“One day you will see me striking at the parliament for children’s rights, because they all deserve to go to school!”
My name is Liziwe “Lucy” Sithetho and I am the principal of Sunshine Educare. In 2008, I opened Sunshine Educare in my house. It quickly grew and I eventually had to move with my two children. It was tough, but I never regretted that decision. I’ve had to overcome many challenges to get where I am today. I spent all of my money and even borrowed from my family so that I could open Sunshine Educare. In 2009, I found out I had cervical cancer. It was a very difficult time, but I still was passionate about the children and couldn’t bring myself to close my educare. Luckily, I’ve conquered this horrible disease with the help of my family, friends, and church.
I have many strong qualities that help me run my educare. I am very patient, especially with children. I’m also punctual, a hard worker, and don’t give up easily. My son thought it would be best for me to step down as Principal of Sunshine Educare because I ran into financial problems. He didn’t agree with me giving up my house for the educare and worried that I was working harder than the salary was worth. I told my son, “This year will be the last year. I will try everything to make it work. Just wait, maybe God will help me. Then SAEP came and rescued me, and now I am able to keep Sunshine Educare open.” A weakness of mine is that I think about others too much. I need a salary to support my family, but I care too much about my educare and spend a lot of my money on it. Sometimes I have to borrow money from family members to take care of myself and my children.
My main goal is to make a difference in these children’s lives. I want all the children to attend school as it makes me very sad and angry to see children on the streets. I will go to the government and ask for funds so I can take all of those kids to Sunshine Educare. One day you will see me at the parliament striking for the children’s rights. My dream for the educare in five years’ time is to have a bigger centre where the children can sleep over. In the evenings, parents sometimes drink alcohol and aren’t able to properly care for their children. I hope to go to school myself one day. I want to be a professional teacher or social worker.
My inspiration in life is my mother. She taught me that I shouldn’t give up, but rather always keep on going. My mother is not only my friend, but my everything. I’ve lived up to her motto because I never gave up on my educare. But I’m also very grateful for SAEP, if they didn’t come and rescue me, there was a big chance I would have had to close Sunshine Educare at the end of the year.