Wonderful caregivers persevere
It is an uphill battle, but life goes on for selfless community worker Sinah Chauke and her wonderful colleagues at Pontsho Disability Centre in Khureng in Limpopo.
Chauke and eight other volunteers care for 39 mentally and physically disabled children in Khureng, a village 100km from Polokwane.
They exude compassion by showering the children with love and kindness.
In May Sowetan's corporate social responsibility mascot, Mama Angel, trekked to the village to bring much-needed relief. She gave the centre R5000 worth of stationery, mentally-stimulating and interactive learning and teaching materials, and toys.
But she discovered that the centre desperately needed a stove, blankets, clothes, beds, heaters, radios and lots of food.
The provincial health and social services departments have also heeded Khureng's call.
"The Limpopo health and social services department officials have kept their promise of a constant supply of food and for that we thank God," Chauke said this week.
And about their other needs? Zilch, Chauke said, sadly.
"It is really as if God is testing our faith," she said. "We are still using fire wood to heat water to wash the children in the mornings and evenings. But we are not giving up hope and our love for these special children is unwavering."
Due to financial constraints the children's parents are unable to relieve the volunteers during school holidays.
"So we do not get a break when we really need to and are stuck with the children throughout the year," Chauke said.
Caregivers use public transport to take the children for regular medical check-ups.
"We are still in the same dilapidated building Mama Angel found us operating from," Chauke said.
She wishes businesses and community leaders would "adopt the centre by considering to sell us food and other necessities at cost price, and by assisting or representing us when we raise funds".
For her part Mama Angel is still committed to helping alleviate the situation at Pontsho Disability Centre and challenges like-minded and kind-hearted people to lend a hand.
They can start with hope-giving calls to Chauke at 072-153-8968.