Changing lives of vunerable children

VANDERBIJLPARK. ΓÇô Mr Anton and Ms Veronica Mocke could not sit back while homeless children roamed the streets, and so the New Life Centre was born.

After leaving his permanent job, Mr Mocke and his wife decided to open a shelter that would be like a new home to cater for and change the lives of vulnerable children, they said. “This is not just a shelter as we are one family,” he said.

However, getting their lives back on track is sometimes difficult. “As we arenΓÇÖt sponsored by the government, we survive through the support of local entrepreneurs. “Since we opened our doors a year ago,” said Mocke, “we have had at least 18 children to care for. We accommodate children between the ages of five to 18 years in the New Life Centre.” He said that some children abandon their homes due to unforeseen circumstance or alcohol-abuse in the family while others are brought by their families.

A 16-year-old orphan said he had abandoned his family at the age of five after his father shot his mother and sister before committing suicide. “I was then spotted by a good Samaritan, Mr Mocke, and came to stay with them.” An 11-year-old girl said she had come to the shelter after conditions at home became unbearable. “Here we treat each other as brother and sister and Anton and Veronica are like our parents,” she said.