Ikhwezi welfare organizations core business is to provide shelter for the mentally and disabled personnel from all over KwaZulu-Natal with a special bias towards the poor families who cannot access expensive centres that are most based in urban areas. Services in this category include but are not limited bathing, provision of four nutritional meals per day, washing of their clothes, bathing and other essential service provided for mentally challenged children. Currently Ikhwezi caters for many mentally and physically children, with a staff of 40 people.

Medical care and support

Ikhwezi Welfare Organisation is a non- profit making organization dedicated to improving the lives of the severely and mentally challenged children and youth. You will agree with us that very few institutions provide this service in black community. Since the establishment of Ikhwezi welfare organization in 1979, It has become a pillar of hope and a refuge for these most vulnerable group in our society.

Ikhwezi Welfare Organization has been an effective facility since1979 by the late Mrs Ethel Mthiyane who had a vision of improving the lives of the vulnerable groups especially the elderly, the physically disabled, the mentally disabled and vulnerable children. There was very little care for the black vulnerable groups and they were kept in their homes without any care or support and were viewed as a burden by their immediate families. The challenge was not just caring for the mentally and physically disabled but was also changing the perceptions and attitudes of communities and families towards these vulnerable cohorts. So her intervention  which has been carried this far was mainly informed  and influenced  by a myriad of factors such as poverty, lack of care and support and the stigma associated with mental illness. Ikhwezi is also very proud to be one of the oldest and model care facility for the severely mentally deprived children. It is also against this proud legacy of Ethel Mthiyane that we appreciate the continuous support we have been receiving from the Department of Health for the support especially over the last three years, it has indeed made a great difference in the lives of these vulnerable personnel.

Recreational, stimulation and life skills

At Ikhwezi we acknowledge the fact that mentally challenged children should be treated in a holistic manner, meaning they should enjoy the basic services provided to other children, hence an opportunity is created for them to unleash their potential and their creativity in a protected and conducive environment. The centre is equipped with facilities although not enough that enables them to play and enjoy instead of being confined to their beds and rooms.


There is an Ethel Mthiyane Special School and even though this is our subproject, meaning it is a school which was established by Ikhwezi that is under the management of the Department of Education, where our children attend to acquire skills and education. We however provide after care support such as assistance with homework and other school work at the centre and we ensure that there is harmony between the school and the shelter.

Where there is light
a brighter future is always lighter !!!

Link and integration with families

We understand that many families leave their loved ones , relatives and friends under care for Ikhwezi
because they don’t have knowledge of taking care of the children. This is where we link families with the
patients and our care givers visit the families to educate them and ascertain the readiness and nature of the environment within which the child could be released to during the holidays. The most important thing though is to ensure that the family contact is kept alive and family members do pay visits because this in itself is therapetic.

Present demand for the services offered by Ikhwezi Welafere Organization

Thus far Ikhwezi is the only centre within Ilembe district and the North of KZN that provides this service to the poor black communities, therefore our service is always in high demand. The proof of this assertion is the number of mentally and physically disabled children in the waiting list, which we cannot accommodate due to lack of proper facilities and staff to care for them. It should be also remembered that this is a very specialised kind of care service for the severely mental and physically disabled children, hence the proportion of staff member to each child.

The facts about our corroborated services provided by Ikhwezi

As Ikhwezi Welfare Organization we are proud to be the only centre in the whole Ilembe District that provides specialized care for the severely mentally ill personnel
The following are the facts about our corroborated  services :

• Annual application for admission exceeding one hundred.
• The recognition of the centre by various stakeholders and the government departments.
• There is high level of community involvement through the board of directors that comes from the 
  community and the involvement of the community in the support and protection of the centre.
• The centre is unique and one of a kind in that it is based in local poor black community hence there is a 
  sense of community and it becomes easier to integrate
  children within the community and the service is affordable.
• Ikhwezi has since its inception been a point of referral for the department of health, social development, 
  which although good has strained our resources and services.
• Although there are other centres in KZN, but their limitations lie in the fact that they do not provide
  accommodation, hence our centre becomes one of the few centres that provides shelter on a full time 
  basis with all the necessary services and meeting all the government requirements.

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