Board member; past Chairman
I'm keen to help underprivileged young people to be able to have a meaningful and rewarding life.
Ronnie is a retired consulting civil engineer and has been a member of the board of Rena le Lona since its inception in 2006, including officiating as Secretary for a number of years and as Chairman from mid-2014 to October 2017. Currently he is also acting as Board Secretary. Although he is not involved in the day-to-day operation and activities of Rena le Lona, he is very concerned with matters related to finance, governance and fundraising.
AREAS WE WORK IN:
Art Culture and Music
Established in 2006, Rena Le Lona, meaning “we are with you”, was founded by Michelle Friedman as an arts centre for orphans and vulnerable children in Diepkloof, Soweto. Rena le Lona uses the Arts to develop children emotionally, socially and intellectually, enabling them to make a positive contribution to society. Specifically, Rena le Lona aims to:
a) Immerse children in various forms of the Arts as an outlet for their emotions;
b) Give a child access to his/her creative side, tapping their inherent source of power;
c) Provide each child with a support base of staff, artists, teachers, psychologists;
d) Demonstrate that adults in the greater community care for them.
Rena le Lona provides support for the 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. The Arts are used 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 releasing emotional or physical trauma, gaining self-confidence, understanding who he or she is, expressing him- or herself, choosing a vocation and becoming compassionate to others. 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. Imagination is an invaluable tool, assisting them to generate ideas, to work with others and to create their own future. Thereby they develop social and life-skills and through that each child can access their potential for leading a meaningful and fulfilled life.
The 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 120 children between the ages of 6 and 18 are referred to Rena le Lona by the schools in Diepkloof and surrounding areas of Soweto.