EACH time I get involved with a project like the Phumelela Special Needs Care Centre, it really just breaks my heart.
There is a very special lady in Nolukhanyo who is looking after children who are not accepted into the Education Department stream and have been wandering the streets for a number of years.
Now this special lady, Priscilla Silevana, has taken up the reins and, paying the rental of the house she uses, looks after these 15 children every day. She cooks them a meal at lunchtime with the assistance of another lady. She keeps their minds stimulated for the morning. The parents are so grateful for what she does and are assisting her financially now each month.
Priscilla is doing this in a small house she is renting, but she has applied to the municipality to rent a building that has been standing empty for a number of years. She has written letter after letter.
I have now started writing e-mails to the municipality, hoping that [corporate services director] Lazola Maneli would respond to me and tell me what to do, to assist Priscilla. I am told that this “is a long process”. I do understand that “things take time”.
These are children with huge disabilities and there is someone who is willing to care for them, give them her time and keep them off the streets! And yet the system does not allow her to have a venue where she can do her job and look after these very, very special children.
My heart breaks at the thought that there is nobody willing to take a decision on her behalf. How very sad!