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Company reaches out to care centre


More than 40 beneficiaries at Bophelong Care Centre were spoiled after V3 Consulting Engineers donated winter supplies, tasty eats and fruit and spent the day in their company.

V3 Consulting Engineers regional manager Porch Sekukune hands over gift parcels to residents of Bophelong Care Centre in West End. Picture: Soraya Crowie

MORE than 40 beneficiaries at Bophelong Care Centre were spoiled when V3 Consulting Engineers donated winter supplies, tasty eats and fruit and spent the day in their company.

Employees from the company said they had decided to reach out to those who the community overlooks and sometimes even forgets about.

The project manager of V3, Mbali Khumalo, said they have witnessed the challenges experienced by communities.

“We are a company that conducts many projects in the community. We have been building RDP homes and we have seen the challenges that some of the communities where we are working are experiencing,” said Khumalo.

“Although we are constructing buildings, the aim is to improve the living conditions of people. We had the same aim in mind when we identified Bophelong Care Centre as the beneficiary of our outreach project.

“This centre houses many mentally challenged people of different ages who are pushed aside by the public and even by their family members and loved ones. Many people ostracise our fellow human beings who are mentally disabled. Many of us forget that even those who are disabled are also human and have feelings. Just like the majority of us, whom we refer to as ’normal’, they also are in need of company and just someone to share their time with,” added Khumalo.

The regional manager of V3, Porsch Sekhukhune, said that this was also a way to enhance the spirit of giving in the company.

“Those of us who are in a more comfortable position need to reach out and help those who might not be in such a position as us. We also have to build more awareness about the conditions and needs of the elderly, especially those who are mentally challenged,” said Sekhukhune.

“As youth we often forget that we will also one day be elderly. It would be heartbreaking to be staying in an institution while your family forgets about you and carries on with their lives. There are many programmes to uplift the youth, but we often forget our older community members.”

The owner of the centre, Mary Sebogo, said they were elated by the donation and the visit.

“We have many residents at the centre who never get visitors. Some people just bring their elderly family members to the centre and forget about them. It is sad to observe how they have to go for months without any visitors. It brings joy to them when they receive a visitor. These visits are not only about the gifts, but it also enhances the mental state of the beneficiaries. Being surrounded and feeling loved revives everyone’s soul,” she said.

Sebogo, who is a retired nurse, said that many people need to be taught how to treat people who are mentally disabled.

“Those who are disabled are also human, they are people just like the rest of us. I started the centre after one of the patients I treated when I was still working was left abandoned at the hospital. I identified that there is a need for carers when I was still employed as a nurse.

“Many mentally disabled people also do not get proper care and love from their loved ones at home and centres such as these help them to get proper care and understanding. We, however, need people to understand the residents of the centre also need to feel like they are loved and belong.”

Mary Sebogo, the owner of Bophelong Care Centre, was grateful for the attention her residents received as they are often forgotten by family and loved ones. Picture: Soraya Crowie

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