Thabazimbi – who would ever have heard of this place in the lonely north of South Africa? 200 kilometers north of Johannesburg, near the border with Botswana, lies the municipality and is part of the province of Limpopo. The community is named after the Sotho phrase “Thaba ya Tsipi”, which means mountains of iron and refers to the iron ore mines in the local mountains. Here, the Mernschen are looking for work at the mines and many live in informal settlements of corrugated ironworks, when they find nothing better. Children grow up in dire poverty and need help early because their parents can not take care of them. In the immediate vicinity there are the most beautiful wildlife farms and national parks. Here, Viveka Ansorge and Martin Schulte-Frohlinde moved with their daughter Marlene from Berlin in 2005,
Thabang Children’s Project, South Africa
The first houses were built in 2005, the first children were taken in and the first employees were hired in the THABANG Children’s Project. Today, the project, led by South Africans Tessa and Cecil White, is a well-established component of social care in the region. As the “Child and Youth Care Center” registered by the Department of Social Development, it now looks after about 40 children and runs a social counseling center in the “Smash Block” corrugated iron housing estate. More than 30,000 people live there, and poverty, unemployment and HIV are widespread. THABANG currently supplies about 300 households there and about 45 children in the so-called drop-in center, an afternoon care service for schoolchildren.
THABANG Club Berlin
Parallel to the development of the aid project we founded – a circle of friends in Berlin – a German association to support THABANG Children’s Project. For in the face of great hardship, violence and poverty, it is often difficult to provide things on the ground that go beyond eating, sleeping, attending school and the safety of children. We want to help ensure that not only “first aid” is provided. Together with the THABANG – Management Committee, we think about perspectives that help to improve living conditions in the longer term.
The non-profit Berliner Verein has been collecting money and ideas since 2005 to support the THABANG project Children’s Project – and thus the children in this part of South Africa. As the personal, direct exchange is very important to us, we are always active in the project on site, at cultural or ecology workshops, at sports field construction, in football training or fundraising. The Berliner Verein also offers young people from Europe the opportunity to gain experience in the project as part of an internship in South Africa. Club founder Viveka Ansorge travels to Thabazimbi once a year and visits the project.
Music and game
The Berlin association has been supporting the Thabang – Marimba Orchestra for years. Not only do the children learn to play marimba, they regularly perform with the orchestra at weddings or public events and are now in great demand in the region. Also a special toy equipment for the exercise of motor skills for small children was financed by the association.
Learning and laughing
After THABANG received six computers through a donation in South Africa, the association provided the educational software. The children of THABANG learn so playfully reading, writing and arithmetic. Through the collaboration of the association with the Berlin artist Rita Ziegler, a mask theater project was created in 2009, in which the children of THABANG performed an old South African fable. Since 2017, 6 Thabang children have been attending a private secondary school and the Berlin association has initially paid the school fees until a long-term, cost-covering donation has been acquired.
Support new perspectives!
As a non-profit organization, we undertake various activities to finance various projects and measures in the Thabang Children’s Project. If you want to support us, you can donate, accept membership or make your commitment available.
Please, call us, send us an e-mail or donate to the account of the Bank for Social Economy,
Account number: 309 53 00
Bank code: 100 205 00
IBAN: DE83 1002 0500 0003 0853 00
Business partner number: 204 453
Donations to Thabang eV are tax deductible.
On our project and club website we currently inform you about measures: www.thabang.org
Viveka Ansorge, Tel: +49 0177 652 58 23
Grunewaldstrasse 73, 10823 Berlin
Pictures from the projects
Sociologist / German teacher
Biologist / Consultant EU funding for labor market policy measures /
Advisory Member – Thabang Children’s Project Management Committee
Former Project Manager – Thabang Children’s Project
Dipl. Mineralogist, art dealer / antiquarian
Architect – more at www.a3architekten.de
Concept and text
and / or together with Christoph Grothe: www.comm-berlin.com
Cultural Manager / Permaculture Designer / Hotelier more at