The Japanese embassy on Saturday handed over a R4.4 million youth development centre to the Orlando Children’s Home in Soweto, Johannesburg – the oldest home for orphans and abandoned children in South Africa.
The centre is equipped with a high-efficiency solar power system, making it possible for children to enjoy various indoor activities such as karate, judo, basketball, singing, and dancing among others.
Counsellor at the Japanese consulate in Cape Town Yasushi Naito, said the embassy had enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Orlando Children’s Home dating back to the 1980s, because Japan and South Africa enjoyed mutual economic ties.
“We have very strong people-to-people relations and economic ties with South Africa, which includes the exchange of many products, including minerals. Many Japanese companies such as Toyota are making investments in South Africa,” Naito said.
“Our interaction with the community of Soweto goes well over 30 years. In the past, we have been involved in the building of a creche here and we hope that the youth will acquire various skills in the development centre. Our wish is to become part of South Africa’s development and inclusive growth by empowering the youth through education.”
The centre is the latest in a series of Japanese initiatives, with the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) funding scheme beginning as far back as 1990 in South Africa. The Japanese government, in collaboration with Japanese company Kawaguchi Energy Natural Solutions, funded this project through the GGP.
Orlando Children’s Home director Solani Mirriam Mazibuko praised the embassy and the GGP for maintaining a strong relationship with them. Besides being a residence for orphans, the Orlando Children’s Home also has a pre-primary and primary school wing which serves the children of the orphanage.
– African News Agency (ANA)