Khayelihle Service Centre, a Safe Haven for the Elderly – Often one hears or even witnesses the appalling manner most of our elder citizens are treated in, sometimes by strangers and very often within the boundaries of their own homes.
A group of elderly women decided to take a stand and try and ensure that, as they grow older and a little defenseless, they can rest assure that they will feel secure and loved in the comfort of one another’s company. A nonprofit organisation called the Khayelihle Service Centre (for the elderly) situated at the Thandukukhanya Township, was then established with the aim of creating a safe environment for the aged to come together and engage in dialogue and various other activities that are sure to keep them lively and less lonely.
This group convenes every morning and adjourns in the afternoon, weekly from Monday to Friday. They are currently occupying a space provided to them by the Mkhondo Municipality as they have not yet been able to source the funds to erect their own permanent structure. They go to this place that they consider to be “their safe haven” so that they feel safe during the day while the children and even grandchildren are either at school or at work. During their gatherings, they produce wonderful handcraft and many other things that they wouldn’t have been able to do on their own. After realizing that they were able to produce these pieces in significant amounts, they then decided to have an annual event where they donate their work to those who need it most.
With help from the Age in Action organisation, they then asked Shoprite to assist them in finding deserving beneficiaries for these pieces. They recently held a function where they handed over one hundred and eleven items of a great variety to Shoprite with the hope that it will reach those in need. We had a chance to chat to them a couple of days after the event and Gogo Motha, who spoke on behalf of these old ladies expressed that coming together every day is the best thing that could have ever happened to them at their age. She went on to say that there are many helping hands that are aiding in this project being the success that it is. She wishes to thank FNB Volunteers who donated some of the material used to make the goodies, Mrs Du Plesis who has been giving them knitting lessons and Huis Immergroen for their continuous donations to their orga-nisations.
According to Gogo Motha, who is also the current chairlady of this organisation, they are proud to announce that after having participated in the Golden Games (sports for persons 60 years and upwards), 13 of their members made it to the district team, four were chosen for the provincials and now one has gone through to the nationals. She does, however, wish to appeal to the public and all Mkhondo stakeholders to come forward and extend whatever help they can so that this organisation can move forward, even if it is just to spend the day with them.