Matsapang is a single (separated) mother of four who has come out of a very abusive relationship and is very ill with T.B. During October 2010 she came to the attention of Siphila Sonke when she had been released from hospital having suffered a collapsed lung from her TB. She was extremely weak, absolutely destitute and forced to leave her marital home with her children.
In the typical spirit of Ubuntu, she was given the use of a two-roomed makeshift shack and managed to piece together some furniture and basic household needs through organizations such as Siphila Sonke.
She had to be taken daily to the Grabouw Community Health Clinic Day Hospital for her wound to be dressed and it continued to need medical attention for another 5 months, with regular visits to hospitals and doctors. Her then 15 year-old son (Tsapang) became the ‘mother’ of the household, doing the washing, tidying up, and seeing that his siblings are dressed, fed and ready for school.
When Matsapang finally received her own Disability Grant so she was able to purchase some new things for her home (a new bed for herself and a nice quilt and a wardrobe as well as some linoleum for the bedroom floor).
She now also receives Child Grants for her four children and so is less dependent on food parcels and regular visiting by the Siphila Sonke team and members of other organizations such as HOPE, Isibindi, Home-based Carers etc. It has been remarkable to see the change in Matsapang, especially now that she knows she can keep and financially care for her children.