Written by St Lucia intern, Abby Murphy
In St Lucia, in July, we secured a new family for our Family Empowerment project. Family empowerment consists of identifying vulnerable families within the community we work with, assessing and creating long and short term goals to structure weekly visits.
The Khumalo family were identified by volunteers on our Medical project, they were visiting Khansile the mother of the family on physio and home assistance visits as she suffers from motor neurone disease, meaning she is now wheelchair bound. This disease is extremely rare and there is no known cure or treatment. As a widow her three children take full time care of her leaving little time for their own lives and education.
Sphmandla the oldest son is twenty five years old and working temporary jobs, we hope with regular visits he will continue to come out of his shell. Sanele the second born son is twenty years old and finishing grade twelve at school, he has big dreams for his future and is always a hit with volunteers because of his friendly and helpful nature. Then there is Slindile the last born daughter of sixteen years, she is still in primary school due to starting school late and repeating grades when caring for her mother full time. We hope to spend a lot of time bonding with Slindile, so we are able to fully support her to finish school.
The focus for this family includes:
- Creating a united family bond, so the family is all working equally together to care for each other.
- Helping Slinidile with educational support, practicing English and focusing on school work.
- Assisting Sanele with goal setting, his future career and CV building.
- Preparing Sphmandla for jobs by creating a CV and helping him to reach out for interviews.
- Work on home improvements.
- Visit weekly to collect water and assist the young family with chores so they have more time for school work.
- Give a clothes and blanket donation.
- Health check for Khansile.
What we have achieve:
- Fundraising for a new wheelchair for Khansile
- Building a garden to grow a more nutritional and consistence food source
We hope with the support of weekly visits we are able to empower them to help themselves to make positive changes. This young family, although having some issues against them, are always full of happiness and joy. Khansile loves to watch volunteers and her children working together to plant vegetables in her garden.