Siyathathuka Home Based Care - A Labour of Love

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This vegetable patch that you see in these pictures are the result of a lady called Fortunate who cares so much for the health of the orphans and widows that she worked the ground to make them even though she knew how difficult it was to water them to make them grow. She just trusted in God to provide……. and led by example..

During July, a team from Australia, 4 from Sydney and 5 from Melbourne, arrived in South Africa to spend 2 weeks at Hands At Work visiting three different communities.  The team shares their experience while visiting Siyathathuka Home Based Care…

We met with two ladies, Fortunate who co-ordinates the Clau Clau area and Audrey who co-ordinates the communities in Bushbuckridge.  They are two wonderful women who volunteer their time to work alongside the Care Workers in each of the communities.  Because this was for some of us our second trip over, we already knew them quite well.

Fortunate was telling us about Siyathathuka Home Based Care and the difficulties they face with water, which is a common problem faced by the communities.  We knew they had a borehole put in some years ago by an aid agency at the Home Based Care Centre, but that it couldn’t be used as two of the solar panels had been stolen so it would no longer work.  This made them reliant on the government to fill their water tank, which was very unreliable.

A vacant area of land inspired Fortunate to encourage local ladies to put in a vegetable garden to enable them to give fresh vegetables to the orphans to take home.  So when we arrived in Siyathathuka this is where we found Fortunate – in her garden plot, digging the thorns and weeds out of the ground and building up her vegetable garden beds.  Off we went to a stream which took about 5 minutes to walk to with our leaky watering cans.  It was pretty shallow so we had to ladle the water in with small jugs.   Finally the watering cans were full and off we went to water the new vegie patch.  One watering can watered about 2 rows if we were lucky so off we went again.  But Fortunate persevered.

While we were off doing this, some of our team were looking at the borehole and pulled up the pump, trying to figure out a way to make it work again.  We only had one day there and so our time was limited.  Unfortunately nothing more could be done that day but we were able to research it during the rest of our time in South Africa.

Toward the end of our stay we were able to source a new pump and install it.  This would work off a 1KVA small generator which was light enough for the ladies to be able to lift it.  It was simple to operate, by plugging it in, allowing the tank to fill up then unplugging it and storing it away safely so that it won’t get stolen.

When we came back to install it we found that the Care Workers had dug up a large area of the garden and had started to plant vegetables.  It was amazing how much work they had done in the time we had been away.  It would have taken a lot of work to water this size garden so it’s great now that they have water so easily accessible.

The most amazing thing for us was when we returned to Australia and we got an email from Fortunate telling us that she is now able to supply 5 families with fresh spinach from the garden she had made.  Now that they have water they will be able to grow the vegetables to give to the orphans to take home to have nutritious meals.  This email from Fortunate just made us so thankful to the Lord for providing a way to make the borehole work.  We have such a caring and great God. 

Fortunate couldn’t praise God enough for the way He heard their prayers and provided them with a secure water source.  He hears the cries of the orphans and the widows.  He loves them so much and He wants us to love them and care for them too and do whatever we can to help them no matter how big or small.  So please pray for them all at Siyathathuka.  The garden will be hard work but will be a huge blessing to them if they can persevere like Fortunate did.  She led by example.