Home Health Care Visits
Written by Suzanne Manual
Home health care visits fill our last morning at Missionvale Care Center. Home visits can be difficult for those not familiar with this level of poverty, but important in understanding Missionvale’s tremendous challenges.
And so, we walk with the nurses to check on those that are not able to walk to the clinic.
On our walk, we see ladies doing wash.
The people of Missionvale much stand in line to fetch water everyday for drinking, cooking and bathing. There are only 16 water taps for over 100,000 residents in the Missionvale township.
Then we come across “The Tree”, where Sister Ethel began her journey 25 years ago. Sister Ethel used the shade of this tree as a gathering place to teach children their abc’s and provide support and counsel for adults before there were any buildings or other resources. She started this Care Center from nothing and has now created a place where the people of Missionvale can find hope, love, support and learn how to make a better life for themselves.
During one home visit we meet Gloria. The frail, elderly lady is cleaning other shanty houses and doing their laundry. She is paid with a plate of food. Gloria’s small house is clean and tidy. The walls are lined with newspaper to keep the wind out. She cooks and keeps warm by building a small fire inside. We are shocked and decide we cannot leave until we help this tiny woman. Gloria is 60 years old.
We ask nursing supervisor, Esterlene to provide a cook stove, pots, blankets and food for Gloria. We ask her to allow our team to take these to Gloria.
Gloria holds a stove just like the ones the Rotary club raised money for in the past, and has new pots, extra food parcels and 4 new blankets! Jill, Carol & Suzanne know why they came to Missionvale…..Gloria was our “Starfish”.