HNO Chairman’s Report 2017/18
In a world where there is lots of unemployment and sadness much greediness and corruption there is a God who cares; whose followers continue to make a difference.
From 1980 HNO has been making a difference driven by love for God and our fellow men!
We are helping many vulnerable families, several severely disabled persons and now boys attending the Special School. We have mothers who care for the residential persons as well as parents who look after the disabled children in their homes. We have special care and therapy and love for many in the centre and the whole community has advantage of homebased care. Several stroke patients have been helped to rehabilitate. Finances and overall management is very capably controlled by Conny Speirs and Eric Ntuli. Gladwin Zibi assists with everyday admin on site!
We have considerable spiritual and educational input into the community by Eric Ntuli and Mlu and Sipho who respond to a variety of social problems. We have excellent loving care and therapy organised and supervised by Mary Orpwood, assisted by our excellent therapists. Our maintenance needs are met by Nkosinathi Cekwane.
We are grateful to the Department which provides about 20% of our budget but are very very thankful to our wonderful donors and groups of specific fund raisers who sponsor children (Hilfe fur Esinqobile), building and repairs around the property (Buzz Speirs), knitted goods for the children (Ross and Baptist ladies, Cathedral Ladies) and donations of numerous large amounts of clothing (Wesley Methodist and Jill, from Grace Church).
There is an electrician (Glen Smith) who pays his own account and organisations which assist with basic food stuffs (Container Ministries and Mckenzie country club). There are farmers who supply milk free of charge and others who grow vegetables to give to us.
There was a large group of volunteers who worked at Sani 2C and Joburg 2C and earned a substantial amount for HNO. There are wonderful regular donors some of whom have been consistent for 15 years. You are very special people.
There is educational instruction in clinics, schools, hospitals and prisons in PMB which has been consistent and ongoing for 16 years. Who knows the results of such input.
Some projects that have been completed this year is the tiling of one of our classrooms, a roof over the reservoir, ceilings in the new girls dormitory, gas geysers for the residential boys, and a new washing machine.
We continue to report to our sponsors via quarterly newsletter, individual reports on sponsored children, thank you letters and welcoming visitors to our centre.
Our staff complement remains very stable. Last year we said good bye to Mabasi our cook of 20 years and we welcome Mambanjwa who has very ably replaced her. Nkosinathi now lives on the premises and it is a good thing to have another man around. We employ 19 people and this too is a service that HNO supplies out in the rural area where unemployment is high.
We have 14 children in residence now, 5 who attend the day care and 9 who attend the Special School. The other 16 children are transported in every day for their therapy and care.
HNO runs on the fuel of love for Jesus and for our neighbour.
Andy Munro – Chairman
We have 21 children at the Centre at the moment. Twelve are in the older group and nine in the younger group. One child, Olwethu Khumalo left us this year to go and live with her grandmother in Pietermaritzburg.
This year Jacqui Boyd resigned from SAH and so we no longer have the services of an Occupational Therapist. I would like to have on record our thanks to Jacqui for all the visits she paid to HNO and all the advice and guidance she gave to the staff and to myself over the last few years. The permanent dietician from SAH helped with the weighing of our children and bringing up supplies of enriched porridge and peanut butter from SAH. We really saw the benefit of this supplementary feeding scheme as our more vulnerable children put on weight. However, over the past couple of months we have not been visited and I have the feeling this is coming to an end although we have not received any formal notification. Four of our children have visited the Orthotist at SAH two for new boots over a year ago and two for AFO’s at the beginning of this year but apparently there is a huge backlog in meeting the orders.
On the brighter side Sarah Bowman, a young local physiotherapist, is giving freely of her time and expertise about once a month for which we are most grateful. Sarah also very kindly gave Nondumiso and Lindiwe duvets, curtains, rugs and pictures for their new bedroom and its all looking so pretty now! Cynthia and Florence, who care for these two young ladies are also benefitting from this gift too! Thank you Sarah! And thank you to Cynthia and Florence for looking after Nondumiso and Lindiwe so well.
Psychiatrists from the Umzimkhulu Psychiatric Hospital visit HNO every three months where they see and prescribe medications for nine of our children at the moment. Residents and their nursing sister from Pevensy Place near Underberg join us to see the psychiatrists on these days as well.
Wandiswe was due to have another operation on his legs last month but sadly, at the last minute, his family decided against it. Once again, we are grateful to Philippa Spooner, our “retired” physiotherapist, for trying to facilitate this operation and then visiting us to give further advice on Wandiswe’s physiotherapy going forward.
A couple of weeks ago, during one of our early morning staff meetings, we prayed for the Lord to be with us when “the unexpected” happens, which it does on a fairly regular basis here! And soon after this the unexpected did happen when a little boy Snalo, who has severe CP, and who used to attend the Centre in 2017 returned after an absence of eight months. He was in a pitiful state and needed urgent medical attention and a safe place to stay. He has a single mother who works and cannot take care of Snalo during the week. So Conny made a plan …yes…another one! And Snalo is now here with us during the week and home with his Mum over the weekends. Thank you to Mabanjwa who cares for him at night and also to Nokwazi, Florence and Cynthia for also helping to take care of Snalo.
Andile who had an operation on his legs last year has now become a weekly boarder at the Centre. We are hoping he will become more independent and able to move around more and more in an upright position.
Just a couple of weeks ago we received 3 big boxes of educational toys from the Dept. of Education. Just when I had been thinking we needed some new and stimulating toys for our children! We are very grateful for this unexpected gift!
Our Centre continues to run smoothly on a daily basis with physiotherapy, occupational therapy, theme lessons etc. with the same team of faithful Carers – Mamkhize, Mamadonda, Zanele, Nellie, Mamsomi, Madhlamini, Mambona and Siya. Thank you for looking after the children so well. I know that they are well cared for and are happy here.
I must also thank Gladwin who in amongst his other tasks helps me with the physiotherapy for Wandiswe and Andile.
Thank you to Eric, Mlu, Sipho and Nkosinathi for always being available to give advice or another perspective on some issue and especially for safely transporting the children to and from the Centre every day. Between these five men we always feel supported and safe on a daily basis here at the Centre.
We are very excited to be moving our top group of children into the old therapy room which has been retiled and painted. A big thank you to Conny and Buzz for making this happen as well as for the many other repairs to the Centre.
We also need to thank Conny for, once again, steering HNO safely through another year.
Mary Orpwood – therapy manager.