When Windmill Casino Banqueting coordinator Ncumisa Nokha arrives home after work, she knows to expect a lively throng in the form of her mother, sister, and nine foster siblings who live in their home.
Nokha’s mother Anna Molibeli has run the Paballong Home of Safety in Bloemfontein for abused and abandoned children since 2003 inside the family home, resulting in these children – some of whom stay for years – becoming part of the family. “Our first baby was one who was just a day old – she stayed with us for five years until her mother had finished university and had employment.”
“My mother is at home with the children full-time, currently we have a baby that is 11 months old which requires care.” The aim of the Paballong Home was to help girls but over the years, to prevent siblings being separated, boys have also joined the family. The oldest foster child is 18 years old, and is in Grade 11. “She and her sister have lived with us for 10 years. We help them with their school work and share clothes and chores,” Nokha said.
Nokha said the Home survived on donations from various organisations and churches, as well as contributions from her salary. Windmill Casino has donated R5 000 worth of groceries in the form of a 20-litre urn, paraffin, long-life milk, tinned food, washing powder, Jik, juice and some snacks for the youngsters.
Paballong works with police and social workers when taking in children. “Some of them have been raped and abused by friends and family members, or have unfit mothers due to drugs and alcohol. These kids stay with us for a year until their home situation is stable. It is very sad when they leave, but we know they have to go back to their parents, and sometimes they allow them to visit us.”
Windmill Casino has called on other organisations and corporates to assist Paballong.