Catering to community needs

2019-10-29 06:00
The Steenberg community comes together to assist an elderly couple in Hillview.

The Steenberg community comes together to assist an elderly couple in Hillview.

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Earlier this month, members of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Constituency Office in Steenberg rallied the community to build a new home for two pensioners in Hillview.

Husband and wife Gerald and Monica Thomas had lived in their zinc home for more than 16 years before Dr Malcolm Jacobs, provincial chairman for the ACDP, was introduced to them and learned of their circumstances.

Monica was diagnosed with glaucoma years ago and, eight years ago, finally lost her sight as a result of the degenerative eye disease.

“Up to now, I’ve never felt bad about it. I had to just accept it,” she says.

Before losing her sight, she was a home-care nurse, who catered to the needs of others and Gerald was a brick-layer before retiring.

The couple, who have two adult children, was having a hard time living in their home before the revamp.

“The thing I’m most happy about is the tap water. We also had water in our old house but it was broken all these years. We had to fetch water for the toilet, fetch water for the kettle and fetch water for baths,” Monica explains.

The roof of their previous structure also presented its own challenges.

“Now the roof is not leaking anymore. We had to put buckets around the house before,” Gerald adds.

The overhaul of their home took just one day. More than 40 men and women assisted to clean the couples yard and to put together the Wendy house that they now call home.

To facilitate her movement, Gerald has laid carpets around the home strategically, allowing Monica to get from the bed to the kitchen and the bathroom of their new place with ease.

They are both appreciative of the help they’ve received and love their new space.

Gerald says: “As soon as I’m out, I’m thinking of coming home quick because it’s nice and comfortable.”

While their social life may not be as active as it once was, the couple is still in need of a car to get the ailing Monica to the doctor and the hospital when needed; which, according to Gerald, is more often as of late.

V For more information or to assist the Thomas’s, call Joey on 083 856 6312.

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