AN ORPHAN SHINES IN PIETERMARITZBURG
By: Mbali Mngomezulu
Award winning community activist Alan Naidoo has given back to the community through charity.
The 37-year-old Naidoo grew up at an orphanage after she lost both of her parents at a young age.
She grew up in a small town called Vryheid, in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal. She was later adopted by her foster parents when she was 16 years old and moved to
Naidoo completed her matric and tertiary in Pietermaritzburg and started working as a shopkeeper.
She saw the need to start an orphanage which she called Khayelisha. She established it at a community hall with the help of the Copesville counsellor Themba Nkabinde.
The Khayelisha orphanage caters for children as young as 6 months to 16 years, the orphanage also offers educational programs.
Naidoo noticed the escalating number of homeless children within the community, children without parents and young babies that were dumped at the nearest dumping site in
Copesville. At some point, she funded the orphanage project from her own pocket.
She later approached potential sponsors and she was supported by Spar, Always sanitary and Detol companies.
“I have made it to be as comfortable as possible for the children to feel free,” said Naidoo.
The centre now has about 100 children and it has set visiting hours during the weekends for relatives of the children. Some of the children who are accommodated at the centre are
children who are without elderly people at home to look after them.
The centre is the only option for them to be safe.
The Khayelisha orphanage is highly recommended by the community members of Copesville.
They view it as the best centre that educates and safe guard children that live there. Due to her initiative, Naidoo has won an award of being the community activist of the
year in 2010.
Terrisha Ackerman who has siblings who live in Khayelisha said that the centre has helped her family since she is unemployed and can’t afford to look after her siblings.
The centre took them in and they are able to see each other over weekends
Naidoo is an inspiration to many people and has helped in up lifting the community she lives in.
The centre aims to expand as the number of children coming