Our dedicated social workers went to the field yesterday to deliver much needed food parcels to some of our most needy patients in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lock-down restrictions, which have made many people extremely desperate for even their most basic essentials. Our team was very touched by all of the patients, but one family in particular really highlighted how dire the situation is for some people, and just how important the work we do is – both the clinical palliative care and the social support we provide.
We supported this family when their father was enrolled in our programme for palliative care as he had advanced HIV/AIDS. His three children were enrolled in our School Fee Programme and unfortunately, their father passed away due to his illness leaving his wife and children behind. This family was left in a very bad situation when the lock-down hit – the children’s’ mother and grandmother had left to go to a different village for the burial of someone close to them, leaving her children behind at their home when the lock-down restrictions were put into place. This means that these three children have been left completely alone while their mother and grandmother are stuck in a village far away from them with no way to get back since March!
The children are too young to get ‘real’ jobs to take care of themselves, so they have been relying on the support of well-wishers in their village for food (many of whom are struggling to feed themselves at the moment). The children have also been trying to do
small jobs in return for a meal.
Yesterday, when the team got to their house and asked them
what they were eating, they brought out a jackfruit that had been cut in half and said that they would share half yesterday, and keep the other half for today just so that they’d have something to eat! This situation is exactly why we need, and are so grateful for, the tremendous support from all of our donors, near and far.
This family is so poor, even with the mother’s help, that they do not even have mattresses or bedding to sleep on. Our team was able to leave 10kg of Posho (maize flour), 5kgs of beans, 1kg of sugar and a bar of soap for each of these poor stranded children so that they have something to eat until their mother can get back to them. The eldest boy (who is only 15 years old) was so grateful that he couldn’t help but kneel in the mud, left after heavy rains in the area, in thanks for the support. THANK YOU as always to everyone who supports us and allows us to continue this incredibly important work.
* we have not used any images of the three children as they are too young to consent to the use of their photos on social media and their mother is not around to give it on their behalf.