Our work with our disabled clients who are brought in every week day into the day care centre continues. One of the projects that is showing some success is our special ”autistic corner” therapy. The child is taken to a demarcated area which is quiet and separate and one-on-one interaction happens between him and Nellie who is particularly good at this.
Here we have Thabiso with Nellie and he has become a lot less “fluttery” and even making eye contact for short periods of time.
Of course the nature of autism dictates that progress is often slow but we nevertheless rejoice in any progress that we see especially when the child is less anxious , which is also very much part of being autistic.
Sizanani Widows Support Group is an organisation run by 4 grannies in Mphopomeni just outside Howick on the Bulwer road. Olga started this when she retired from Mondi in 2007 and they feed more than 120 orphans and vulnerable children from the township every day. They are also available for support and love and help with homework. Although they fall completely out of our geographical area, every now and then Olga will phone HNO for help because they have run out of food. The support they get is very erratic. Woolworths has been generous with their unsold goods and sometimes people will drop off donations but other times they will go long stretches without anything coming in. Community Chest donate a sum every month which is a wonderful help but the need is great. I delivered some mielie meal to them last week and took some pix of the children who were having their lunch and who were all very well behaved. I even tasted the food for it contained some of the dehydrated soup mix from Container Ministry and it was delicious.
If anybody from Howick or Pmb would like to help them please contact us and we can pass on the information.
You might remember that I wrote about Joyce, our client that we “discovered” in the community in a very serious condition of neglect following a stroke, unable even to turn over in her bed. She visited us for the last time this term to be declared as fully rehabilitated by Philippa, our physiotherapist friend. I simply had to take this picture of her dancing and laughing. When we first made contact with her we were seriously concerned for her very survival and did not think that we would see this day. We thank God for this wonderful miracle.
The Americans Have Landed
Probably one of the most exciting things to happen in the second term was a visit from Small Village Foundation who hail from Boise in Idaho in the USA. This organisation has been supporting our feeding scheme (as well as all sorts of other projects in the Creighton/Centecow area) and every two years they bring a group of young teenagers to South Africa to expose them to the needs and culture of our country. Well, all I can say is that if the American government ever needed some really good ambassadors we could point them in the right direction. It is not often one meets a group of young people who make such a great impression. Gail from Button Birding where they stayed while they were in the midlands, agrees with me. Of course, the adults that accompanied them were nice too, ☺ but they could truly be proud of the quality of their youth if this bunch was anything to go by. Here is a gallery of memories for us, from their visit.
Left: Telling our children all about their long trip on the airplane with Dolly translating. And right: joining in with the singing circle
Left: HNO would never say “no” to some free labour; Right: Kgumamang who normally doesn’t say boo to the cat singing his heart out to impress our American friends
All of us together!
Isn’t this a beautiful picture ?
Above: playing with the children and painting Aphelele and Kgumamang’s room in our new residence. Below: visiting Joyce (green hat…see report above) in the community and giving out soccer balls and dolls.
It was two very full and happy days. We will remember your visit for a long time to come. Thank you to our kind and generous American friends.