Doctor helps school after hearing of plight from patient

2013-11-21 00:00

A GOOD doctor-patient relationship usually results in the patient’s recovery and that’s where the story ends. But if that doctor is Nomcebo Mthembu, the patient’s school gets a fully-fitted kitchen and sports ground too.

Mthembu, who practises from a surgery in Hayfields, is the founder of the non-profit organisation Indoni.

“My patients are like my friends and family. When I met the school principal as my patient in 2010, we started talking and she mentioned her school,” said Mthembu.

The patient was Zandile Sibisi, principal of Nyanda Primary School, near Sweetwaters.

Mthembu subsequently visited the school and noted that the children were being fed from an unhygienic kitchen that was too small to accommodate them.

“So even on rainy days the children ate their school meals outside in an open field,” she said.

Mthembu decided to do something to bring a smile to the faces of the children.

“That is what ubuntu is all about — making a positive change in the lives of people, and there is no better way than to bring a smile to children’s faces,” she said.

Mthembu arranged for Nyanda pupils to be taken to the Conference of Parties (Cop17) climate meeting in Durban, saying it was important for pupils from poor schools to be nurtured to change their outlook on life. All the while she planned to improve the facilities at their school.

Yesterday, a sod-turning ceremony was held at the school, with construction due to commence in January.

Included in the plans are a fully-fitted kitchen with stoves, sinks and counters to prepare the food. There will also be a storeroom to keep the food in hygienic conditions. As a bonus, the pupils will get a sports ground.

Sibisi said she was grateful to Mthembu for her help. “We have children who are raised by grandmothers and some are raised by unemployed siblings who are youths themselves. When I told Dr Mthembu about our situation, she jumped at the opportunity to help. We need more people like her so that we can make meaningful change,” she said.

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