„Namkelekile ekhaya bantwana bam“ – A family
„Welcome home my children“ is how Mama Gladys welcomes her children after school in isiXhosa, one of the 11 official languages in South Africa. This is exactly what Coega Door of Hope is: a home for children and teenager. A home full of love and security.
The aim of Coega Door of Hope is the child-friendly care and education of children. This includes that the children grow up in a family environment characterised by love and care for each other. The children’s home is a shelter and a big family, in which all children consider themselves as siblings.
Currently, 26 children aged 4 to 19 years are in Mama Gladys care, nine of whom are temporarily looked after in the house. Three of the now already young adults, who are currently in training and studying, also still live in the house. Furthermore, Coega Door of Hope supports two children with their school fees, who do not permanently live in the children’s house.
Mama Gladys herself is currently supported by two trustworthy caregivers and occasionally by volunteers who offer their support. Sonja Wiekenberg-Mlalandle has known Coega Door of Hope since her first stay in South Africa in 2011. From the first meeting with Mama Gladys and the children, it was immediately clear to her that she would like to become actively involved in order to support the children’s home on a long term basis. On site she has been involved in fundraising and administration as well as in leisure activities with the children.
Since her return to Germany in 2013, she has continued to work closely with Mama Gladys and supports the children’s home continuously, either from a distance or during the regular visits on site in Gqeberha. After all these years of trusting cooperation and close friendship with Mama Gladys and the children, she too has become part of the family.