Early in January, I received an email through Vuyani’s Facebook page from a young woman.

This is the story she gave me permission to share with a recent photo . . .


My name is Magdel Afrika.  In 2005 in my matric year at Asherville High School in Graaff-Reinet, I had a baby son. I went through a very rocky time at home and if Vuyani didn’t take me and my baby in back then, I would never have passed my matric.

Mrs. Hadron Lamont and Gertrude Hoffman, teachers at Asherville, suggested that I live at Vuyani. One of the caretakers looked after my baby so that I could go to school and later write my exams.

In the end I passed my matric exams with an exemption!

I got offered bursaries and chose to go to Cape Town.  I’m only finishing my degree now – I’m doing my last year B.A degree in Psychology at UWC this year and then I’ll proceed with my postgrads next year, God-willing.

If one of my teachers did not take me to Vuyani for accommodation . . . it could have turned out so differently, but God had a plan! In Cape Town I had a lot of struggles over years and that is the reason for the delay in my studies, but I knew God had a purpose – so today, I’m grateful for Vuyani’s caregivers watching my son when I was at school and for Aunty Moira lovingly welcoming us at Vuyani that first day.

My son also had many challenges, especially a bad car accident when he was about 7 years old, which caused him to be admitted to the Red Cross Children’s hospital with a fractured skull.  After years of therapy and special needs care, he has recovered remarkably.

I also want to mention Mrs. Betty Swartz (now at Vuyani’s Learning Centre). She was one of my primary school teachers and I remember her absolute passion for teaching.  I can also see how Vuyani has evolved over the years, since 2005.

My dream is to be part of an Old Age Home or an Orphanage.  Thanks so much for helping us . . . so many children need help and that’s why I’m so passionate about my chosen profession – to help like I was helped. 

I will stay in contact and look you all up when I visit Graaff-Reinet – hopefully for the 2020 Vuyani Celebrations!

Much love