Dula Sentle to reopen
I just received news that Dula Sentle, the orphan organization in Otse, Botswana that first introduced me to Seeletso and Thabang, the family I profiled in the last section of No Place Left, will be reopened by an American non-profit. Dula Sentle, founded by Gill and Brenda Fonteyn, was closed by the Botswanan government under a cloud of suspicion shortly before my book was published. Since I was not in the region at the time, it was never entirely clear to me what happened — whether the charges against the couple (which ranged from abuse to failure to register the organization properly) were true or if they had fallen afoul of someone powerful in the government. I can say that I spent quite a lot of time at Dula Sentle and that the children in the village loved going there. As a result, the more serious allegations seemed to me unlikely to be true.
The organization working to reopen Dula Sentle is The Healing Homes Project based in Long Beach, CA. In an email sent out to previous supporters of Dula Sentle, the founder of Healing Homes, said Dula Sentle’s once beautiful property was in a state of substantial disrepair. The windows are broken and most of its movable property has been stolen. It’s sad how quickly the work of years can be undone. I’m happy to hear that permission has been granted to reopen the center and wish the new organization the best of luck.
posted @ 2:11 am