Baphumelele Children’s Home

Mama Rosie is a qualified teacher who after 13 years in the profession decided to take a year sabbatical during which, a naked baby full of wounds was left on her doorstep. Struck by the vulnerability of this foundling, she decided to open a care centre in 2001. Baphumelele means “progress” in Xhosa and Rosie provides a safe and loving haven for more than 350 children who would otherwise have faced life on the streets of Khayelitsha. She has expanded her centre with the aid of 65 caregivers who work in 24-hour shifts, seven days a week.

Mama Rosie also built five transitional houses to assist young adults who graduate from all the children’s homes in the Western Cape area. Her biggest wish is to secure more land for food security training where she would like to see young farmers empowered.


CMA provided skills training to 57
Mama transferred skills to 10
Mama provides employment to 11


Bread baking


Joined CMA: October 2004
Children in her care: 410
Elderly in her care: 0
Outreach: 450

Facts about Mama Rosie

Baphumelele Children’s Home
Khayelitsha, Western Cape


  • Nationality and Language:
Southern Sotho
  • Date of Birth:
03 March 1962
  • Marital Status:
  • Own Children:
1 child


2006 – Jet Community Builder of the Year Award – winner

2010 – Shoprite/Checkers SABC Woman of the Year Award – winner

2018 – CNN Heroes Award – winner

“Inspire people young and old before YOU expire.”