We are hoping and praying that all HNO friends wherever you are, are keeping healthy and strong and encouraged and hopeful.
Although we sent a newsletter about a month ago we decided to just send a short update on what is happening in Bulwer.
As you know we closed the centre down in March and have now had a full month of no clients at the centre. Neither do we envisage opening any time soon because of the nature of our work, where social distancing will be impossible and also because of the nature of the physical conditions of most of our children and young adults. Even many of our staff have underlying conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. So the decision as to when to re-open will be very problematic. We will be liaising closely with the Department of Health in this matter.
In the meantime, we have had contact with the families of our children and all seems to be well so far. Where there have been problems such as collection of chronic medication or transport to clinics, we have been able to assist and will continue to do so. We have also encouraged the families to try and keep up with at least some of the basic exercises each child needs.
We have been able to continue to pay our staff wages, and will continue to do so for as long as possible, and even though these wages are very basic, we are so grateful that we can continue to keep them on the payroll thus preventing even more joining the ranks of the unemployed. For this we want to thank all of you who have continued to support us on a monthly basis. We are so grateful.
We have also taken on more families on our feeding scheme. Whereas we usually support about 36 families, in April we were able to increase that to 79 families. Where we have saved on some of our other costs such as fuel expenses we have put that money into the extra food parcels. We will do the same now in May and then make a month by month decision depending on the situation and our resources. Our management staff have delivered these food parcels to the homes of the families in need, making sure that they observe all the distancing and self protection protocols. I am very grateful (but not surprised) to Mlu, Eric and Nkosinathi for their willingness to do this in these uncertain times.
We continue to pray for you all and as we are concerned for and missing “our kids” we ask that you would also pray for us for wisdom in future decisions.