Flashback: The Ark of Love Finish it Gig of August 2011
Posted on 27 Jan 2012 / Tags: none
On October 22nd, 2011 Cheesekids headed back to Ark of Love in Katlehong Township, Ekurhuleni.
This home is run by Mama Thobeka, an incredibly selfless woman who realized that many of the senior citizens in her community were being abandoned by their families. Mama Thobeka and her staff take in the elderly and fragile (many of whom are disabled and wheel chair bound), and care for them, until such time that social workers are able to find a proper home or institution for them to be permanently housed at. Ark of love was one of the Cheesekids Mandela Day in proud partnership with Old Mutual beneficiaries. Whilst quite a lot of ground was covered at the CKMD event, it became quite apparent that we would need to return on another date, to complete what we had started. This home became part of our Women's Month, "Finish It" Campaign.
Our mission upon our return was to complete the vegetable garden that we had previously started planting; the men's dormitories were in desperate need if a lick of paint and the other rooms which were previously painted required a touch ups. Though only a handful of volunteers showed up on this day, it was absolutely incredible to see how eager they all were to complete the tasks at hand.
A timely contribution by African Bank allowed to us to plant yet another vegetable garden which consisted of carrots, beetroot, cabbage, spinach and onions, but we were also able to purchase painting materials for the men’s dormitories as well as purchase some of the items which Mama Thobeka had included in the Ark of Love wish list (such as non-perishable food items, utensils, curtain hooks and plates). It also enabled us to hire people who returned at a later stage, to repair the kitchen ceiling, paint the kitchen, install a donated stove as well as erect a temporary fence, to prevent stray dogs from helping themselves to the growing vegetables.
The appreciation and excitement expressed by a very emotional Mama Thobeka got all those present on the day choked up.
The following was said by Mama Thobeka in a thank you letter: “ … on behalf of the beneficiaries and management thank you very much for making this place a clean and lively place for older persons. You saved us a lot…you have done a costly operation as if you know our marginal resources we operate from. You are so important to us. Thank you very much, may God bless you all, bring prosperity and protect your families. Thank you”