An old wise man once said, “Your background doesn’t have to define you, you can fly like a bird and shine like a star, you can be the help to the helpless and be the light to the darkness.”

There was once a young boy who lived in an orphanage home, his name was Rithabile, he was fifteen years old. He lost both parents in a house robbery at the age of nine. His father was shot to death and his mother was raped and shot. He witnessed it happen and that day tears were all over his face. Anger, sadness, regret and questions were all over his mind. He felt helpless and clueless; losing his parents at this age was nothing but a burden upon his life.

After his parents’ funeral he was taken to an orphanage home. When he arrived he was not happy at all, he felt like he was the only person on earth and no one cared about him. He spent days crying, devastated, regretting the fact that he didn’t help his parents. Days went by but he eventually interacted with the other kids. He wanted to achieve a goal that his mother had, “A helping hand goes a long way.”

He used to hold meetings with the other kids, trying to figure out the main problems as to why they were sent to an orphanage. He identified a lot of problems worse than his and he tried to identify a solution to all of these problems. The guardians of the orphanage noticed that Ritha had changed from how he was when he first arrived at the orphanage.

The other kids enjoyed his company. Ritha tried to identify another way to spend their spare time as kids. All they were doing was sleeping all day long. He came up with an idea of making female and male dolls. He tried to get together all the materials that he could get. He spent sleepless nights trying to figure out how the dolls will be like.

He finally came up with an idea to make plastic dolls, using recycled materials. He gathered all the plastic that he needed to make 50 dolls, 25 male and 25 female. The guardians were surprised and wondered why he did it. He spent nights trying to figure out the suitable model that he could use to make the dolls.

He wanted to wash away the devastated faces of the kids and put a smile on them. He tried to get help from the guardians. He got all the help that he needed but kept all his plans to himself and did not tell the other kids. He wanted to surprise them. He made his first models, a boy and a girl doll.

He gathered the guardians and asked them to help him organise the surprise party. He organised it with the guardians and it was a sucess. He gathered all the kids and surprised them. They were all happy. He was also happy to see all the smiles on their faces and not the devastation. He was happy that he achieved his goal.

He distributed the dolls to the kids and the guardians were pleased and very proud to have him as one of the kids that they accommodated.

Now he is a 15-year-old young who owns a business which distributes dolls to orphanage homes and he is funded by the Sanlam Company. All the dolls brought nothing but change in the kids’ lives. A helping hand indeed goes a long way.