“This is such a setback for us because we have been raising funds to build a permanent structure for years … now we are back to square one.”
THE TLHABOLOGO Disabled Day Care Centre at the Helen Joseph Women’s Centre in Galeshewe has suffered a huge setback following a burglary on the weekend.
The centre was “cleaned out”, with almost everything, including food and essential items, stolen during the incident.
The centre manager, Maureen Tsiu, said they were contacted on Monday morning by the caretaker, who told them about the burglary, after which they opened a case with the police.
The burglars gained entry to the premises through the side palisade fence, which they forced apart, and they then broke open the back door.
There might not be any food for the children, blankets to keep them warm or materials with which to teach them when they return on Monday, July 26. The fridge, stoves, pots and dishes, food, a wheelchair, toiletries, cleaning materials, blankets and stimulation toys were all stolen.
The centre has been operating since 2011 and currently caters for 20 children and young adults between the ages of three and 22.
According to Tsiu, the burglary happened at a time when they felt they were finding their feet and could secure new premises. She said the centre has been operating temporarily at the Helen Joseph Women’s Centre and was recently allocated a piece of land by Sol Plaatje Municipality where it could operate on a permanent basis.
She added that this was the second time that the centre was burgled.
“The first time was in March 2020, but this time it seems like they returned to clean us out,” said Tsiu.
“This is such a setback for us because we have been raising funds to build a permanent structure for years.
“We were grateful when the municipality gave us a 580 square metre piece of land. The money we managed to raise so far was to buy a fence to erect around that piece of land. Now we have to spend it on replacing the stolen items and food for the children.
“Now we are back to square one.
“We are in desperate need of help in terms of donations and for the community to be on the lookout for any of the stolen items in order for the perpetrators to be brought to book.”
Police spokesperson Captain Bashoabile Kale said no arrests had been made yet in connection with the incident.