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Thelma Henderson

The Order of the Baobab in

Thelma Henderson Awarded for:
Exceptional contribution to social development.

Profile of Thelma Henderson

Grahamstown is privileged to have the spirit of a person such as Thelma Henderson.

In 1975, she founded the Centre for Social Development in Grahamstown attached to Rhodes University and raised funds to sustain it on her own.

Thelma Henderson has, over the years, established some 40 schools on surrounding farms and raised over R6 million for township educational projects.

She raises in excess of R2,5 million annually to finance the dozens of other community facilities that she has established to ease the plight of the poor.

These include projects such as a school for mentally handicapped children, two service centres for the aged, the Grahamstown Mental Health Society, home-care groups, clinics and hospital visits, a rural outreach programme, a pre-school training programme which has trained young women from all over the Eastern Cape and an Adult Education Course in Basic Bookkeeping and Computer Literacy.

Henderson has received a number of awards for her work. These include the Solus Medal for Meritorious Service to the Community and the South African Teachers’ Association Centennial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education