Instead of a celebratory mood; there were mixed emotions among the members of staff of Dzulani Place of Safety and Children Care Centre as they celebrate the centre’s five years of existence.

It takes the whole village to raise a child but in this case it took only one woman, Nelly Nelukau (47) to realise that children were stranded, neglected and  in need of a shelter. She opened a place of safety for children in 2012 at Dindela section in Vosloorus and called it “Dzulani, a Venda name meaning “to be settled”.

Nelukau said her son Nkanyiso Nelukau went missing in April 2005, when he was 15 years-old. That experience brought her misery and left a void in her heart hence she decided to open a place of safety for children without a place to stay. “I partnered with Ingrid Heydenrych and my husband, Gideon Nelukau in running the centre. Without out any funding we have managed to feed needy orphans,” said Nelukau.

She said there were times where the number of children was rapidly increasing and were forced to sell personal goods to feed the children.

“We also lost children along the way that we buried them without any aid. We are also remembering them as part of the cerebration,” she said.

Ingrid Heydenrych, the founding member of the centre also appealed for donations and any assistance in revamping the centre. She said currently they are catering for 14 orphans.

Sphiwe Makhasana (25) was also neglected by her parents and has found home at the centre. She said she is happy to be at the centre.

Thandi Nkosi, councillor for ward 47 commended the centre for the good work that they are doing for the community without any funding from the government. She also appealed to the community and business sector to assist the centre with any donations.