Shining Star Set to Re-Open

Tshireletso AIDS Awareness Centre, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) commonly known as Shining Star, is to re-open after suspending its activities for some time.

The founder of the centre, Ms Patricia Bakwinya, said in an interview that the re-opening would see a number of developments targeting disadvantaged children.

Ms Makwinya said the plan was to open a trust fund that would assist orphans and vulnerable children with scholarships; as such she urged the public to spare their small amounts to enable the smooth and effective operation of the centre.

Following an accident that left her disabled on the left arm in 2004, Ms Bakwinya founded Tshireletso AIDS Awareness Centre.

With the assistance of volunteers, Ms Bakwinya usually made door to door outreach visits to assist her clients.

She said they empowered them with live skills, psycho social support and self-seeking programmes that enabled them to easily socialise with others.

Ms Bakwinya stated that amongst other programmes, they provided a pre-school for younger children where they were taught how to read and write, while the elder ones were provided with resource centres like a library where they would be assisted with home works.

She added that they also offered talent enhancement programmes where children were allowed to showcase their talent through playing football, netball, singing choral music and performing drama.

She said they had income generating programmes such as a garden and bakery as well as introducing children to business, arts and craft, pottery and fashion design.

Although the centre suspended its services for a while, Ms Makwinya said it had however re-opened to allow children to register for free before the end of July.

She stated that was it not for the volunteers, she could not have managed alone as they assisted her with giving the children social and moral support through counseling and by encouraging those who dropped from school to get back.

Furthermore, she stated that the suspension of services at the centre was a blessing in disguise as it allowed some members to further their studies in management, finance and social work.

“In the past we were disadvantaged due to shortage of skilled manpower. As we re-open reopen they are going to be bigger and better because of more experience,”

She said they would be working with another NGO called Agriculture for Africa, which will utilise their garden and teach the children and the community at large about new techniques of ploughing.

Ms Bakwinya said the centre prides itself in having groomed talent such as Zebras goal keeper Kabelo Dambe, My star competitor, Queen Maziba and Mmoloki Siringa who owns a music band.