A piece of South Africa as no tourist knows it - 1993

"Another great need is in the nursing sector: we have so few hospitals with so few beds that many sick people often have to be discharged after a short time before they are actually healthy. That is why we want to do something for those who are sent home from hospital but cannot be cared for by their relatives, because some do not have the necessary nursing skills. Moreover, it happens often enough that sick people are simply abandoned and have to go home because they would die anyway. Often the families are not able to care for them sufficiently. So, as another project, we decided to build a kind of hospice where we take care of those who don't get the right care either at home or in hospital because they are not sick enough for the hospital but too sick for the families."

Maria from Sundumbili township died in the summer of 1992 simply due to neglect. She was not acutely ill, so there was no bed for her in the hospital, but her relatives, two frail old women, could not provide the care she needed. She died of malnutrition and a bad wound infection because she had laid down heavily. Cases like Maria's are unfortunately not exceptional. The Brotherhood is therefore planning to build a care centre for needy sick people who cannot be cared for in the hospital any more than at home.

The care centre is intended to fulfil a twofold task, firstly, to enable relatives to care for the sick and infirm themselves through health and nursing courses, and secondly, to provide an extended home for those who would otherwise be neglected.

Our "home" or "hospice" project still needs much preparation. - 5 May 1993

We are currently in negotiations with the Ministry of Health to clarify the preliminary legal issues.