness,” JJ continues, describing herself as a “special mom to 76 kids”. “These bundles of joy are from 0 to 18 years old. Upon my appointment, Lerato* was my first, a 4-day old baby girl. After three days here at Holy Family Care Centre… I had my first experience of welcoming a three-year-old Mpho. Well, Mpho* was temporarily placed with us and 4 days later his social worker fetched him to be placed with his relative who was willing to be his guardian. As for Lerato, she will be raised here unless of course, through the mercy of God she is adopted or fostered.”
“Holy Family Care Centre is a home away from home, for myself, for passionate Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, the wonderful staff, the committed volunteers, and all children placed on our doorstep. This is now my life,” she finishes.
Grade 12 scholars
On January 24th, JJ attended the local high school, where a celebration took place for the Grade 12 class of 2023. Sr Sally tells us, “We are very proud of two of our girls, who just obtained their Grade 12 certificates. It is the first time we have had children in Grade 12 and we are very proud of them.”
With 2024 off to a promising start, we wish Sr Sally, JJ, and all the team at Holy Family a bright year ahead!