Lucky draw winner remembers those who helped her

Neo Bodumela

A YOUNG student, who was born with a cleft lip and palate, and who grew up as an orphan in the SOS Children’s Village, has won an opportunity to thank the woman who acted as her house mother at the village for more than 10 years.

Nomzamo Ngximba won a lucky draw for a luxury weekend for two worth R10000 at the Kuzuko Lodge in Addo at the Cleft Friends trail run held at Norm-HudlinTrails in Kragga Kamma Road recently.

The run was held to raise funds for Cleft Friends – a project of the Smile Foundation – which gives support to parents of children born with cleft lips and palates.

Ngximba moved from Marsh Memorial Home in Rondebosch Cape Town to the SOS Children’s Village when she was 10 years old and was taken care of by Madeleine Oosthuizen at the village from the time of her arrival. To thank Oosthuizen, she will take her to Kuzuko Lodge.

“This is the best opportunity to say thank you to Madeleine for everything she has done for me over the years.

“If I was sad I could tell her. I would cry when people teased me because I was not able to speak correctly or they’d say I had a flat nose.

“The SOS Children’s Village changed my life,” Ngximba said.

Ngximba works in a hairdressing salon while studying to become a creche teacher. Her dream is to teach children with disabilities.

Her lip and palate were repaired at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town with additional operations at Provincial Hospital when she moved to Port Elizabeth.

Ngximba will soon see Port Elizabeth-based plastic surgeon Dr Chris van der Walt to determine if she will need any more surgery.

SOS Children’s Village youth leader Michelle Linger said Ngximba had “broached challenges well and is unbelievably resilient”.

ýFor more information on the Cleft Friends support group, contact Heléna Cullis on 082-393-1206. Alternatively, visit the website at www.cleftfriends.co.za

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