Golden Arks

Golden Ark Centre is founded by the community of Mzimhlophe, Soweto in 2003. The home was initiated to close a gap created by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the township. As a result of the pandemic a lot of children were left without parents, thus creating an influx of childheaded households. This raised numerous issues in the community, amongst many, this also robbed the eldest children in these families of their childhoods. The economic hardships faced by these households meant that children had to leave school and try to earn an income. This would result in children given exploitive, illegal or dangerous work. It also meant that the lack of financial support would result in children suffering from malnutrition and other illnesses while receiving little to no medical attention.

The Mzimhlophe community members came together and decided to intervene by assisting children in these child-headed homes. This was the reason the Golden Ark Centre was founded. The community leaders came up with the solution to approached two local high schools and primary schools which would help them scout and identify kids in need and then provide for them a home where they could go to in the mornings to have a hot meal before they headed to school. They could also have safe place to go to after school which not only provided a lunch but also a conducive space for them to study and do their homework and other extramural activities. The Golden Ark Centre currently hosts around 100 kids yearly and has seen over 650 children in the past 17 years.