Projects Colours for Kids

Dorise and Frank Hettlich built a classroom complex for the Asibuyeni Primary School years ago. This was badly damaged in a storm in 2019 and was no longer usable. After Frank’s death, Dorise felt it was important to renovate the classrooms. The contact with Colors for Kids e. V. came about by chance. Since mid-January 2024, the association has been renovating the classrooms thanks to Dorise’s generous donation.

We have built another classroom for the “Rainbow School” in the Tembe area. Preschool children are currently being prepared for first grade here. The preschool classroom we built will then be used for this first grade. We have known Thulani, the initiator of this school, for two years. Colors for Kids e.V. has already supported his school with small things. Thulani is very committed and completely trustworthy. The construction was completed in January 2024.

In November 2021, we had the nursery’s group rooms re-tiled and repainted. We also replaced the doors and frames, fitted new base units in the kitchen, installed a new tiled splashback behind the stove and gave the kitchen a facelift.

Colours for Kids sponsors two disadvantaged school girls

Thobeka Shabangu and Thembelani Moyo are two orphans who stood out at primary school for their diligence and intelligence. But orphans have no money, so as a rule they cannot attend secondary school. Colours for Kids pays for their accommodation (boarding school) and school fees, provides them with school uniforms, stationery, etc. and also pays for their expenses (e.g. food).

In March 2021, we got to know the orphanage Uzwelo (which means “compassion”) and were able to help the 46 children with pyjamas, slippers, toiletries and towels.

We were also able to cover the costs of colourfully painting the dormitories.

An acute emergency prompted us to realise another project at short notice:

Asibuyeni Primary School currently has 230 pupils aged 5 to 13 and is located in the Ezimpisini area, very close to the famous Tembe Elephant Park. The headmaster of the school, Musa Duze, asked us for help as 5 out of 7 classrooms were completely destroyed in a very violent storm in April.

3 temporary container classrooms have now been made available by the government. Colours for Kids has committed to building two classrooms so that the school will be able to resume lessons for all the children.

The time has come: the children and young people of the MusaweNkosi orphanage can now finally be brought safely to their school. Colours for Kids partially financed a new vehicle, which Karin handed over to a delighted Musawenkosi management team.

The vehicle which was in current use, was in a state of disrepair and no longer met the required safety standards. As the school is not within walking distance of the orphanage it is imperative that there is transport for the children.

In February 2018, several members of Colours for Kids visited the “Sweet Litte Things” kindergarten in Esikhawini/Edube Village, aproximately 15 kilometres from Richards Bay.

The kindergarten, which is privately run by Patricia Mkwanyane, is located in a small wooden hut in the middle of a poor residential area in Edube Village.

Patricia has been working as a teacher and kindergarten teacher her entire professional life. As there was no kindergarten in Edube Village, she decided to open a kindergarten on her own property. This enabled the parents and the many single mothers to go to work.  Patricia’s kindergarten ensures that the children are supported, taught and educated in a child-orientated way.

There are now 21 children who are looked after from 8 am to 5 pm. Patricia has reached her limits in terms of space, staff and finances, as she only receives 100 rand (approx. 7 euros) per child per month and has to use this to finance her salary, the children’s daily meals and learning materials.

As a result, there are only a few climbing frames and swings in the outdoor area, some of which have been temporarily put together. There is hardly any space left in the 15 m2 hut to teach the children properly or offer them opportunities to play. In addition, the children spend their naps lying close together on the floor without mattresses.

During our visit, we were very impressed by Patricia’s commitment and were truly moved to tears. The decision to help Patricia and her “Sweet Little Things” was quickly made. In addition to mattresses, learning materials and an outdoor play area, we want to build a small, functional new building elsewhere on the property that meets the needs of a kindergarten.

In February 2019 we were joined by many of the parents from the local community, as well as many children for the inauguration of the new kindrrgarten. We are veryextremely grateful for the generous donations that made this possible!

In 2017, we returned to the MusaweNkosi orphanage in Empangeni to realise another project. The old chicken coop was to be converted into a building in which older children would have the opportunity to continue living at the orphanage. They can now learn to live independently in their own rooms and with their own kitchen.

This is a community kindergarten with around 13 children, which had in the meantime been closed. The municipalitycommunity had no money to take care of maintenance or supplies. As a result, the kindergarten was in a dilapidated state. The asbestos roof was leaking, there was no furniture, no toys and no food. The children were in fact just accommodated there from 09:00 to 16:00 with no activities or learning. Unless the children brought food from home – which is the rule – they went hungry all day. Most parents are not in a financial position to feed their children properly. They paid the equivalent of around 7 euros a month for childcare. This money was just enough to pay the two carers, Zanele and Busi.

We wanted to change this and become something like “sponsors” of the kindergarten.

The kindergarten has been open again since 22 August 2017 and there are now 48 children in care.

This is an orphanage near Empangeni which relies on donations in order to undertake maintenance work. However, the donations are only sufficient for the bare necessities. Karin and Dorothee from Colours for Kids went to the orphanage in November 2015 where they could see the situation for themselves.

The orphanage houses 30 orphans and has 10 carers. The ablution facilties were in a very poor state and in fact the 40 residents were sharing a pit toilet.

In September 2016, Chairwoman Dorothee Holly visited the MusaweNkosi orphanage to inspect the completion of the bathrooms. These had previously been in a terrible state and were restored to a great condition with the help of donors. As the photos show, it was a very emotional visit. The director of the orphanage, Eric Bhutelezi, embraced Dorothee with gratitude.

He sends his heartfelt thanks to all donors in Germany! It was a dream come true for him and the children. In particular, the fact that warm water is now available is a miracle. He thanks Karin van Rooyen and her husband John for building the solar water system stands.

“It was an indescribable feeling of happiness when the children proudly showed me their new bathroom. At that moment, I just thought what a shame it was that the many donors couldn’t experience this. Our work is worthwhile for this feeling of happiness alone,” says Dorothee Holly.

In November 2015, Dorothee and Karin visited the Thuthukani Special School in Empangeni. This school “teaches” mentally and physically disabled children between the ages of 6 and 18. There are currently 350 children and young people attending this school. Some 250 children are on the waiting list and cannot be accomodated. It is a state institution, but is only kept running by donations and volunteers. The aim of the Thuthukani Special School is to enable its graduates to do light work and earn a living.

In April 2016, our Chairwoman Dorothee Holly visited the current Colours for Kids projects. A stainless steel kitchen table and wall paint were donated to the Thuthukani Special School for Special Kids.

The headmistress of the school, Marthie Combrinck, expressed her delight in a letter of thanks:

Dear Dorothee and Colour for Kids,

We are so thankful to you for donating this very functional stainless steel table for our kitchen at Thuthukani Special School in South Africa.  We cook for 390 disabled children every day and are struggling with work space and health requirements with regards to our equipment in our current kitchen area.

As you can see from the pictures, our kitchen staff are having a great time in preparing food on a proper surface which allow for easy cleaning and hygiene.

We are just waiting for the school holidays to re-paint our kitchen with the paint you have so generously sponsored as well.

Thuthukani Special School is a school in rural Zululand, South Africa, catering for 390 children with intellectual and physical disabilities.  Your sponsorship towards our school is truly making a positive difference to the lives of these beautiful and special children.

Thank you!

Marthie Combrinck (Principal), Staff and children of Thuthukani Special School

The Thubalethu kindergarten is run by the municipality, which has not provided the children and carers with anything apart from the building. When Karin visited the kindergarten in December 2014, she learnt that the security gate and the water tank had been stolen. Apart from a few plastic chairs, the children had nothing to play with. Thanks to Dorothee’s appeal for donations, a new water tank was concreted in and the safety gate installed in spring 2015. During a visit in April 2015, Karin and Dorothee and her family were able to hand over educational toys and sweets to the children.