Susan’s Blog: Ubuntu Board

The Ubuntu Board of Directors, back row: Rev. Lynne, Sindiswa, Myriam, Vicky, Musa. Front: Rosemerry, Rev. Lawrence, Joy

The Ubuntu Centre Board of Directors met recently and I was pleased to be able to attend. The reports and discussions dealt with the year-to-date financial report, staff matters, distribution of donated toys and the like. Their sense of commitment and responsibility was evident, and once again I felt so fortunate to have these dedicated people volunteering on our behalf to enable this project.

Vicky presented the year-end report which noted the positive impact of the weekly visits of the physiotherapists and dietician. She has observed improvement in their sewing skills, and the beneficial effects of their sports activities on their physical well being. The combined effect of these activities over time has resulted in a tremendous boost to the gogos’ self-esteem.

Tshepiso Mashaba takes the blood pressure of gogo Emma Skosana. Diabetes blood sugar testing is also done regularly.

We were pleased to learn that the medical suppliers of the very expensive blood sugar testing strips have recently begun to donate a few boxes of these with each monthly visit.

There are challenges, too. The biggest is the loss of a major donor in Britain who has contributed 50% of the Ubuntu Centre budget over the past four years. The other 50% is from Grannies à Gogo. With this revenue shortfall some cost-cutting measures are in the works.

Milly explains to the gogos that changes are necessary in view of financial constraints

Other challenges include communication problems between English speaking volunteers and the gogos, and some undercurrents with a few gogos with self-centred expectations.

Ever positive, Vicky and Myriam plan to update the Vulnerable Families database with the help of the Home Based Care ladies, which has not been done in two years. When this information is in hand, they will look at restructuring in the new year, possibly to form smaller pods within Sitabogogo, each with it’s own leader. It’s great to see the Board providing new ideas and leadership opportunities amongst the gogos.

Thobiya, with her veggies to sell later, and Selina, avid gardener

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3 thoughts on “Susan’s Blog: Ubuntu Board

  1. Hi Sue! I’m all caught up now on the goings-on with the Grannies. Interesting in the last blog, the question about “where are all your black women?” I remember wondering, when I first moved to Toronto in 1988 from Saskatoon, where are all the native people? But lots of black people compared to S’toon . . . how much longer are you there?

    • Glad you’re keeping an eye on our gogo activities, Kathi. No doubt brings back memories of your time in Rwanda with the Smile Train. How charmed our lives have been to have these amazing experiences. Only a couple of more days here – I depart Thurs, morning. ~ Susan

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