VOC News joined Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz at the GH Starck Centre for the Aged in Hanover Park to do a blanket drive as part of the 67-minute initiative for Mandela Day. Fritz and a team from the Department of Social Development (DSD) spent their hour serving and interacting with the residents of the centre. The centre was abuzz with activity as volunteers assisted with the outreach, while the elderly residents sang old songs with vigour and enthusiasm.
MEC Fritz said the blankets were collected by the department’s staff over the past two weeks.
“We’re just saying thanks for the work they have done in the past generation. We now have to support and care for them and give them the human dignity that they deserve,” he said.
The centre was filled with helping hands as many others -along with the DSD – contributed their time and effort to assist the elderly. Residents of GH Starck were delighted about the donations they had received from all the visitors, smiling at every person that walked by.
Myrtle Christian, a resident, expressed her gratitude and said more appreciation should be shown to senior citizens.
“If you come more often, the people will get the feel for you and you for them. And then you will know exactly what’s happening. This is wonderful, because this is a frail-care home and it’s we have people like Minister Fritz that comes along and visits us. It’s a big thing in most of the old people’s lives.”
Apart from it being Nelson Mandela Day, there was another special occasion being celebrated among the gathering. Resident Dina Adonis turned 96 years old, sharing a birthday with the late Nelson Mandela. Visitors happily wished her as they served at her table. Adonis revealed her feelings on sharing a birthday with Madiba and conveyed her message to the youth.
“It’s a real honour. If I could have spoken to Mr. Mandela, I would’ve told him what a really good man he was and how, after everything that has happened to him, he still managed to forgive. And to the younger generation, I advise you to honour your parents, and your days shall be good,” she said. VOC (Thaaqib Daniels)