Covid-19 = No Work

From February’s Report:

“We visited a family in the area of Phola; the family consists of four members, the father, mother and two children. All the family members are on HIV/AIDS treatment and they have been on treatment as a family for years now; they all live in a two roomed house.

Feb Phola blur

One of the children receiving          their food parcel

“The father was working and the family depended on him for food and other basic needs, but he has not been able to  work since the coronavirus pandemic started.  They now depend on their neighbours who sometimes help them with food to eat.

“We gave the family a food parcel to eat and encouraged them to plant a vegetable garden* that will help to provide them with free vegetables so that they will not struggle so much.”

*Lack of access to water is why most people are not able to grow vegetables.

No I.D., No Benefits

From February’s Report:

“We visited a 59-year old female patient from Jerusalem. The patient is staying with her family in their three -roomed family home. She is on HIV/AIDS treatment, and has been living with HIV for the past ten years.

“The patient told us that she is a foreigner and she does not have a South African identity document. She said there is no one working in the family, and she has not been able to find employment for herself because of not having a South African identity document.

Feb Jerusalem2 blur

“The patient asked for assistance in getting an identity document so  that she can apply for the old age grant. We advised her to visit the department of home affairs either at White River or Hazyview where she can get better assistance, we also provided her with the home affairs working hours.

“We gave the patient a food parcel and promised to visit her again to get an update on her department of home affairs visit, as she said she will visit the department’s offices.”

As you can see, having an I.D. is vital for receiving state benefits.

World AIDS Day

eMasoyi hosted a World AIDS Day event last month, remembering the many in the community who have died as a result of HIV/AIDS over the last thirty years.  It will not have been unusual for some adults at the event to have lost more than a dozen family and friends in this way – hard to imagine.

On a more positive note, life expectancy in South Africa has risen from 56 to 63.

AIDS Day Candlelight Ceremony

From December’s Report:

“On  4th of December we had a candlelight ceremony to commemorate  all those who died, and remember those who are living with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS. The ceremony was held at Masoyi Home based Care Khayalethu 2. We had all the Masoyi volunteers and community members in attendance.

The ceremony was led by Masoyi Home Based Care stakeholder, Mthimba clinic representative, Sister Anna Kubhayi, and Masoyi Home Based Care Starfish Wellness wagon’s Sister Busisiwe Lubambo*. We had Pastor Dladla, who prayed for all those who had lost their lives from HIV/AIDS, and for those who are living with, and those who are affected by, HIV/AIDS.”

The ‘Wellness Wagon’ was donated by Starfish, a South African charity, to take children’s healthcare services into more remote parts of the community.

Bul. Family

The Bul. Family consists of five members, a mother and her four children.  They live in a four-room house, and the house is in very bad shape.  The two eldest siblings managed to pass their grade 12, but they are currently sitting at home because they do not have money to go to university to further their studies.  The other two are still at school, with one doing grade 12 and the other doing grade 2.

Sip. Bul.

Sip. Bul. collecting a food parcel

Their mother is critically ill; she is on treatment [ARV’s] and they are struggling with food and other basic household needs.  Only one child receives the child support grant which is around R430.00 per month, which isn’t enough for the five family members. Their mother was their only bread winner after the passing of their father, but since the mother is sick, their situation has worsened.

We placed them on the Masoyi Trust food parcel programme because the food that they buy with the R430.00 does not last until month end. We are hoping that the two eldest sisters will be able to find some work so that they can take care of their mother and their younger siblings.

A New Arrival

From a report by Micheal Bobbert:

“On the 26th of March, at Jerusalem Trust, we met a young boy who had relocated from another province to live in Mpumalanga to live with his unemployed aunt.  He is taking HIV and Spinal cord treatment.  Where he used to live, he had been forced to drink traditional medicine, but he has now been referred to the clinic and given the treatments.  It has been a few months since he has been adhering to the treatment, and he is now recovering very well.

Jabulele and the boy                        New school uniform

“When he came from the Western Province, he did not bring any of his previous school documentation, which made it nearly impossible for the local schools to register him. Because Masoyi HBC has a very healthy working relationship with local schools and other stakeholders, Project workers and a social worker went to one of the high schools, and he was registered and given books.  The school principal and other teachers were notified about the boys’ condition and the school management agreed to look after him.”

Mam. Family Food Parcel

Report from Micheal Bobbert:

“This family consists of a mother and her two children living in an RDP house built for them by the government.  The mother and nine-year old child Siy., who is in grade 5, are adhering to their treatment [HIV/AIDS].  Sih. is fifteen years old, and is currently in  grade 9.  Their mother is critically ill and unable to work and provide for her children.  Their father’s whereabout is unknown to the care workers because the mother is unable to speak at the present moment due to her illness.

38. Siyamthanda Mambo

Collecting food parcel

“Both children receive monthly child support grants from the government.  The family was given this food parcel to help relieve the burden of using all their grant money to buy food instead of to buy school uniforms and other basic household needs.”

Home-based Care Visits

From Dale Aitken, visiting in the community:

Today, we were out with the teams in Mahushu and Mthimba.  The Ventura people-carrier is on its last legs in every way.  Mamatjie put in just R100/5.9l. of petrol today.  Given the state of the engine and the rough terrain it has to deal with, we reckoned it might give 20mpg.  There are four people carriers, two of which don’t seem to be used at all.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We then moved on to Mthimba, with Cresta, Queen, L? and Constance, with Mamatjie still driving.  Our first call was to a Joa. with AIDS, who had also suffered a stroke.  On medication for five years. Her son, Mbo. was a security guard near Graskop, who was only able to come home from time to time.  He has trained as a game ranger, but has been unable to get work as one because he failed his matric (because he was fretting about his mother’s wellbeing).  The rest of the family have ostracised the woman, presumably because of her illness.  Mbo. was trying to do for his mother what his father didn’t do: everything.  It was moving to hear.

Next was San. and his sister and family.  He had had a stroke and was on ARV treatment.  We left a food parcel.  And some sweets.  We discovered that Frank and Ruthie Wey always have sweets for the children, so when they see the Ventura, they expect sweets!

We visited Jef., who has TB, drug-resistant I think.  He lives alone, and walks a long way four times a day to his relatives’ house, where they give him food.  He was given a food parcel so that he could prepare his own meals and not have to walk so much.  We had passed him earlier, walking towards his house, and it was clearly not easy to walk.



Finally, we visited Chr., an old woman with some undiagnosed skin complaint.  She had been to the clinic and the hospital, but with no effect.  Again, she had ‘rub-rub’ applied and a supply left.  Her daughter and family were caring for her.

Every house we visit, we are asked to pray for the patient and family, sometimes just Matthew or I, occasionally all together.


The Mas. Children

The Mas. family consists of two siblings living with their mother.  Pri. is 11 years old, and his sister Pr. is 9 years old.  They live in a two-room brick house, but one room is not finished, so they use the one room as a bedroom and kitchen.  Pri. is doing grade four and Princess is doing grade three in the local primary school.  Pri. and his mother are both on treatment [HIV/AIDS]; their mother is weak, and she is unable to work because of her illness.  The children both receive a government social grant every month, but their grant money is not enough to sustain the family.33. Mashego children

According to their care worker, Thembi Ntandane, the children are doing well in their studies and attend school every day.  Their mother attends the Mahushu [local area] support group; and the children also come to K2 to play with other kids, as well as getting involved in the afternoon study groups conducted at the centre to help them with their school homework. Before they go home, they are provided with a warm, nutritious meal.