One of our current projects is at Sivuyile Children's Home just north of Cape Town (pronounced See-voo-yee-lay, and meaning "We are happy" in the Xhosa language).

Sivuyile is home to 60 children and young adults with severe intellectual disability many of whom have little or no contact with their families. For many years these residents had little or no stimulation so Friends of Tembaletu, in collaboration with other charities, helped to start a regular stimulation and learning program at the residence. We helped to sponsor equipment for an obstacle course room for exercise (and fun!), a playroom, and a sensory room. The carers working at Sivuyile were trained in how to use these designated rooms with groups of residents to promote learning.

Umthi classroom

At this time the South African department of education did not provide funding for the formal education of children with severe intellectual disability so in February 2012, we helped to create a small school called Umthi on the premises. 

Umthi classroom, current project

This started with one classroom catering for 9 children, and in January 2013 a second classroom was added. There are 16 children who attend Umthi and we sponsor the fees of the 8 children from Sivuyile who attend.  We also provide regular support from an Occupational therapist. The change in the children who are able to attend Umthi has been dramatic.

BUT there are many more children and adults in Sivuyile Children's home! There is a need for several more classrooms and a vocational training section with appropriate staff. This is what we are working towards.


Umthi, Bolumko cutting out pictures

Rene blowing bubbles

Umthi, current project
Umthi classroom
Rene in the Umthi classroom
Umthi classroom
Umthi, smiling student, current project