Everyday Hero: Miriam Cele

Founder: Gozololo Day Care Centre

Why is Miriam an Everyday Hero?

Eleven years into her retirement and Miriam Cele shows no signs of putting her feet up. Why would she when she has 300 young children to feed and educate every day?

Miriam Cele is one of those people who just can’t sit still when work needs to be done. When this work entails giving helpless children hope and a tummy full of food, it’s simply a job well done.

In 1997, Miriam established the Gozololo Day Care Center in the KwaMashu township in KwaZulu-Natal to provide care and support to a growing number of traumatised and orphaned children as a result of HIV/Aids.

Today, with the help of other “foster grannies”, Gozololo Day Care Centre has numerous satellite centres that now provide care to over 1 200 children in five different communities.

In her own words.

“It’s not a nice thing to see young children suffering. As a young girl my mother taught me to give. She used to cook a big pot of pap and fed all the children in the community.”

Fast Facts

  • Gozololo means “stay a while, rest a while” or “halfway house”.
  • The Gozololo model differs from the general institutional model in that a child is placed with a willing child minder at night and attends the care centre during the day.
  • Miriam has 17 years’ experience as a community and development worker.
  • In 2004, Miriam was awarded the Order of the Baobab by President Thabo Mbeki.

How can I help?

To find out how you can donate your time or money to the Gozololo Day Care Centre, visit their website.

Contact the Gozololo Day Care Centre
Tel: 031 503 1032
Fax: 031 503 2933

Story published on SAinfo on 5 May 2008.
Source: Brand South Africa