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Thandi aims to empower people on farms

Mr Joseph Mokoena is looking after seven grandchildren of whom six do not have birth certificates and do not get grants.

CHARL CILLIERS – Ms Thandi Pooe finds comfort in helping people who live on farms.

Her passion for helping them began when she met them at funerals and at church.

“I see them as courageous people who always try their best to make a living out of nothing.

“When I talk to them, I sense that most are unaware of what is happening in our country,” said Ms Pooe.

“Most of them only have radios, because they do not have electricity and therefore no televisions.”

Ms Pooe grew up on a farm and it was not easy to get information or celebrate holidays or special days with other people.

She said most farm dwellers are not empowered or are uneducated about their human rights and do not have access to clinics.

“When people organise events such as Women’s Day and events aimed at empowering people, they are always held in towns or townships.

“They do not think of taking such events to farms where it is needed most,” said Ms Pooe.

She said during her visits on the farms, she realised there was a high number of women who either suffered abuse or rape and did not know where to go for help.

Ms Pooe helps out at the Community Policing Forum in Charl Cilliers and said a person needs to practice confidentiality in order for them to trust you.

She said helping others does not always mean that you should have money.

“You can still help them by referring them to the relevant people or departments,” said Ms Pooe.

She often approaches the police and social workers for advice.

Ms Pooe feels happy when she is helping a needy family and most of the time hitchhikes to farms, because there is no public transport to farms.

She asked the newspaper to accompany her on a visit to a farm on Thursday, 1 September.

Mr Joseph Mokoena is looking after seven grandchildren of who six do not have birth certificates and do not get grants.

They rely on the pension of their grandfather.

The father of four of the children died and the mother left the children behind.

The family does not know her whereabouts.

The old man’s daughter (42) is mentally unstable and has two children.

When Mr Mokoena was asked where the father of two of his grandchildren were, he said: “The children have two different fathers, one died and the other one is still alive, but both took advantage of the daughter’s mental instability.”

The grandfather has an identity document, but was told by Home Affairs that he should look for the mother of the children.

One of his granddaughters (22) completed matric, but is currently at home because she does not have the money to go and look for a job.

“All my money is used for buying food and buying my grandchildren school clothes and stationery,” said the grandfather who further mentioned that his wish is to see his granddaughter getting employed so that she can help the family and also look after her mentally challenged mother.

Ms Pooe urged the community not to throw away or burn their old clothes, but rather to contact her so that she can take them to the needy children.

She also pleaded with organisations or businesses who arrange functions for children, not to forget the children living on farms.

Those who would like to assist the family, can contact Swabiseng at 079 366 7828 or Ms Pooe at 071 019 5483.

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