Written by: Admin_SheEvo
My name is Idah November, and my friends affectionately call me Manana. I am a 45-year-old resident of Hoopstad in Tikwana Township.
Like many of you would know, living in a Township is extremely hard. These hardships forced me to take control of my life and well-being. I did so by selling small items as a vendor within my community and its surroundings. As the days went by, my determination grew, motivating me to extend my hand to other women in the community. Despite their financial and marital struggles, I encouraged them to envision a brighter future and to pursue their paths towards self-sufficiency. But this was only the beginning.
Eventually, we discovered a way to source clothing for resale from Gauteng, which yielded a modest profit. At one point, I even sold items like tripe and chickens, and later, I established a pap and braai (barbecue) shop in our town.
Throughout my positive and challenging experiences, my guiding principle has remained unwavering: to empower fellow women to transcend limitations. I firmly believed in the boundless strength that unity among women could nurture, enabling us to collectively overcome hardships and emerge stronger than ever.
In the year 2000, before I became a mother and married, a few women from the community and I established an organization called Reahula Community Catering Project Organization. Initially, we had many members, but some secured jobs, leaving us with only seven members. We officially registered the organization as a close cooperation and approached the Department of Social Development for funding. We acquired tents, chairs, tables, and other catering equipment with the funds. Over time, unfortunately, some members passed away or found employment, leaving me as the sole remaining member. Determined to carry on, I invested in equipment and hired four gentlemen to set up tents for funerals, parties, and weddings.
Recently, I conceived the idea of establishing a disability daycare centre. Seeking guidance, I returned to the Department of Social Development, where I received invaluable assistance on how to initiate the centre. Empowered with knowledge, I recruited three women to collaborate with me, and we registered the organization as Blessing’s Disability Daycare. The centre has been operational for a while now, and we are optimistic about the positive impact it will have on those in need.
The primary goal of our centre is to show children with disabilities that they are cherished and cared for, regardless of their conditions. By interacting with others like them, they come to understand that they are not alone in their unique needs and gradually learn to embrace themselves. Furthermore, the centre supports parents who might otherwise be confined to their homes, caring for their disabled children and limiting their employment prospects. Our aim is to provide a safe and joyful environment where children can spend their days while their parents work, much like any other child who attends school.
As our organization is still in its early stages, I humbly seek any form of community or external donations to aid our work with disabled children. Currently, some community members contribute cabbage and salt here and there, which helps us get by with basic necessities. Often, I find myself having to share groceries from my own home to ensure the children have enough to eat. Additionally, we are in search of volunteers who can guide us in providing effective care and resources for the children. While we lack comprehensive training, we do our utmost to engage the children and meet their basic needs to the best of our ability.
Your support would greatly contribute to fulfilling the children’s aspirations, providing them with an environment conducive to growth and learning.