Mandela Day Outreach July 2023, Rustenburg

As part of the Spero Sensors & Instruments 2023 Outreach programme, a group of Sperosens volunteers left Pretoria early on Friday morning, vehicle loaded with groceries and clothing, headed for the MׅôreSter Child and Youth Care Centre in Rustenburg.

We reached the Centre at 10:30 and were greeted by our Sperosens colleagues from our Rustenburg branch as well as Helen Lotz and Marlinet Bekker, the social workers at the MׅôreSter Child and Youth Care Centre. They were accompanied by 65 of the most well-mannered and well-behaved children one can imagine. Helen Lotz has dedicated her life to childcare and has been doing charity work for 21 years, even having her own NPO registered in 2014.

Excitement was in the air as we started offloading the boxes. All the kids helped with collecting and taking them into the MׅôreSter office. Despite a cool nip in the air, everyone was too busy to notice the cold wind blowing. We set up the braaiers and a portable speaker was blasting all kinds of music which was a massive hit with the kids, who instantly started to bop to the beat. The volunteers then handed out cold drinks and started to braai boerie rolls for the kids, who enjoyed it so much, they came back for seconds!

MׅôreSter Child and Youth Care Centre is supposed to be a temporary place of safety, meaning that the placement of a child should be for the duration of 6 months, at most. Unfortunately, some children have been there for over 16 years. MׅôreSter houses and cares for 65 children, ranging from 1 to 17 years, with a complement of 16 staff members. Almost none of the children can leave the facility to visit family members, due to their household circumstances.

MׅôreSter currently relies heavily on the public for contributions. However, these contributions are not sufficient in covering all the costs, as the centre has had no government funding since March of 2023.

All school going kids are enrolled in schools across Rustenburg. The biggest expense that MׅôreSter has is the fuel required for the 2-hour round trip in the morning and afternoon. Critical needs include Infacare formula and nappies for the babies, as well as food and clothing for all the children.

The kids are healthy and happy, as they receive a monthly visit from the local clinic which administers their required medication.

A question was asked about what happens when children reach the age of 18 and need to leave MׅôreSter. “There is currently really only one company willing to assist with the placement of the teenagers in jobs, with the hope that the child will be permanently employed at some stage” – Marlinet Bekker, Social Worker at MôreSter Child and Youth Care Centre.

It was an absolutely joyous and heart-warming experience, and we feel honoured to have been involved in bringing a small bit of delight to these children’s lives. We urge the public to please support these special places that offer love and safety to the children who are in need of it. For further information about the MôreSter Child and Youth Care Centre, visit

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