This project sprouted in and around the home of Zanele, an inspiring woman from Sweetwaters who felt she needed to dedicate not only her work and energy, but also her home to the children who were suffering in her community.

The Community Home

Zanele's home is now a community home, a safe haven for children in Sweetwaters who've been orphaned, abandoned or abused. Her original home soon became too small to house everyone who found their way to her door, and over the years we've helped to rebuild, extend and then refurbish the house. Today more than three dozen children think of it as their home.

The Community Centre


On the remaining land around Zanele's home there's a community centre from which outreach work in Sweetwaters is coordinated, including distributing food, clothing and medicine.
Besides being a space for pop-up dental and medical clinics, it's also used for craft projects, training events, holiday clubs and football coaching. It's a true community space.

The Respite Children's Project

School children taking medication for HIV get really sick and have to stay at home from school. The community centre runs a respite project to give them a safe place to come, so they don't have to stay home alone. They come to the centre in their uniforms where they are schooled, can sleep when they are tired and are fed. Their older siblings collect them after they finish school.

Our latest news

  • Bev's visited to the Hope Centre 2016 | Story 1

    Bev's visited to the Hope Centre 2016 | Story 1

      Bev, one of our founding trustees, had the delight of spending two months in South Africa early this year.  She spent lots of time at the Hope Centre, both speaking with Gail ( who runs the centre) , and being with the kids. She has so many stories and special times to share with us all, we're gonna share stories over the next newsletters. Here is her first account : I love the Hope Centre , and this visit was just gonna be so special.  Lisa ( our previous chairperson and trustee) and I were visiting together for the very first time together.  Lisa is the reason I ever became involved in the Hope Centre..... Some 12 years ago, we've been trustees of LIAWN together, run marathons together, you name it, we've done it.... All in the name of love !  We are passionate about this place and these kids and visiting together just so special.  We agreed to meet at the centre early one morning and were like excited children as we stood outside of the centre.  We walked in, bumping into Eric ( the head of the school) and Lynette ( teaches at the school), before going upstairs to see Gail.  Isobel, Val and Jean were upstairs too, and it felt like a family reunion.  We all came together for coffee and chatted and laughed about what the kids are up to, the lovely and funny stories that happen daily at the centre.  There are two American volunteers at the centre at the moment, and they brought the "bunnies" ( the pre school kids) in to see us.  These little ones are just the cutest, Lisa and I were straight in there for cuddles, and we were treated to a "show" of some songs they had been learning.  It wasn't long before some of the older kids heard there were " visitors" in the building , and we soon had lots of little faces peering around the door. Lisa and I were so excited placing names to the faces, some of these kids we have known since they were babies and toddlers, and they are now 8-13, it's is such a joy to be here with Lisa, to be connecting with the incredible women who run the centre, and to catch up with the kids.   Until next time - Bev x  

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