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Contact Details:
Lynne Brown
PO Box 344
Somerset East 5850
Tel: 042 243 0339
Email: lynne@siyakhulisa.com

Would you like to Donate?

Via direct deposit with the following details:

Bank Details

ABSA Bank
Somerset East

SWIFT Code:
ABSAZAJJ
Savings Account: Siyakhulisa Trust
Account No: 9197835105
Branch Code: 334418

In the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, about 180 km north of Port Elizabeth, and nestled below the wooded slopes of the Boschberg Mountains, you will find the quaint little town of Somerset East. Noted for its beauty and no less than 16 waterfalls it sounds like the perfect place for young families to raise their children. Unfortunately all is not well in Somerset East. It is no secret that it is also home to hundreds of AIDS orphans and abused and abandoned children.

About 180 km north of Port Elizabeth and nestled below the wooded slopes of the Boschberg Mountains, you will find the quaint little town of Somerset East. Noted for its beauty and no less than 16 waterfalls it sounds like the perfect place for young families to raise their children. Unfortunately all is not well in Somerset East. It is no secret that it is also the home of hundreds of AIDS orphans and abused and abandoned children.

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According to Stats SA (2001) the population of Somerset East and district totals 22 782 of which the highest is in the Black African community (13 472), followed by the Coloured community (7 291), White community (2024) and the Asian community (15).  The unemployment rate for this area is extremely high with the result that some economically active adults migrate to bigger cities to find work, abandoning their children or leaving them with relatives who do not take good care of them.  Sometimes they never return or return only when affected by HIV/Aids. The town dump is home to a group of children, some almost teenagers, who have never seen the inside of a classroom.

There is a lack of healthy recreational facilities in the area so that the young people tend to visit shebeens and taverns on a regular basis. This negative choice often results in substance abuse, violence, promiscuity, a rise in HIV/Aids infections and teenage pregnancies. A direct result of this is that children in the area suffer abuse, neglect, homelessness, abandonment and because of the high death rate due to AIDS-related diseases, the number of orphans is escalating at an alarming rate.

Education for these children is a serious problem and without it they may never grow to their potential and become an asset to their communities but rather remain a financial burden to society and the country as a whole. The schools they attend are ill-equipped, under-staffed and struggling financially, with the result that there is an enormous drop-out rate in high school leading to an increase in unemployment.

The community of Somerset East is very supportive of any initiative or programme to address orphaned and abandoned children. However it is an economically-challenged town and most residents are unable to offer the financial assistance needed. The Siyakhulisa Trust was established in February 2008 in an attempt to raise funds to address the problems faced by the children of this beautiful town. We truly believe that, child by child, we can make a difference.

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