Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 41
“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,” goes the timeless advice by the mother of beloved American TV personality, Fred Rogers.
Her advice was meant to soothe her son in times of big, loud catastrophes, but are just as handy in the small catastrophes that occur in every corner of South Africa. In Nkomo, a village in Giyani (itself situated in Limpopo province), disabled people of all ages have been wandering around the streets in a state of limbo for years. Their families, though loving, do not know how to care for them, and there are no government facilities to fill the gap.
Look for the helpers, and find them at Hihlurile Disabled Community Project.
The project was started in 2011 by Sarah Maswanganyi, whose heart broke at the fact that there was no available care for Nkomo’s disabled residents who, though different, were 100% human in her eyes.
She and six other helpers built the two structures that serve as the project’s premises by hand. One completed structure serves as an office and shelter in bad weather, and the other – half-built and small – serves as their kitchen.
Every weekday morning, all the differently-abled Nkomo residents make their way here to spend time with one another and their loving caregivers. Together, they do beadwork, practice the trombone and exercise. They are given their medicines in time, and they are helped to apply for disability grants.
In every way, these two structures and the dusty ground surrounding them are a haven for 41 of them, aged 5 to 68 years.
Project administrator, Eunice Ngobeli, explains that the project receives a quarterly government grant which helps, but doesn’t cover all Hihlurile’s needs. Their two rooms dream of becoming a real building, and they currently have no running water on site.
Photographer: Steven Maluks from Go Cloud Way Photography | Voice Artist: Usisipho Ngxubaza | Writer: Ané Breytenbach