1 May 2023
We picked our way through the informal settlement, stepping over piles of litter and deep holes in the dirt road formed by the water draining down the street. The shacks lining the street were alive with families socializing and enjoying loud music and food on Sunday evening before work started again.
We were warmly welcomed into the humble home of one of Hlanganai’s children’s guardians/granny, Gogo N. This amazing lady takes care of her six grandchildren, all of whom are under Hlanganani’s care. We chatted to her regarding how her brand-new business enterprise of selling household products had been going…the answer…it was going well (thanks to our team guiding her and teaching her how to do it)…only one bottle of washing liquid was left. Another way for her to ensure she is able to put food on the table and support her grandchildren.
After talking further, we identified that a great need of theirs was that of electricity, if the cost of installing it (R1,000/$55) could be donated then Gogo N. could pay the monthly fees. (A kind and generous donor was happy to pay for the installation; a huge thank you to him for this life-changing gift!). Electricity has brought not only life-changing opportunities and general living conditions to them but also a piece of mind… Gogo N. tragically lost one of her young granddaughters to a house fire years before, when she was trying to make paraffin for her gran, now that Gogo N. has electricity, she does not have to have that fear of the same thing happening to another one of her grandchildren.
Gogo N. is delighted with this new benefit as she highlights that charging phones for her and her family is no longer a problem. She also helps her neighbors with phone charging at a small fee, so as to bring in further income. Most of all, her children can now read and do their schoolwork in the evening and she is determined that they will continue doing well at school. Gogo N. will begin to sell meat to earn an income as soon as she is able to save enough funds to purchase a small chest freezer (any freezer donations are welcomed).
Something we all can take for granted – electricity – has impacted her life, family and that of her neighbors greatly!