After living in a tiny shack, suffering from the pangs of hunger and with no electricity, disabled and diabetic Cynthia Ntunje has found a new home with the Catholic nuns of Khayelitsha.
Now what she is most grateful for, she says, is getting a meal everyday.
Last month, Ntunje, who has diabetes and is partially blind, lived in a cold, smelly and mouldy shack, with clothes scattered on the wet floor and a loose door in Europe, an informal settlement next to Newlands Hostels in Nyanga.
When we first visited Ntunje, her meals consisted of leftover porridge, scraped from the bottom of a pot.
Several readers and the Catholic Welfare and Development (CWD) centre in Khayelitsha contacted our team to offer help for Cynthia.
CWD has since found her space at the Missionaries of Charity, a home founded by the late Mother Teresa in Khayelitsha, where she is staying free of charge.
“We are so well taken care of here. We don’t lift a finger. Everything is done for us. I get food everyday, and I get medication for my diabetes. It’s still difficult to see because my vision is fuzzy but apart from that, I am doing well. I miss my son but I am told that he will be brought soon to see me, so I am happy,” said Ntunje.
The home, run by nuns, is a tranquil establishment behind a Catholic church. Walking in the home, we were greeted by different people, some with disabilities, who are housed there.
CWD social worker Florence Ntshotsho said Ntunje was moved to the home late last month.
She said it had been “heartbreaking” to visit her in her shack in Europe informal settlement.
“We are happy that she has been placed here at the home. She is doing well, and she is getting her medication.”
Ntunje has never applied for a disability grant. She lost her ID document in a fire and has never managed to make the application. The R350 child support grant she gets for her young son goes to the family who are looking after him. Ntshotsho said CWD was focusing on applying for a foster care grant for the family. Mediagroups GROUND-UP and News24 readers donated R5,500 to Ntunje as well as food, which will be passed on to her son’s caregivers.