Teele beacon of hope

2015-08-12 06:00
JANET DAWIDS (left) and Elizabeth Lemani dish up for the elderly at the Teele General Clinic.

JANET DAWIDS (left) and Elizabeth Lemani dish up for the elderly at the Teele General Clinic.

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WHEN Matshidiso Teele (48) was diagnosed with HIV, she did what no “defeated” human being would ever think of doing.

Teele made a decision that no one should ever struggle and go through her painful ordeal and this is what inspired her to open her home to the ill, distraught and the desperate elders of her community.

The Teele General Health Organisation Clinic is an NGO that she founded ten years ago in Pieter Swartz, just outside Bloemfontein.

Without any funding and working from Teele’s modest RDP home, the organisation provides various services to the needy community such as HIV counselling, a feeding scheme and spiritual support to those in need.

Apart from these services, Teele and her nine assistants also visit the “patients” in their homes and clean their houses and also cook for those who are no longer able to do it for themselves.

The selfless team also collects prescriptions, accompanies the sick to hospital and clinics and also bathes those who are too ill to do it themselves.

Most of the patients are older than 50 years and are in no condition to look after themselves.

“I wish we could get facilities to open an old age home; that way all the patients could come and stay there and we could look after them all the time. It’s just that we have no funds to do that,” she said.

Vrede Mathe, a 70-year-old pensioner who was visiting the clinic for the first time during Express’s visit and was enjoying a hearty plate of home-cooked food, says he found out about the place from his neighbours.

“I think what is being done here is wonderful and I wish God can take them from strength to strength and that they may be able to help even more people,” he said.

Teele mentioned several times that she would like to do more for these patients, but lack of funding and donors were what restricted her. She says she has tried to source funding from various sponsors and organisations with no luck.

Jannie Coetsee of the Anchor of Hope organisation is one of the general clinic’s blessings. He makes regular visits to the clinic and offers prayers for the residents.

Anchor of Hope supplies the clinic with food and clothing as often as it can.

When asked why he helped the general clinic, Coetsee answered: “It is a calling from God to help the poor.”

According to some of the elderly people gathered there, they are always pleased and encouraged by his presence and the time he spends there.

Teele said it is difficult to keep going, but she has no intention of stopping.

“All these people come to us for help and I know that someone will recognise our efforts and assist us to help even more people,” Teele said.

She also said she is eternally grateful for what Coetsee and all those who help them are doing

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