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Last year Lindiwe Ngcobo* matriculated with three distinctions, thrilling “Daddy” Owen, formally known as Lt. Owen Mutize. After quite a short time at Carl Sithole he endeared himself so much to the kids, so desperate for a family, that they started referring to him as Daddy. This is how “our children” think of Salvation Army personnel so that they morph into family.
Lindiwe and her sister Tandi* came to this home in 2016, having been badly neglected in a foster home. When their mother died they were removed and brought to the sanctuary of Carl Sithole. Like most children here, they had no self-confidence when they arrived. Both girls are very bright said Lt. Owen. Lindiwe is a very avid reader – a real bookworm. She’s quiet, reserved and extremely focused, she is a real inspiration to the other girls here, most of whom have already had their dreams shattered and look at her in awe. I often hear the other girls say “I want to be like Lindiwe.”
She’s now doing a three-year degree in Public Relations and Communication at the University of Johannesburg, where she is a resident. She comes home to Carl Sithole for her holidays, where Tandi is still at school and doing very well, so they have wonderful catch-up times.
*Names changed to protect identities.