care home

The care home looks after the most vulnerable. Image via Adobe Stock

Care home in Alexandra takes in highest risk community members

The care home, founded by an 89-year-old community member, accommodates people with the highest risk of contracting COVID-19.

care home

The care home looks after the most vulnerable. Image via Adobe Stock

The care home in Alexandra township was founded by an 89-year-old woman and accommodates elderly people with the highest risk of COVID-19 — people with co-morbidities and low immune systems.

It has been a four-decade journey for this Good Samaritan who has cared for thousands of Alexandra residents during her lifetime.

More about the care home

The care home is called Itlhokomeleng and was founded in 1978 by Dr Marjorie Manganye, who, at 89, is known as “The Mother Theresa of Alex”.

Manganye, together with a group of concerned women started the project to assist the aged and needy in Alexandra. At Itlhokomeleng, which means “Help yourselves”, Manganye now cares for scores of elderly people, although she herself is older than some of the charges.

There are over ninety people in the home with 60% in the frail care unit.

The home also admits disabled people, regardless of age and runs a feeding programme for approximately 180 people in the community.

Mama Marj, as Manganye is affectionately called, has been caring for the Alexandra community for over four decades with her age-defying energy and caring attitude endearing her to thousands of Alexandra residents.

In 2017 Wits University bestowed an honorary doctorate on Marjorie Manganye for her selfless, lifelong dedication and service to the ill, frail and elderly.

Funding desperately needed

Due to the overwhelming amount of money it costs to run the care home, kind-hearted sportsmen and women raised funds for the home and presented the money this past week.

These sportsmen and women identify and then assist needy communities who have not received the COVID-19 support they so desperately require.

The care centre received a donation from the leading COVID-19-orientated NGO, Right to Care, in partnership with needs-matched Insurer, BrightRock and their captains, Dan Nicholl, OG Molefe and Nicholas Goliath.

The team delivered critical food parcels and masks during the week to the Itlhokomeleng Association for the Aged and Disabled in Alexandra township, as part of the BrightRock Battle of the Sports Challenge.

The Right to Care CEO, Professor Ian Sanne, whose organisation has been very involved in providing support to old age homes and older people across the country, stresses that as the group with the highest risk, co-morbidities and lowest immune systems, priority needs to be given to this aged population.

“We have provided support to over 3,000 aged people in care facilities already, with plans to scale up,” he said.

During the week, Soccer Star, Matthew Booth joined the handover and spoke about his personal experience.

“Seeing the strength of Manganye and the amazing work she is doing makes our whole challenge so worthwhile,” he said.

He also congratulated the BrightRock Captains who, in support of their favourite rugby, soccer, cricket and running legends, have already undertaken the gruelling 200km race against time in the arid Verneukpan in the Northern Cape, and have also all participated in their own personal #battleofthesports challenges to raise funds for the challenge.

Nicholas Goliath will be the last captain to complete his personal challenge this coming weekend and collectively all funds will go to Right to Care who will match the donation rand for rand.

The BrightRock founder, Sean Hanlon, said, “We are so proud to be able to make a contribution, particularly to a home like Itlhokomeleng which cares for the most vulnerable in Alexandra. The BrightRock Battle of the Sports Challenge is a fitting way to emphasise the teamwork, passion and commitment, as well as the mental, emotional, and physical fortitude required to care for the most vulnerable in our community and we are thrilled to partner with this worthwhile initiative,” he concludes.