Smiles galore as senior citizens receive donation

Sinovuyo Old Age Group co-ordinator Patricia Ophile with its members Christina Ndlula, Siwethe Rowlen and Agnes Magoda show Vukani some of the things they produce.

Life for the members of Sinovuyo Old Age Group in Khayelitsha was made a bit easier – and a bit more comfortable-when a betting company donated pots, tables, sewing machines and microwaves to the organisation on Friday September 15.

The senior citizens could not contain their excitement at the handover.

Co-ordinator of the organisation, Patricia Ophile, said before they had one sewing machine, but now they were grateful that they had received two more machines, which would enable them to increase their production of sewn items.

She said the organisation continuously sought sponsorship because their needs were “endless”.

Ms Ophile said the organisation was started two years ago after they discovered that many senior citizens were being neglected by their grandchildren during the day.

She said the group offered the senior citizens an opportunity to unwind and talk to each other about life’s challenges. Ms Ophile said the organisation equips its members with life skills, allowing them to feel they could still do something with their lives.

She said that the harsh reality was that senior citizens were being victimised and abused by the very same people who were supposed to protect them.

Ms Ophile said when the organisation was started, it had only 15 members but now they had 50-and were calling on more senior citizens to join the organisation.

Ms Ophile said nurses who visited them regular and delivered some of the members’ chronic medication.

She highlighted funding as the group’s main challenge, adding that they often took from their own pockets to cover the daily operation of the organisation.

“We cook for the senior citizens every day-from breakfast to supper. We are pleased about the donation.

“Our grannies pay R50 on a monthly basis to cover the needs of the organisation and when people join us, we ask them a joining fee of R70,” she said.

Corporate Social Investment (CSI) officer of Hollywoodbets, Zolisa Diki, said it was part of their mandate to plough back into the community. Ms Diki said senior citizens were often not taken care of and they wanted to bring smiles to their faces. She said they have discovered that the organisation had a number of needs and they would try to help where they could.

Senior citizen Christina Dlula said she was happy for the donation and said the gesture showed that there were still people out there who cared about them.

She said she hoped other people would extend a helping hand as well.