A time for celebration but reflection too. Last week the Community Caregivers (CCGs), mostly women, who provide home-based care, signed a new contract with the Department of Health. With 80% unemployment in the rural areas they are happy to have a source of income that comes with hope of a better job. Many of them have been doing that job for years, but it’s only a one-year contract each year, so there is never any certainty that they will be hired again, even though their job is critical to healthcare here. They earn $150 a month for this work, get no benefits, and that income often supports aging parents and children who would be without any income at all without these jobs.
We started with 12 of these women in Ndawana in 2005. Every one of them has found more secure and much better paid work since they started with us. The training, skills and experience has created a high demand. Today we provide support to some 900 of these CCGs across the district through training, mentoring and technical support. When you support these women you support their communities. Our experience has been that up to 50% of the income earned goes to educating their children.
Although we have had great success in reducing the number of orphans that need support some will never be eligible for support in the government system. Many of our orphans had parents and even grandparents who came from Lesotho and Zimbabwe without documentation. They lived quietly in the deepest rural areas and died in the same way as undocumented migrant workers ineligible for the benefits of South Africa. It is these children we continue to support with food packages and early primary education.
The other programs in our plan are still underway.
We need your help to continue our work. Our requirements for this year are just over $50,000 to continue our programs. With the year about 1/3 finished, we currently have raised about 25% of this. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.