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Blankets cover KwaMashu

The Industrial Development Corporation’s corporate social investment department handed out more blankets to needy communities in KwaMashu, in northern Durban, on Thursday, 26 July.

Blankets were handed out at the KwaMashu Christian Care Society (KCCS), which was a hive of activity, packed with people of all ages, from young children to the elderly.

For the handover, some of the elderly gathered in a room, where they praised the IDC for its help and clapped, ululated and sang songs of joy. As it happened, the Robin Hood Foundation was there on the same day, handing out 400 very large food parcels. “It’s like Christmas and New Year together,” remarked one of the matrons.

The KCCS plays an important and effective role in the community. It began way back in 1979, driven by Professor Sam Ross of the University of Natal. He had been visiting KwaMashu to give medical help to residents, but he found that many of them came to him in a poor state, dirty and in need of some basic care. Going from house to house where the help was needed proved ineffective, so Ross suggested that a community centre needed to be built.

Thanks to support from Rotary International and Rotary Club of Berea, Durban, the first building, able to house 30 people, was built. Since then, many more charities have assisted the KCCS – their names are to be found on a board in the entrance to the original building – helping it to grow and to provide excellent service to those in need.

Ross, no longer a young man, is still involved with the KCCS, of which he is an honorary life president. Back when he helped start the society, university students assisted him. Nowadays, nursing students serve at the KCCS as part of their practical training.

The centre’s current capacity is 150 people, but that will rise to 220 people when a building currently under construction is finished and upgrades to existing buildings are completed. There is a day care section for children and another day care section for the elderly, where they get to take part in group and individual activities, or even simply sit and watch television.

A kitchen serves meals to the patients and the nurses, and there is a community outreach programme that does much more. It provides meals to people on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 16 centres in KwaMashu. It is truly the kind of organisation upon which a community is built.

With people like these doing the work they do, South Africa has every chance of improving itself, day by day.

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