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Date: 02 May 2012
Title: Dept to hire 10 000 providers to help orphans
Cape Town - The Department of Social Development is looking to recruit 10 000 service providers over the next three years to help care for orphans, the Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini said on Wednesday.
Speaking to BuaNews ahead of her Budget Vote in Parliament, Dlamini said the child and youth care workers would care for those orphans up to age four- and-a-half years, pointing out that the first 1 000 days of a child's life were crucial in their development.
The Department of Basic Education would be responsible for assisting those orphans older than four-and-a-half years.
Her department had been allocated an additional R1.4 billion over the next three years to help cover the recruitment of services provided as well as the expansion of early-childhood development centres - with most of this amount channelled through provinces.
She appealed to provincial departments to focus on disbursing as much of their budgeted allocations as possible to orphans.
Dlamini said South Africa had more than a million orphans and the country needed to break the stigma of child-headed households. Some children were orphaned when, for example, one parent died after contracting HIV and another was killed in a road accident, while others were abandoned.
The minister said South Africans needed to create a more caring community where everyone's child was theirs too - so that extended family members could take care of orphaned family members.
Other South Africans could become foster parents and adopt children, she added.
Support from family and community members is important for those sidelined in society, such as orphans and those who are physically challenged.
She pointed to a fellow pupil she grew up with, who had down syndrome and who would pass with the same marks she got, because of the support she received from her family.
At a breakfast function earlier this morning, attended by about 50 orphans of child-headed households, mostly from rural areas and townships, Dlamini applauded her Deputy Minister Bongi Ntuli, who is an orphan.
Ntuli became emotional as she described how department officials had picked up a new born child yesterday.
"There is no dustbin for orphans", she said, adding that thanks to those that had taken care of her, she had become the person that she is today.
"I am what I am because somebody took care of me," she said, telling the orphans that if they wanted to be someone in life, having the right attitude was necessary. - BuaNews