Providing weekly health screenings for pre-schoolers

We are grateful to continue our ongoing partnership with SHAWCO Health, who runs a weekly clinic at our Wellness Centre in Khayelitsha.

Each week, a community preschool is selected to undergo health screenings on a rotational basis. The children are brought to our Wellness Centre and under close professorial supervision, fifth-year medical students examine the children on-site.

For any referred cases, Ikamva Labantu ensures thorough follow-up, with the assistance of the preschool principal. Our statistical analyses indicate high numbers of immunisation and deworming defaulters, referrals and necessary medication interventions.

This process is beneficial to those who may not have otherwise sought medical advice, be it preventative or reactive, while also giving the students an opportunity to gain practical experience.

Giving the gift of sight

Our Health team strives to deliver cost-effective services to those in need.

We were touched to receive these two letters; one from a 14-year-old boy by the name of Chulumanco, and the other from his mother, Pumla.

Chulumanco had been struggling at school as a result of his poor eyesight. Due to a medical condition, even prescription glasses would not help him – one doctor even told Chulumanco that he would die with this problem.

Pumla was determined to help her son, but she knew that doctors’ appointments and treatment would be unaffordable.

She wrote to us and brought Chulumanco for an eye screening.

The solution was simple – contact lenses.

Ikamva Labantu provided Chulumanco with the funds for prescription lenses and taught him how to manage them. Now, he can see his books properly and can thrive at school.

Thank you Chulumanco and Pumla for taking the time to write to us.
We are constantly encouraged by the quiet voices that humbly remind us of the difference that we can make to someone’s daily life.

CareUp: Using smartphones to aid ECD implementation

We are excited to take part in the pilot phase of a new mobile app that will assist parents, caregivers and practitioners with practical implementation of Early Childhood Development tools.

The app, CareUp, provides ideas for educational activities for children. Throughout the week, users will receive messages that guide them through the activity for the day. The app also offers educational resources, inspiration and weekly summaries, making it easy to keep our children actively engaged through structured playtime.

Our practitioners were introduced to CareUp this week and each pre-school in the pilot phase received a smartphone with which to access the app.

Today, parents of the participating pre-schools will also receive an introduction to CareUp.
We look forward to the new opportunities that this app will bring!

CareUp was developed by The Reach Trust supported by the Western Cape Department of Social Development (WCDSD), and funded by the Innovation Edge.

Farewell to an Ikamva hero

Last week, we held a farewell party for Ma Pumla Ndaba and celebrated the great impact that she has had at Ikamva Labantu over the past 22 years.

Pumla’s own mother was a co-founder of our Noluthando 1 senior club, and Pumla herself has been involved in Ikamva since the 90s. She started as a volunteer at the club, teaching sewing and working alongside Ma Tutu as a coordinator.

Pumla has been part of much significant work for Ikamva and for seniors in various communities, including the development of the Older Persons Act.

Aside from her commitments to Ikamva, Pumla is an active leader in her church and a devoted mother and grandmother. She has lectured UCT and Stellenbosch students and is part of the University of the 3rd Age. Admirably, Pumla is ever-committed to her community, a member of the SA Older Persons Forum and a great support to seniors with little or no family.

Ikamva Labantu’s senior programme is all about active ageing. Although Pumla’s formal working life has come to a close, we are not saying goodbye as we know that she will continue to be a part of the Ikamva family for many years to come – a true embodiment of Ikamva’s values.

We feel privileged to have had a woman of such stature and worth play such a significant role in our organisation and would like to thank Pumla for all she has done.

Pumla, you are our hero and an amazing ambassador for Ikamva Labantu.

Uniting a Common Thread for Mandela Day 2016

Every year, South Africans honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy by spending 67 minutes giving back and connecting with others. This year, Relate Bracelets’ #my67beads campaign aims to take that thread further, and bring us all closer together.

Yesterday, Relate Bracelets unveiled their #my67beads artwork created by the Lalela Project at the V & A Waterfront, ahead of Mandela Day.

Relate invited individuals to thread 67 beads each. Each thread was then joined together to create one long, united thread. This united thread was transformed into an artwork installation at the V&A Waterfront ahead of Mandela Day.

Members from our various Seniors Clubs were there, representing the heart of Ikamva Labantu and demonstrating their beading skills for all to see.

Often our Gogos are the breadwinners of the family, needing to provide for several grandchildren. The income that they earn from beading for Relate Bracelets goes a long way in supplementing their monthly pension and ensuring that there is always food on the table.

Ikamva Labantu has 19 Seniors’ Clubs, where elderly citizens can take part in beading and other activities, giving them a space to be active and social every day.

Thank you Relate Bracelets for giving our Seniors the opportunity to earn a stable income, and thank you to all of our Gogos who continue to form the backbone of our nation.