- A South African woman has cared for over 5,000 AIDS orphans since 2000
- She first started providing a daycare center for children in 1989
- She began adopting orphans after one was abandoned at her doorstep
A kind-hearted South African woman has cared for over 5,000 AIDS orphans in 17 years.
Known as "Mama Rosie," Rosie Mashale first started off by providing a daycare center for children in 1989 when she moved to the poor Khayelitsha township in Cape Town.
She was alarmed to see children rummaging through dump sites for food. She began inviting them to her house, providing them food and spending time with them.
After about a decade, she was about to retire. However, her plans changed one day in 2000 when she found a child abandoned at her doorstep.
In an interview with CNN, Mashale said: "He was between the age of two and three. He was naked and full of sores. He didn't even know his name."
She took the child to the police, who advised her that she could take care of him. Word soon spread and she began receiving more and more abandoned children.
This marked the beginning of her orphanage. She said: "I didn't have the heart to turn anyone away. Young girls and boys and babies were in every part of my house."
She soon formed a group known as Baphumelele, which translates to "we have progressed." Together, they have cared for thousands of orphans.
The orphanage now has facilities spread across an entire block, including a medical center, a bakery and a school. Orphans who attain the age of 18 "graduate" to the nearby Our Fountain of Hope program.
Mashale is not slowing down any time soon. She said: "I made a deal with God, promising to look after these children if he promised to provide me with the resources to take care of these kids."
See more in the video below.