KWEZANA - ONE OF THE OLDER VILLAGES
This is Winnie Maneli standing outside the old age day care center where our meetings were held. The building is a house that is available for the village's use, as its owner is living in Cape Town and is currently not using it.
Posted on the wall where we met is the weekly menu - the government does provide a monthly stipend to the facility to pay for the 'volunteers' and to buy food with whatever is left over. The villagers also supply extra food - particularly those who have family members using the facility.
KWEZANA VILLAGE HOME GARDEN COMMITTEE
The Kwezana Home Garden Committe has 46 members, and is one of the older groups with an average age of the head of the 46 families is 66. The meetings we had were held in the old age day care facility shown to the left.
The Convener of the committee is not listed as a committee member - so I'll update this when I get a confirmation from Winnie. The secretary is Gladys Gugwini - she is a 58-year old widow who heads a household of 8, including 3 children/grandchildren. The committee also lists an "assistant secretary" - Phila Thsaivithi - a 70-year old widow who lives alone. The treasurer is Nomvume Mahlangabeza, a 71-year old widow heading a family of 3.
11% of the familes report a member who has HIV/AIDS, and there are 13 orphaned grandchildren being cared for by their grannies. I suspect both numbers are lower than what really is the case.
Click HERE to see Gladys letter of thanks from our recent visit.
In 2000, MATE-SAP started a poultry project, and in 2005 Heifer International - South Africa followed this up with a goat project for 23 families. Above is the only family we've met so far who still has goats from that project [many goats died and the project failed]. The widow shown in this picture is standing at the edge of her garden - her home is in the background and the goat pens are on her right. She shared that the goats are what helped her secure an education for her daughter - a good follow up to the "Beatrice's Goat" story.
This is one of the best gardens we saw in the village - and this elderly man should be very proud. Especially so, since he also hand-made the netwire that surrounds his garden. He does it on a manual template, and he'd like to get better equipment and a supply of wire to develop a small business.