Hope: Stories from the field

Hope: Stories from the FieldThandanani has just released its Mid-Year Donor Report for the period April to September 2014. The stories below are contained in the report and speak to the critical role that Thandanani plays in supporting orphans and other vulnerable children. The full report can be viewed on the Thandanani website.

* Names have been changed

One of Thandanani’s newer households consists of 23 year-old Sipho* and his younger brother Sifiso* who is 15. They were recently orphaned and had absolutely no means of supporting themselves when Thandanani first made contact with them. Thandanani provided them with food vouchers and assisted them in accessing the foster care grant for which they qualify. They boys are now in receipt of their grant and are using this to meet their basic needs. In addition, Sipho has participated in one of our Caregiver Support groups. During the course of one session he expressed the fact that he and his brother had felt absolutely abandoned and alone after the loss of their parents as no one in their extended family had been willing to assist them. He said they had started to lose hope and were slowly dying inside because they did not know what to do. He said that they really appreciate what Thandanani is doing for them, not just in terms of material support, but also in assisting them to deal with their loss and face the challenges that lie ahead.

Ms Dlamini* is a 34 year-old women who is caring for a 5 year old orphaned child Siyabonga*. When our Lay Counsellor conducted a home visit to assess the health of the family, the caregiver informed her that she was on ARV treatment but that she was still experiencing significant health difficulties. She also informed our Lay Counsellor that Siyabonga was also losing weight. On the basis of this information our lay Counsellor screened for TB and referred both the Caregiver and Siyabonga to the local clinic as indications were that they may both have TB. The Caregiver did test positive for TB and is now on treatment. Fortunately, Siyabonga tested negative for both HIV and TB. Our Lay Counsellor is now conducting regular treatment compliance and support visits to the family to monitor the Caregivers response to treatment and Siyabonga’s weight.

Mrs Sithole* is a 65 year-old Caregiver living with HIV. When recently visited by our Home Care Fieldworker, she was found to be so ill that she had been unable to travel to the clinic to collect her medication. This not only exacerbated her immediate condition but also threatened to compromise the efficacy of her ongoing treatment. With the assistance of our Lay Counsellor, arrangements were immediately made to transport Mrs Sithole to the local clinic where she was assessed and collected her medication. As a result, her condition has improved and she is once again able to care for her 7 year old foster son.

The Malinga* family consisting of 3 adults and 6 children were recently visited by some of our 4Kids Champions (See directors report for more information on our 4Kids Initiative). During the visit, which took place in the early evening, the impact of the lack of electricity was clearly apparent. The house was dark with the only light coming from a few strategically placed candles. As a result, the 4Kids Champions and Thandanani decided to provide the family with a solar lantern. The Caregiver has since reported that they love their solar light and that the children now even do their homework at night using the light.