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Rena Le Lona Creative centre for children Logo

Rena Le Lona Creative centre for children




Rena Le Lona, meaning “we are with you”, was established in 2006 as an Arts centre for orphans and vulnerable children in Diepkloof, Soweto.




To develop children emotionally, socially and intellectually by healing any trauma and nurturing their creativity through the Arts, enabling them, as adults, to make a positive contribution to society.




Rena Le Lona provides support for children in an after-school centre where each child receives a meal, assistance with homework, has access to counselling and emotional support and participates in a range of drama, dance, art, music and writing classes.


Rena Le Lona uses the Arts as a developmental tool enabling a child to develop emotionally, socially and intellectually.  Rena le Lona is founded on research proving that participating in the Arts results in a child in releasing emotional or physical trauma, gaining self-confidence, understanding who he/she is, expressing him/herself, choosing a vocation and becoming compassionate to others.


Our children, most of whom have lost parents due to HIV/AIDS, may currently live with a guardian – a foster parent, relative or neighbour – or stay with an unemployed single parent or they may head their home.  The children are referred to Rena Le Lona by the schools in the area.  We cater for 120 black children between the ages of 6 and 18 and we service 18 different schools in and around Soweto, in close co-operation with the Department of Social Development.




The staff complement consists of full time staff and freelancers who work tirelessly to meet the emotional, social and intellectual needs of the children.  Children are taught by professional and practising artists, Arts teachers and university students.  


The management team currently consists of the Centre Manager, Project Manager (Social Development), House Mother/Social Auxiliary Worker and Administrator.





The children start arriving at 13h30.  They are given a full, nutritious meal on arrival. For most of them this is their only meal for the day.  After lunch they attend their Arts classes.  The timetable is varied, with classes in drama, dance, art, music and writing, as well as life skills and sports.  Children are also taken on outings - to the zoo, the theatre, an art gallery or a sports event.




Michelle Friedman is the Founder of Rena le Lona and acted as the Creative Director from its inception in 2006 and until 2012.  She was responsible for the overarching programme of each child from their point of entry at 6 years until leaving at 18 in terms of their emotional development through the Arts.  She continues to take an active interest in the functioning and development of the Centre, including offering capacity building training for staff.




A Creative Centre offers the children various creative disciplines and art forms.  It provides them with the opportunity to explore their artistic side and to participate in activities outside their daily routine and duties.  They develop their imagination and a positive outlook through the activities that combine creativity with the intellect.  Through drama, dance, art, music and writing children explore both their positive and painful experiences.   In the process they learn to integrate their emotions into their lives.  In accessing their imagination, they generate ideas, work with others and create a future for themselves.   


Exposure to a variety of teachers and trainers provide children with guidance and skills development.  The positive relationship they develop with their teachers can have a powerful influence on their attitude throughout their lives.




  1. To help release the frustration and bewilderment a child feels when losing their parents and/or discovering they are HIV positive. Through the experience of the Arts a child CAN heal emotionally and develop the skills necessary TO LEAD a normal life.


  1. Rena Le Lona offers support to the remaining family of the child, no matter the size of that family. We ease the burden of women who find themselves as parents for a second time.


  1. To bring meaning and fulfillment to the artists who teach the children, providing work opportunities for them and opportunities to develop as artists and teachers.


  1. To supplement the education of the children by providing them with extra Maths and English classes throughout the year and homework support





Rena le Lona is a registered PBO in terms of Section 18A tax exemption.


Sponsors:  We receive funding for general running expenses related to psycho-social care activities from the Department of Social Development, and for other purposes such as the Arts programme and/or specific projects from commercial organisations.


Donors: We receive funding from Charitable Foundations and commercial organisations as one way to satisfy their social responsibility obligation.


The Ingelosi Network:  This is “An Angel” Network where a person sponsors a child for a fixed amount (R400 monthly or R4800 annually), and meets the direct needs of that child. 


A Rena Star or Patron: This is an individual, such as the late football star “Shoes” Moshoeu, who is passionate about children and who introduces other influential people to Rena Le Lona.  The Rena Star assists by donating food, finance, clothing and games.  He or she shares their professional expertise with the children and requires no compensation.


Fund-raising events and self-sustaining projects:  On suitable occasions such as World AIDS Day we arrange performances by the children or other fund-raising activities.  We are in the process of creating projects which supply a regular income for the Centre.




The running of the Centre is overseen by a Board consisting of dedicated professionals from the wider Johannesburg community.  The Board operates in terms of a Constitution and meets at least once every quarter.  Bookkeeping is routinely kept up to date and the financial statements are audited annually.




All beneficiaries of Rena Le Lona are black – the children, their families, as well as the staff (both full time and volunteers from the local community).



The Centre Manager       Mlungisi Mvelase                                                                             

Landline:                011 938-6388/0

Cellphone:             072 881 6444

Email:       [email protected]



            Account holder: RE NA LE LONA CREATIVE CENTRE

            Account number: 003322750

            Bank:  Standard Bank, Southgate branch

            Reference:  The donor’s name


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