South Africa: Small acts bring hope
- by Ashleigh Hooker
- July 27, 2022
Timion staff members said their hearts broke when they visited 19-year-old Simamkele and her family late last year in their small town in Eastern Cape Province. “Living in a shack that leaks, the floor muddy, beds wet, no electricity,” said Nolubabalo Nofemele from Timion Disability Counselling and Community Development. “Our hearts were moved to take action.”
Simamkele has cerebral palsy and has lived with her grandmother and aunt since the death of her mother a few years ago. When she turned 18, her disability support grant needed renewing but she had lost her ID documents and was unable to apply for a new grant without them. She needed to go to the Home Affairs Office to apply for new papers, but getting Simamkele there in a wheelchair was difficult. Her family had no car, and no money for a taxi or the application fee for the new document.
After learning of the family’s difficulties, staff from Timion, Anglican Aid’s partner on the ground, stepped in to help. They picked Simamkale up and drove her to the Home Affairs office by 7am to join the already long queue. The many people waiting had compassion on Simamkale and her family, allowing them to move along quickly. Timion funded the renewal of the identity documents and by lunchtime the family were home, having successfully lodged the application.
The help Simamkele’s family received from Timion made a big impact. They said: “We have been feeling really at a loss and not knowing what to do…. Your coming, listening to our hearts and even helping us with the application process has shown us that God hears. You personally taking us there and waiting with us meant a lot . . . When Simamkele’s grant gets approved, maybe we can find a better place to live. We are hopeful, and that’s something that has changed, and it makes a big difference in the way we move forward from now on. Thank you for being there for us.”
- Simamkele’s family as they continue with their disability grant application.
- safety, energy and wisdom for Timion staff as they share God’s love with families caring for children with disabilities.
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