NGO celebrates ten years of care

2017-10-04 06:00
Brenda Mgoza (left) and Cathy Tyres (right) care for the sick at Phuthaditjhaba Community Homebased Care. (Photos manipu­lated.)Photos: Supplied

Brenda Mgoza (left) and Cathy Tyres (right) care for the sick at Phuthaditjhaba Community Homebased Care. (Photos manipu­lated.)Photos: Supplied

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Phuthaditjhaba Community Home-based Care is proud to be celebrating ten years of existence through hard work within its community.

This non-governmental organisation (NGO) became fully operational in 2007 with ten members when it opened its doors to the poor and vulnerable through rendering home-based care in Pescodia, Roodepan.

It now has around 100 members and has spread its wings towards areas as far as the Masa­khane clinic, the Floors clinic and the Riverton satellite clinic.

According to the founder of the NGO, Mary Ericksen, they started off with the intention of working for free in an effort to help their community.

She says the group was a response to the escalating and devastating pandemic of HIV and Aids and TB that affected the lives of their community.

The scourge was taking an alarming toll, as people conti­nued to be infected without much education and awareness.

“We were lucky enough to be recognised by the Northern Cape Department of Health, which gave us a stipend in the first month,” she says.

Not only does Phuthaditjhaba Community Home-based Care rely on stipends and handouts to increase their daily programmes and outreaches, but they also embark on different fundraising initiatives.

As proof of that, they ma­naged to buy a container in 2011 and moved away from operating in her living room.

They also received assistance from the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) who funded them with computers for their office.

Reflecting on her milestone, Ericksen said she saw potential in her work when Phuthaditjhaba was recognised and awarded for their achievement of successfully discharging over 200 TB patients in its area of operation.

They were also recognised by a nearby primary school through a friendship certificate.

She was also awarded the Francis Baard Community Builder of the Year award in 2012 due to their productive community food garden.

On top of the knitwear project of 2010 and volunteer campaigns at orphanages and old-age centres, the NGO also heeded the call by Pres. Jacob Zuma to get 15 million people to test for TB and HIV by hosting a fun run.

They regard themselves as lucky to have hosted a gap year student from abroad through their partnership with the Lutheran Church.

“Our staff consists of members from different fields like mentors, councillors, home-based carers, peer educators, retired nurses and management.”

She says lack of space is a problem, as they are operating from her backyard.

“This single container has become too crowded as our services increase, thus we need to buy another container.

“But we are engaging with the Sol Plaatje Municipality and hope that they will come through for us in that regard.”

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