Influential Woman - Hosikasi Lorraine Mhinga
Hosikasi Lorraine Mhinga
Story from Share Your Story Vol. 8, P O Box 2722 Edenvale 1610
22 years ago Hosikasi was a single Mom living in the largest city in Africa, caring for her young son and progressing in a business career. Today she lives in a village just outside the Kruger National Park, on the path of many illegal immigrants making their way from Mozambique to South Africa.
Although Hosikasi had done well in Johannesburg, her husband was chief of his village and in 2006 she moved to there to be with him. On arrival she discovered some perfectly usable children's clothes and gave them to some local children who could pay nothing for them. Then she went to visit the children's homes and was confronted by the poverty of the area.
Determined to respond to the need which she discovered, Hosikasi started advocating for the empowerment of the women in her area, getting abusive men arrested and developing life skills programmes in a bid to prevent young women from becoming sex slaves. Today she runs Mhinga Orphans and Vulnerable Children which feeds 105 children ever day. The children are also given school uniforms and the centre provides after care, teaches literacy and has placed over 450 learners in retail learnerships. In EPWP Work Opportunities, women are provided with the chance of doing meaningful wor and NGO managers in the area are taught Social Auxiliary Work.
Hosikasi says, "He (God) sent me here to rebuild, restore and revamp the ruins, the lives and the dreams of others.