Watch: Kindling Foundation from Australia pays a visit to local caregivers

Members of the Australia-based Kindling Foundation visited Maria’s Orphanage Home and Mpumelelo Day Care Centre in Windmill Park.

The Kindling Foundation has been sponsoring Maria’s Orphanage Home and Mpumelelo Day Care Centre since 2010 after a blessing in disguise occurred.

It all happened when Jen Kyna, founding member of the foundation, was working for Virgin Australia Airlines. By chance she spoke to a South African passenger, who was about to board the wrong plane, about any organisation in South Africa that needed assistance.

“The passenger called ‘Silvia’ then told me that she knew a woman who needed help financially. This is after she saw an article in the Advertiser in 2008 about Maria Gaba caring for an abandoned child,” said Kyna.

“After hearing the story, Grant Dowling, my foundation partner, immediately visited South Africa and we then became the sponsors of the orphanage home and crèche.

“Maria’s story touched us because she was caring for so many children yet struggled to provide food and shelter for them.”

The Kindling Foundation has over the years donated clothes, books and food.

The foundation has been instrumental in establishing the orphanage and care centre along with a sustainable vegetable garden, sewing rooms, a community centre, counselling centre and a bakery.

Dowling said: “We receive funds from people back home and they have assisted us to continue bringing hope to disadvantaged children.

“We not only help Gaba, but we also support children who go to schools in Windmill Park and Van Dyk Park. We believe that education is important and with education you can change your life for the good.”

Dowling added that the foundation has also sponsored a new sports field in Windmill Park.

During their visit, the Kindling team members opened a crèche in Mpumalanga called Lerato Kindling, which will be run under the auspices of Gaba.

Kyna said every year team members from Australia and other countries join them on their trip to the south to visit the Kindling Foundation beneficiaries.

“Our annual trip is aimed at checking if everything is still going smooth and we offer our time to show love and support,” she said.

Dowling is appealing to the public to help the centre and the community by contributing skills, training, food, education or anything towards building a better nation.

Anyone who is willing to assist may contact Maria Gaba on 078 237 7926. For more information about the foundation visit their website at

Ntombikayise Sibeko

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