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Eluxolweni Children's Shelter


Eluxolweni Children's Shelter is located in Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Their main objective is to is to facilitate programmes and projects that bring relief and care to marginalised and abandoned children, particularly street children. The aim to rehabilitate the children with the hope of reintegrating them with their families wherever this is possible. They also help to generate parental interest and awareness around the needs of these children.

Eluxolweni run a shelter for up to 40 boys in Grahamstown. They work hard to devise programmes that take a broad, holistic view of the factors that affect children, such as:

  • The impact of AIDS on young children;
  • Issues related to violence, abuse and neglect;
  • Health and Nutritional needs and problems.

While staying at the centre, the children attend school and also take part in many activities including drama, writing, gardening and sports.

Many of the boys at the Eluxolweni Shelter come from the most difficult of family backgrounds. David Classen of Eluxolweni puts it well when he says: “Many privileged observers look at the children we shelter as annoying, rude and dishevelled vagrants whom should be avoided. However, to us, they are brave souls who have grown up in unfortunate environments. They are a source of knowledge and a huge bank of experiences. So what many see as useless annoyances, are to us a rich array of valuable and irreplaceable individuals.”.

Sheila of Soweto Connection with David Claassen of Eluxolweni

Soweto Connection has been working with Eluxolweni since 2004. Over the years we have helped them develop soccer teams at under-age level. We have also helped them to equip a Theta English centre, to improve the boys’ English language skills while maintaining their home culture and language of Xhosa.

In 2006 Soweto Connection provided funding for a much needed stove at the Eluxolweni Shelter. Over the years we have also helped them to purchase chairs, replace their fridge, and make much needed improvements to their premises.

For more information on Eluxolweni visit their website.

Soweto Connection raises funds in Ireland for South African community-based groups that are working with people affected by HIV/AIDS. The money collected makes urgent treatment available to HIV/AIDS patients, provides home-based care to sufferers, and assists in HIV/AIDS prevention services.

All donations are gratefully accepted, and all money goes directly to helping AIDs victims and their families.