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Malebone Susan Luthuli (1935 - )

The Order of the Baobab in

Malebone Susan Luthuli (1935 - ) Awarded for:
Her excellent contribution and dedicated service to the community and championing the rights of orphans and vulnerable children.

Profile of Malebone Susan Luthuli

Gogo Malebone Susan Luthuli was born on 10 November 1935 and is the founder of Ikageng Aged Centre in the small township outside Potchefstroom. Among her many achievements, Luthuli also founded the GogoGetter programme.

Through the programme, loveLife encourages grandparents to provide the kind of guidance and support needed by young people. This is particularly acute in cases where there are no longer parents to fulfil such a function, given that orphans and vulnerable children are even more exposed to the drivers of HIV and less protected than teenagers with support from caring parents or adult caregivers.

At the ripe old age of 75, Gogo Luthuli is still supporting more than 80 orphans and vulnerable children between the ages of two and 18 years. She has been selected as the best Gogo from a total of 470 GogoGetters currently working within the GogoGetter programme.

In 2009, through her hard work, belief and tenacity, she managed to secure identity documents and birth certificates for 38 children. She has identified and reported several cases of abuse to the South African Police Service, Childline and the Department of Social Development.

While the cases have been investigated and warrants of arrests successfully executed, Gogo Luthuli continues to champion the cause of the poor, the vulnerable and the downtrodden.

She has ensured that the partnership between government and community is strengthened. Here is a true role model for parenthood who has executed her community service-delivery programme with both diligence and an open heart.

She also won the Community Builder Award in her province for the years 2004 and 2008 and has received a Certificate of Recognition from the district for running an aged care centre without funding from government over the past 10 years.

Gogo Luthuli remains a true champion for vulnerable young people in the country. She has helped more children to stay in school, have birth certificates and access social grants. She is well known and held in the highest esteem in her immediate community of Ikageng and beyond.