Ria : Ithemba Founder & Director
In 2004 Ria started a preschool an after school program for the poverty stricken community where a large group of children were without food or a place of safety during the day. Ithemba became a place where they could be loved, fed and safe. To give these children a dream and help develop their potential is her passion. To see how they develop spiritually and socially is her reward.
Miranda : Teacher
Miranda is our Grade R (kindergarten) teacher. With a growing need for more Kindergarten teachers, Ithemba hired Miranda, a retired teacher, to teach the second group of Grade R students. She is an excellent teacher who sets clear expectations for her students and challenges them every day.
Gloria : Staff
I have worked at Ithemba since 2009. My church pastor connected me with the creche (Preschool). I like children, and I like Ria. I work here because I love my church. Ithemba allows me to support my family. I enjoy cleaning. My duties are washing the children’s dishes, sweeping and mopping the floors, washing walls, and cleaning the children’s nap-time bed sheets. I love Ithemba, and that I get to make the environment for the kids better and safe.
Deborah : Safehouse Mom
Deborah is the lüō Safe House mom. She takes care of all the children living at the house on a daily basis. She keeps the home look very nice and clean and cooks healthy meals for the children. The children refer to her as “grandmother” and love her very much. Deborah says she wants to be a real mother to the children and provide love for them like God has for her.
Lusanda : 4 Year Olds Teacher
My name is Lusanda Charles. In 2007 we started the crèche (Kindergarten), and my church pastor introduced me to Ithemba and Ria. It was shortly after I completed grade school. I have now been working at Ithemba for seven years. My passion has always been working with kids. My favorite thing about the crèche and the after-school program is seeing the kids from all different backgrounds and attitudes come together and learn. I get to teach them good values and also how to dream about their future. The most important thing I teach them is knowing God and their Savior. They are not taught so much about God at home. I also get to let them know that they are very special, and God created them in HIS own image. When they are at home and there is no food, they will know that God loves them. Ithemba has taught me so much about kids, and I have learned while working here. I thank God for Ithemba because it has helped and continues to help lots of kids.
“Mukuluh” Queen : 4 Year Olds Teacher
The children call me “Makuluh” which means grandmother in Xhosa. I began working at Ithemba in 2006. I previously volunteered at Child Welfare to help abused and vulnerable kids. When I finished the project, I was introduced to Ithemba through the church pastor and met Ria. Ria saw my passion for kids and affirmed that Ithemba would have a place for me with the after-care. It was good to see all the kids’ faces smiling and laughing. It was such a privilege to work with them. I fell in love with them and we then started the crèche (Kindergarten) in 2007. The most powerful thing I love about after-care is teaching kids the word of God and the Bible. They must grow and know who Jesus is in their life. We don’t work for money in this life, we work to build the kingdom of God. We are living stones to build up God’s house. My dream for Ithemba is that we see these kids become something in life, to know that we have influenced them to study and grow and to fear and love God so that they can have wisdom and knowledge. One day I hope these kids would become lawyers, teachers, doctors, anything they dream to be. That these dreams would begin at Ithemba. They come tired, but we meet their needs so that they are fully prepared to be successful.
Pearl : 3 Year Olds Teacher
My name is Pearl. I have worked at Ithemba for three years. I found myself at Ithemba through a friendship with a fellow teacher. I was introduced to Ria, and I love this job because I get a salary, and I get to love children. God has helped me learn how to teach and be patient with the children. I get to teach the three to four year olds. My favorite thing about the little ones is they listen and are precious. I like to work at Ithemba because we teach our kids, we give them food, and we teach them hygiene and proper manners. Their needs aren’t always being met at home. We also provide parents’ assistance so that they can work and provide for their families.
Laurentia : 3 Year Olds Teacher
Laurentia teaches the youngest class of 3 year olds at the Creche or pre-school.
Azakhiwe : 3 Year Olds Teacher
Aza tutors our primary school students in the afternoon.