In 2002 both Mr and Mrs Ndlovu died within 6 months of each other, as a result of HIV and AIDS, leaving 4 teenage children. Zodwa, 21years, Thandi, 19 years, Siziphiwe, 17 years and Mafika 14 years. They were left impoverished, without money even to bury their own parents.
The community made a collection, bought the coffins and food and arranged the funerals for them. These children were forced to beg for food from neighbours. The 3 daughters decided to send their youngest brother, Mafika, to a relative in Donnybrooke so that he could at least be cared for and have a chance to finish his schooling.
Woza Moya assisted the family in applying for a Foster Child Grant for Mafika. This process took 9 months. In the meantime the children were struggling to survive. Steven and Martine Batchelor, Buddhist teachers from Europe, were visiting the Buddhist Retreat Centre at the time and offered to support the Ndlovu orphans. This support has been their lifeline. The 3 sisters were doing their best to survive, going out each day to look for 'toho' ( piece work ). Their homestead is always immaculately swept and cared for. They tried to maintain a sense of dignity and pride despite some neighbours looking down on them and verbally abusing them because their parents had died as a result of HIV and AIDS.
The Foster Child Grant of R450 per month finally came through and Mafika was reunited with his sisters. Steven and Martine Batchelor have continued to be actively involved in the wellbeing of these teenagers. Recently, for example they sent money for fencing and seeds and tools for the Ndlovu teenagers to start a vegetable garden. Steven and Martine's support has been vital to the survival and welfare of the Ndlovu teenagers. Even though they still have very little, they are living in the community with an increased sense of self respect.