Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R4,850.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 2 | Amount of People in Need: 60
Lethabong Old Age was established in 2010 by Betty Rakgoale, a resident of the Sebayeng township a short drive from Polokwane. Though not an elderly person herself, anyone who has had a conversation with Betty will attest to her warmth and genuine care toward them. It is these qualities which led her to look at the dire state of elderly care in her community and say, “No further.”
“No further to the neglect and mistreatment of the elderly. No further to frail old women being raped. No more sitting at home waiting for the end.”
Almost as soon as Betty started the project from her garage in 2010, she had scores of Sebayeng seniors asking to be a part of it. The overwhelming and immediate interest proved what Betty had already gathered: that the township’s elderly people weren’t happy or even safe at home.
They needed community, they needed stimulation, they needed to live while they were still alive, and up to that point, there was no place that encouraged that or even made it an option.
From her garage, Betty moved into a large shack, and from that shack, she, her team, and their worn and weathered charges moved into the building from which they operate to this day. It is in this building that 60 of Sebayeng’s over-sixties meet from Mondays to Wednesdays to do the stuff of life, joined and led by Betty and her team of 6.
These days usually start with light exercise of some sort, which is followed by a few happy hours doing ‘handwork’, as Betty calls it, which usually involves beads, clay, or wood. The team also prepares two meals on these days – breakfast and lunch.
When the elders leave for home, they do so with hearts both heavy and buoyant.
All of Lethabong’s expenses are covered by Betty herself and what she can scrape together in donations.
Photographer: Photographer: Mosa Mailula from Abelife Designs & Productions | Voice Artist: Usisipho Ngxubaza | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Development, Elderly