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DORCAS, Vredendal

INFORMATION

 

We popped in to see the Marthie of Dorcas, an NPO responsible for feeding HIV/AIDS and TB patients in the community. A healthy and constant diet plan is so important to maintain a strong immune system while you combating HIV or TB. TB is rife in the area and the number one cause of death according to a local funeral home entrepreneur we spoke to. We visited one of the Dorcas stop offs and witnessed the distribution of food parcels to about 15 infected adults.

Marthie, the brains behind the Dorcas initiative, a lovely woman, she told us all about the amazing work she is selflessly doing but all about how she is up against the dreaded funding and the people who decide what charity or NPO is deemed the most important. Fortunately she was one of the lucky ones this time and has received the financial input she deserves to run such a cause worthy establishment.  Others are not so lucky and without the financial aid they simply cannot survive and are forced to close.

Dorcas is an NPO which was set up to enhance the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS, TB and other diseases. Marthie and her small team prepare home cooked food with they distribute to families living with such diseases in the hope that their medication works more efficiently. They also aim to educate these individuals on their disease so that they are better equipped to deal with it. We were lucky enough to visit a Dorcas ‘meeting’ the day before, where about 15 people showed up to pick up their food which they receive 3 times a week. It seems to be really benefitting them and long may it continue.
 
Next we went to visit the local settlement in Vredendal north which was eye opening and of course slightly heart breaking. Seeing the beaming faces of 2 little street children, no one would realise that this was their fate in life until you looked closely and saw how utterly filthy they were. They couldn’t have been more overjoyed when Rog told them to jump up on the side of the car and took them whizzing down the road. It seemed as if it was the most fun they had had all year.
 
Lastly, we went to check out the All Pay system (equivalent to the dole in the UK) and we were lucky enough to find that is was pay day. Swarms of people wait at the entrance to a building where they are let in one by one to receive their monthly allowances. You can be granted this allowance for a whole host of things from child support to disability support, but it seems that it is grossly exploited. What is even sadder is that as soon as the people get their allotted monthly sum, the majority seems to be spent on drugs and alcohol. What an immense waste.
 

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