With a history of 75 years and relying on donations to survive, Cotlands received a major boost this week when skills development training companies, AstroTech and BizTech donated R10, 000 each to the sanctuary for abused and abandoned children.
"We believe that childhood should be a lasting happy memory for all kids," said Liza van Wyk, CEO of the Parktown-based AstroTech and BizTech.
"Cotlands has cared for hundreds and hundreds of children since its inception in 1936, making a real difference in the lives of countless families. We all know that while Cotlands has provided a home for orphaned and abandoned special children-and while numerous benefactors have contributed to its sustenance, funding continues to pose a challenge. We are happy to make the donation to the Cotlands division of Turfontein, south of Johannesburg, to help Cotlands fulfil its mandate," said van Wyk.
There is a growing need for better facilities and infrastructure for Cotlands, a shelter for abused, abandoned, HIV-positive, orphaned and terminally ill children up to the age of 14. This is the challenge that AstroTech and BizTech hope to augment by donating the funds.
Like other Cotlands around the country, the Turfontein one comprises three sections, a hospice, sanctuary for children requiring less medical attention and Cotlands House, a home where older and healthy children can be reintegrated into communities and formal schooling.
Each child has a unique story on why they ended up at Cotlands. Some were brought by police, others by social workers who rescued them from the streets and dust bins, while some were dumped at the centre's main entrance. Few were surrendered by their parents.
"We are happy to help change the circumstances of some of these children in a small way," said van Wyk.