Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 40
Khopho, rural Limpopo village isn’t all that different from the rest of South Africa. It has young people and it has old people, and although the young are poor, the elderly are on an entirely different level. Reliant on SASSA grants and the mercy of family members, most of them are neglected and simply not a priority to the rest of the village, who are themselves struggling to make ends meet.
Rethabile Khopho Old Age Centre was started in June of 2015 by Linky Sentsho, a Khopho resident who had been hopelessly struggling to find employment. In the preceding years, she had been looking around her and seeing that her community’s elderly was being severely neglected. Not close to death, but too old to be noticed or cared for, it seemed. So, she took action.
For the Khopho elderlies who are being abused and resented by family members, the abandoned building where Rethabile Khopho gathers daily is a literal refuge. For the others, who either live alone or are completely left alone, it is an escape from the deep dark holes of self-pity they fall into when they are devoid of human interaction.
Every morning at 9, the old men and women of Khopho slowly begin to gather at the centre for their morning tea and conversation. Rethabile Khopho’s team of 3 then guide them to an array of stimulating activities – from working in the garden to making traditional crafts, which is a special attempt of Linky’s to keep the village’s traditions alive. They are later given lunch, and (grudgingly) make their way back home at around 3 pm.
Old people, Linky will tell you with a smile, are not that different from toddlers. They need love, they need sustenance, and they need routine. Rethabile Khopho aims to provide that to their forty-plus beneficiaries.
Without any sort of financial income, the team entirely relies on donations from the community to do what they do. A big dream of Linky’s is to have a form of transport to be able to pick up those who are unable to make their way to the centre.
Photographer: Mosa Mailula from Abelife Designs & Productions Pty. Ltd | Voice Artist: Esona Mangcaka | Writer: Ané Breytenbach