News in South Africa
Making a difference one household at a time
PAIN AND SUFFERING, THEY ARE A SECRET.
KINDNESS AND LOVE, THEY ARE A SECRET.
BUT I HAVE LEARNED THAT KINDNESS AND LOVE CAN PAY FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING’
ALAN PATON – CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY
Part of our OLIVE LEAF Foundation mandate through the Care and Support Programme in Durban and surrounding areas is to conduct home visits and offer palliative care services to clients. We work in partnership with the local clinics who refer clients to us. On 11th May 2010 a 42 year old gentleman from the Chesterville community was referred to OLIVE LEAF Foundation by the Cato Manor clinic. Khosy Dhlomo and Mandisa Msomi visited Mr Ntoni (not his real name). What struck us on our arrival was the appalling conditions that he was living in. Mr Ntoni lives in a shack; from a distance you would never imagine that to be a family home. Even as field workers who encounter poverty and homelessness on a daily basis we were shocked.
You would think that this house only provides shade to protect yourself from the scorching sun while carrying on with your outdoor activities. To our dismay we realised this house is a safety net to a family man, a father of three.
Mr Ntoni's house before OLIVE LEAF Foundation assisted
THE STORY OF HIS LIFE
Mr Ntoni was born and bred in Cato Ridge in Kwazulu Natal. He comes from a broken home, has no education but came to Durban in search of a better life. He made a home for himself in Chatsworth and fathered three children, currently two girls 13 and 11 year old and a 9 year old boy.
Before our intervention he was living in Chesterville in a shack that presents a health hazard within the premises of a concerned community member. She is also not working and lives on her pension.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE
In the interview Mr Ntoni described the plight of his children at school. Nono experienced discrimination at school because of her ill health and lack of school uniform, this impacted on the children’s self esteem to
the point that it was a mission to get them to go back to school. The Family Wellness team (OVC & CAS) intervened holistically for the family; the first step was to provide the children with school uniforms.
Step two was to secure nutrition. OLIVE LEAF Foundation has since been providing the family with food parcels donated to the organisation by Tiger Brands; this is the third month since our first intervention with food parcels and the family is able is cope better with their health conditions.
Step three was to see to the living conditions of the family. Mandisa Msomi (Family wellness senior coordinator CAS) mobilised for the resources to help rebuild this family home. Of the donations received was the timber donated by one of her relatives which helped to create a better structure and the door was donated by Mr Malunga a staff member. The plight of this family was shared with the OLIVE LEAF Foundation Durban staff members and people were moved in different ways and they made various contributions from clothing to labour which was required to put the structure of the house together. Zakhele Mavundla was the project manager of the successful house building initiative and people who were part of the house building initiative was Siyabonga Dlamini, Thabani Kalala and Mhloli Malunga. Vukukhanye a Durban based Non Governmental Organisation also working in Chesterville provided meals and additional labour to the process.
Step four was to see to Mr Ntoni’s legal status. He does not have access to the grant for his children; this is because he is not yet registered as a South African citizen. Though his application for an ID has been sent through it took longer because it was an application for late registration. Mandisa followed up with Home Affairs on his behalf and Phumy Mbambo from home affairs based in Commercial Street in Durban was of great assistance in making sure that Mr Ntoni gets registered as a South African citizen.
And after! From left to right: Zakhele Mavundla, Mhloli Malunga, Volunteers from Vukukhanye, Community Members, Sigabonga Dlamini (seated), Thabani Kalala
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