Cliché, but true – “Many hands make light work”. The Ubuntu Community Care volunteer administrators, Myriam and Vicky, have taken on a multitude of responsibilities which include overseeing the gogos (African grandmothers) of “Sitabogogo”, operating an after-school homework program for all grade levels, distributing soup from the tail gate of their “bakkie” (little truck) in the back streets, and attending to the needs of those who seek their help.
That last descriptor includes driving the sick to and from hospital at any hour, to battling red tape and bureaucratic bungling for those needing help with pension problems or birth certificates or the required South African ID booklets. But every day without fail there are many requests. On top of this, in their personal lives Vicky and Myriam have taken on the fostering of three preschool children when requested by Social Services for a “safe house”. Think: madly off in all directions! After a week I finally managed to catch the both of them at the centre at the same time for a photo.
The great news is that others are recognizing their valuable work and are offering a helping hand. Benedicte Scheen has arrived from Belgium to help during the five month gap between having finished her degree in sociology and anthropology, and returning home in September to start her Masters degree.
As local awareness of Ubuntu Centre’s efforts increases, donations of clothes have been accumulating for the past year or two and, like some yeast-fed monster, have mushroomed to fill a room. This week long time Sabie citizen Joy Comley organized the building of shelves with donations of materials and labor. She lined up various friends to assist her each day to sort, launder, fold and hang the clothes. Her goal is to get the clothes out as soon as possible to those in need, so she can unpack donations for efficient turnaround. The plan is to soon have someone in place to operate the Clothes Bank for specified hours one day a week … build it and they will come.
Volunteers are also being sought to help with the after school Homework Program, and with the massive grocery shopping expeditions. In fact, there are a number of ways to help out and support … Interested? Think about it – a working holiday!