“REINTEGRATION FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING”
“Thube” (24) took a decision to search for herself a form of shelter that will enable her to improve her and her baby boy’s life and being independent in doing so. She had managed to save up some money from begging on the traffic lights, found an odd job in a local salon, which didn’t last that long but was able to go forth in her plan. A major motivation that turned around her circumstance was a nagging worry about her young boy who was now of school going age but while both were on the streets, this reality to see her baby boy go to school was very slim.
Although quite late in the year (November 2018) she came forth with the above plan and looked determined in making it happen. It was at the beginning of 2019 in February where she had saved enough money to rent a corrugated iron one room shack in a nearby informal settlement called Mayville, also hoping to find a school for her little boy.
The challenges encountered early on by the year end in 2018 related to the little boy not having a birth certificate, which since he was at that point almost 6 years, a very lengthy process needed to be followed for the Home Affairs verification processes. This caused delays of up to 6 months which it was too late for 2019 school enrollment.
With uMthombo’s assistance, the unabridged birth certificate was received in June and ready for 2020 school enrollment. “Thube” has also been able to access her Child Support Grant and combined with the money she receives from begging is able to live and put food on the table for herself and child.
Our journey with “Thube” started in 2015 April, not being regular on her attendance and often disappearing for prolonged period of times. In 2018 from the beginning of the year she became consistence bringing her baby boy along at uMthombo. The space provided at the Centre gave an opportunity for her to focus on herself for a little while, through the psychosocial life skills sessions, while the little boy was given attention through fun and play by one of our child & youth care worker.
Her background from a mother who lives on the streets, an abusive extended family and her having to live with a mild mental condition made it difficult to find solace in any of the immediate family or community where she comes from.
“Thube” is still currently unemployed and she still begs at the traffic lights to get some money and yet still maintains the routine of going back to her shack to be in a safe environment with her baby boy.
As we continue to engage with “Thube”, providing psychosocial support and assisting with nutritional needs from time to time we get inspired by her tenacity and the ability to go beyond her needs. Lately in our interaction with her we discovered that she has taken a new young women, who has just been exposed to street life for safety, in her corrugated iron one room shelter.
…..Redefining reintegration independently work in progress…..