Quitting her job and cashing in her pension fund to set up the Litshani Vhana Vhade Foundation for disadvantaged children in rural Limpopo has earned Bridgette Mamugubudi a 2011 Inyathelo Award for Community Philanthropy.
Armed with just her R50,000 pension payout and a burning desire to give poor children the chance of a better life, Bridgette opened her home in Venda to orphans, toddlers of teenage parents and kids who had no-one to care for them after school. Over the past two years, she has managed to build a children’s home and a hospice on land donated by the chief of her village. And with the help of other volunteers in her community, Bridgette now looks after 150 children each day and provides primary healthcare services to those that are sick.
Besides the Early Childhood Development Programme and Drop-In-Centre, Bridgette’s foundation also runs a community library and literacy programme as well as a community outreach programme which focuses on fighting and reducing the high incidence of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence in the area. She supports two young soccer teams and continues to deliver food parcels and clothing to 26 needy families in the surrounding villages.