DENISE PETCH IS POSITIVE ABOUT THE FUTURE
Denise Petch is an elderly female client of MES Kempton Park. We sat down with her during Women’s month to find out a bit more about her. This is what she had to share.
She lived in Kempton Park for her entire childhood and most of her adulthood, where she worked for 25 years in various divisions at a Corporate bank. She shared her feelings about dealing with an unfair dismissal and being fortunate to have won her arbitration case.
After this unforeseen matter, she found it difficult to find permanent employment. Denise continued to search for employment while being faced with additional personal strain of taking care of her mother. After her mother’s passing in 2004, Denise got involved with a man who financially abused her for three years and when she had no more money to give, he left her destitute. By good fortune, someone sponsored her to come back to her hometown, Kempton Park, and shortly after that she found her way to MES Kempton Park.
She expressed her gratitude for the value MES has brought to her life by introducing her to the GROW programme, convincing her sisters to sponsor her stay at the shelter and for the support from John and Soul during the time she was hospitalised for 10 days.
Denise says that even though she is not completely out of the woods yet, she knows that whenever she needs help or advice, the MES staff are there to help her.
Denise encourages those in need to approach MES for support. “Always feel free to talk to someone about your problems, because you cannot always do things on your own. The staff at MES are always willing to try and make a plan for you. They will make sure that you get the help that you need. Sometimes it takes long to get issues sorted out, but they will get sorted out eventually.”
THABANG MOLEFE – A SHELTER CLIENT WITH A NEW VISION FOR HIS LIFE
Thabang Molefe grew up as an orphan after being removed from his alcoholic grandmother’s care when he was three years old. When he failed his Grade 11, he was asked to look for a job and a place of his own. He lost his job in April and has been homeless since.
He was referred to our organisation by social workers from Benoni and came to MES Kempton Park, without an identity document and no money for sheltering. Thabang was hopeless and devastated. Our social auxiliary worker managed to refer Thabang to the Kempton Park clinic for blood tests and they helped him to get his medication. He was then also registered to partake in our GROW Project. This helped him to raise money to apply for an identity document. We have also assisted Thabang to open a bank account.
In Thabang’s own words, “The service I have received from MES, was very good. When I told them my story, I wasn’t judged and they tried to get me back on my feet as soon as possible. They have provided me with enough space to fix my life on my own, and they are also there when I am in need for daily lessons. I am grateful to MES and hope that I will continue to grow with them.”
MES KEMPTON PARK SUPPORTED STAN DICKI ON HIS ROAD TO A BETTER LIFE
Stan Dicki was born and raised in Barberton Mpumalanga and although being in jail for a short while, he still managed to study electrical engineering and start his own business. However, the beginning years were not easy.
He lost his business and had to do part time jobs for a couple of years. Eventually he decided to move to Kempton Park in 2016, but still life was difficult and he had to spend a few nights on the streets. Fortunately he heard about MES Kempton Park for which he is extremely thankful. “At times when I needed it most, MES provided me with a place to sleep and a place to bath and wash my clothes so that I can be presentable when I go out to look for work.” For a while Stan moved out of MES and worked as a contractor, general worker and foreman. His journey still had its challenges and he moved back into the MES shelter. The second time he got involved in GROW and currently Stan is working on a part time basis at Sakkie’s Electrical, with the hopes of eventually working on a permanent basis. He has registered his own company again which focuses on electricity and waste management.
Stan concludes: “With all that life throws at you, you can pick yourself up and better your life. With the help of places like MES and of course perseverance, I am a living proof.”
Carl Bischoff (oom Kallie) is an old man that came to our shelter, after being discharged from the hospital. Before that he lived on and off the streets for about three months. He had nowhere to go and MES Kempton Park gave him a place of safety. His family was in Cape Town and also not in a position to let him stay with them. He immediately settled in and also became part of the MES GROW-Project where he regularly worked the Jesus-Saves-Daily shift. “At MES, I felt part of a family and I am extremely thankful for everything they helped me with. Being in the Kempton Park shelter, gave me inner peace and allowed me interaction with other people, building relationships for life. The service from the staff was excellent and as an elderly person, I am extremely grateful for that. It was ‘n privilege to be part of the GROW-team. It motivated me to be positive about life again and allowed me the opportunity to earn some money.” After four months, Carl was relocated to the PE shelter, as the environment is more suitable for elderly people.
Michael Ramakoka’s journey started in MES in October 2015, after living on the streets for about a year. He became part of the GROW-Project and within a month was promoted to foreman. At MES I have learned how to take care of myself and be responsible. I learned a lot about teamwork and being patient. As leader I realised that I am a role model for other team members and if I make mistakes, it will also influence them. In my time at MES, I did make mistakes. I am very grateful to the organisation for allowing me to learn from that and move forward. As a leader of a team, I have realised to work effectively, everyone needs to know what they are doing, roles and responsibilities need to be clear. The regular outreaches at MES, encouraged me to be a better person and not lose hope, as the Lord has a plan for my life. My dream for the future is to complete Matric and then qualify myself as an ambulance driver.
Tumelo Maripane a 29 year old young man was integrated in the GROW project last year September and was assigned to work at Stay City. Little did he know that his breakthrough in imminent. He was spotted by a guest attending a conference and this guest was attracted to him because of the way he was performing his duties. During that particular shift the guest approached him and inquired about the meaning of the words on his reflector jacket. Tumelo told him about GROW project and he commended him for his performance.
He recruited Tumelo for a merchandising job at Pick ‘n Pay and that was his exit from the project. He has been working there to date. Tumelo came back on Wednesday to ask for a reference letter because he will be going to Canada to learn more about merchandising. At Pick ‘n Pay he was spotted again by the regional manager while he was busy working in an isle. According to him the manger was so excited in the way he packed his isle that he was chosen as one of staff members to represent Pick ‘n Pay in a warehouse in Canada. He was also assisted with the application of the travelling documents and will soon be leaving the continent.
It all started in 1999 when both my parents passed away as they were both infected with HIV/AIDS. After their funeral I was forced to leave school as my relatives and family could not take care of me. I was forced to go stay at the streets of Hillbrow at a very young age and that’s where life became very difficult for me as a means of crime and street begging became a way of surviving for me. One day a fellow street friend introduced me to mes and explain to me that thats a place i would get help as i was young and before i could get into a serious problem with the law since i was involved in criminal activities.
In 2007 in went to bg alexander were i explained my story to the social workers who then helped me with accommodation and sent me to training for skills, in that period i was sent to stallion security training centre for security grades, completed them and got a job as a security officer. I continued working for various security company’s it was not easy that time for me as security was paying a small salary but i continued working for this company’s earning a the salary to survive. Today am working for a fast growing retail cowpony as a senior manager in safety and security.
Thank you very much mes without you I won’t be were i am today!
In future am planing to donate something for the organisation as a thanks giving.
Thank you with kind regards
WELL DONE KAGISO!
Kagiso Kgotlhang is a Gr 12 learner at High School Die Fakkel. He is one of the foster children of our office.
- Kagiso has been selected as the Head Secretary of the Leader Councillors at the school.
- Kagiso is a well-known representative athlete of the school.
- Kagiso is one of the Top 10 achievers of the school, taking 2nd place.
- Kagiso is also a good chess player.
SNENHLANHLA AND OWAMI’S STORY
Snenhlanhla Phungula and Owami Dube (siblings) they were born in KwaZulu-Natal in Rural area, but grew up in Gauteng in a formal settlement with no electricity and no access to community facilities. Their father left them when they were very young and their mother was illiterate and that makes difficult to find employment and her dream is to see her children completes matric and further their studies. Their mother started to work on the road as a volunteer earning R520 per month and it was find difficult to make their ends meet for the whole family. Sometimes she is doing recycling to put plate on the table.
In 2016 Assessment centre conducted an awareness campaign in the informal settlement, one of the Committee members spoke to one of the Auxiliary social work concerning this family home situation as children dropped out of school in June due to that, they did not have school uniform. The mother was invited to visit our offices for help, home visit was conducted to confirm the situation then the process of applications took place and her children got a Bursary from Ikusasa and she was also helped with food parcels and blankets for her children.
Currently she is cleaning the street as volunteer, in January 2017 her children received stationery packs and also vouchers for school uniform they are now attending school in Denver primary school (no fee school) to achieve their matric.
A STORY OF HARDSHIP AND HOPE
Mary* (38) has been in a relationship with Josh* for seven years. At the time of her assessment with the MES social worker she was living with Josh* and their three children. The main presenting problem reported was that Mary* was struggling to provide the basic needs for her children. This was caused by the fact that she was overwhelmed about taking care of the children including Josh*, who had stage 4 cancer. She had no support from her family and friends. The only source of income was the child support grant. So many factors counted against her, she is uneducated; her family relationships are strained and she is unemployed.
Despite all the challenges listed above, Mary* showed commitment to her individual development plan as follows:
- She managed to locate resources that can help alleviate her situation. Specifically, she got the hospital social workers involved. These social workers assisted her to apply for a Disability Grant for her partner. She sourced assistance from the Hospice Home Base carers to come to her flat and assist to take care of her bedridden partner. This afforded her the opportunity to explore work opportunities. Luckily she got contract work as a cleaner in one of the rental estates.
- Furthermore, she opened communication lines with her in-laws. These in-laws revealed that they took out a funeral plan for Josh*. Josh* passed away two months ago. The in-laws assisted Mary* to bury him. Unfortunately, Mary* was at the verge of losing the flat that was leased under her deceased partner’s name. One of the local businessman heard about Mary’s story and decided to pay for her rent for the next upcoming 2 months. Mary* used her deceased partner’s disability grant to settle her rental arrears at the time.
- Mary* was assisted with food parcels from MES and Local Hospital hospice. The food parcels were a great relief as she was struggling to feed her children.
Currently, Mary* is still staying in her flat with her children. She is continuing to search for a permanent Job and she continues to mend her relationships with her family.
We ask for prayer for Mary* and her children for a brighter future.
Mary is an alias to protect the true identity of our client.
She has been with us since last year October, came in emaciated, dehydrated and dull eyed. We all fell in love with the innocence in her gaze. Her small figure limping along in our corridors. Our eyes on her anxiously waiting for any signs of improvement, but she kept disappearing right in front of us. Hospitals and clinics unwilling to do extensive investigations, as she is here without permission from the land of cold mountains, caught in the vicious clasps of poverty and not being able to return.
As last hope we traced her family and let them know that we will send her home for her last days there, as soon as she was strong enough to travel. Then she took a turn for the worse again, but a blessing in disguise as the merciful doctor discovered that her medication regime was destroying her kidneys and started her on a different regime.
The small ambers of hope is glowing again, and maybe this time we will send her home to her people to recover and not to for her last days…
By: Hermien Owens-Collins
Itumeleng was admitted at Impilo at the end of October 2015. She was started on her treatment and we expected her to get better, but she just kept losing weight. Intermittently we sent her to the hospital with shortness of breath, requests of further investigations. Most of which was ignored or just smoothed over with very little treatment. We made contact with her family in Lesotho, telling them about the situation and that we didn’t understand why she was not getting better. We were going to send her home to die with her family. She hardly whispered when anyone spoke to her, and slept most of the time. Many people interceded for her in prayers. Then one day she was diagnosed with a blood clot in her leg and we sent her to hospital again. It was then that they discovered that she was not responding to her treatment, and the reasons why – after many investigations which was long overdue, she was put on a different regime. She came back to us, and slowly, over the period of two weeks, we could see the changes in her.
Today, she is thriving, and her loud voice echoes through our corridors, her laughter and smiles come so easily. And this time she will be sent home to start a new life. She went home on 15 May 2016. Praise to God our Lord who see us.
People say that the choices that you make have consequences. Most of the time the choices that you make, lead to consequences that aren’t good. I can tell you a story about the choices I have made.
One day, I woke up and decided to give up the keys of a guest house I had managed for seven years, not knowing what my next step would be. I stayed at another lodge in Newton Park for about six weeks, spending all the money I had. One day I realised, my savings had run out. I had to decide on a next step. I did not want to stay with my children, so I decided to find a shelter to live in. I chose the MES Shelter.
I have learnt more at MES during the three years I have been employed as a supervisor than my previous employment.
I felt out of touch with reality, serving the needs of the rich, at MES you serve the under privileged. There is a much bigger reward serving the poor than serving the rich. The privileged seldom truly appreciate those who serve them. Whereas MES’ clients appreciate all the help they receive, because many of them are dealing with feelings of hopelessness and MES restores their hope and repairs their souls.
One of my father’s dreams, was that I work with children, this dream came true when I got the opportunity to work with Mrs Theresa Jaquire on the puppet show. The Lord is blessing me!
– Sharesse Smith (supervisor MES PE)
GOOD NEWS FOR ETHEL MADIKAZI
One of our other clients, Ethel Madikazi came to MES six months ago as a care worker. We took her on as a nonpayer to help us with the elderly. Unfortunately we did not have anybody for her to care of as most of the sick elderly were in hospital. We struggled to find her a job and could not keep her here anymore as a nonpayer. With great success we found her now a job at the Nazareth House as caregiver. We praise the Lord for answering our prayers.
Cynthia is a young lady who was trained as a chef. After a serious head injury she unfortunately lost her job and her relationship with her family deteriorated. She ended up in the street and started using drugs. When she first entered the shelter, she was also suffering from epilepsy. After many counselling sessions, she was reunited with her mother. Her epileptic attacks are currently under control and she is of great value in our kitchen. For Cynthia spring has at last arrived!