Blessed Gérard's Care Centre · AIDS treatment · Hospice · Children's Home
(0:21 – 1:32) Father Gérard:
We are in South Africa, and there we are in the province of kwaZulu/Natal, in Mandeni.
We are helping the people through Blessed Gérard’s Care Centre.
This Blessed Gérard’s Care Centre is a centre of comprehensive care,
- where we run a large inpatient hospice.
- One of our most important programmes is a large AIDS treatment programme.
- We have a Children’s Home in this house.
- We run a clinic for malnourished infants.
- We have a pre-primary school and crèche.
- We have a bursary fund where we help gifted children of poor parents to pay for their education.
- We have a First Aid and Emergency Service.
- We help people who unexpectedly run into some emergency situation.
- And we have a Poor-Sick-Fund which helps poor sick people who need medical treatment and can’t afford it themselves.
(1:33 – 2:21) Wiseman Zulu:
My name is Wiseman Zulu.
My job here: I am a therapeutic counsellor.
A therapeutic counsellor has to go and monitor those patients who are taking medication from us.
So, as they take medication here, they have to go home.
While they are at home they got different problems:
· Some of them just feel isolated.
· Some of them don’t have food.
I have to look after them as they can’t take medication without food.
You have just to bring your heart.
Go in and be a solution in those problems.
(2:27 – 4:08) Dr. Khaya Nzimande:
I’m Khaya Nzimande.
I work here as a doctor in the hospice and also in the HIV Clinic.
Well, people do ask me how do I deal with death and why am I in such a depressing environment?
And I must admit: Initially, before I came here, I also had that impression that if I am going to a hospice I am going to see people dying – you know – what’s the use?
But I have been here now for almost eight years and within the first year I changed the way I looked at hospice care and palliative care in the same sense.
We actually make a big difference in people’s lives, because people who are coming here are people who have been to hospital usually and the hospital has said “We cannot do anything for you” and we don’t have that line (of thinking) in our organisation.
So we know there is always something to do, even if it just means controlling the person’s symptoms and taking away their pain, making sure they are comfortable.
That makes a whole lot of difference in that person’s life, even if they do pass away.
But if they pass away or they die they are comfortable, they are smiling, they don’t have any pain.
It gives us a sense of fulfilment, that at least we made the person comfortable.
And it is a bonus if a person comes in a bed and walks out alive and goes back to the community we feel that, o.k., at least we made a difference in one person’s life.
So it is mostly more about a sense of fulfilment and reward more than a sense of pride.
(4:14 – 5:36) Hayne Clark:
My name is Hayne Clark and I am the Children’s Home manager here at Blessed Gérard’s Care Centre.
In many cases the children that reach us are often AIDS-orphans where their parents have died because of AIDS.
Some of them are very young when they come in.
There will be trauma that the child experiences in the whole environment of losing their parents and they don’t understand why and they don’t quite grasp the concept of HIV and AIDS and what has happened.
So when we bring them in we use our caregivers first of all to mother these children so that they feel accepted.
I feel so so proud when our children who have passed through our hands go out into the world and make something of themselves.
We are not looking for everybody to be a rocket scientist or a statesman, just to be a good upstanding person and then have the ability to say: I made it!
It is not about a job. It’s a vocation and there is no prouder feeling than to see a child that you know you had just a little part in making their lives what they are when they get out there.
(5:39 – 6:00) Father Gérard:
These people have no health insurance and therefore we have to fundraise to pay for their upkeep, to pay for their care, to pay for their treatment.
We have all the wonderful helpers, we have all the buildings and we have all the cars.
All we need is the money to keep the whole thing running and this is why we say:
Please do help us to help!
Blessed Gérard's Care Centre
Blessed Gérard‘s Care Centre
Blessed Gérard Care Centre is a “Non-profit Organisation” and a “Public Benefit Organisation” founded and owned by the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.
It provides a comprehensive system of holistic care in the wider Mandeni area where a quarter of a million people are estimated to live.
A large number of these have to live in poverty.
All its services are rendered free of charge.