Issues with Birth Certificates and ID books

A case was reported to me where children were not going to school because they didn’t have birth certificates, they were staying at home doing nothing whilst other children went to school.  I went to the school and talked with the principal to see if he could help, the children are now at school just like all the other children and their mother is so happy she was singing the praises of Isibani and said that Isibani really did bring the light to their situation.

Sometimes we come across families with missing birth certificates or ID books, this does cause challenges when they want to enroll in school or later in life when they want to find a job.  It is possible to obtain these documents but can mean a few trips to home affairs.  Isibani are able to help by letting our clients know exactly what documents they should take, this saves a lot of wasted trips.

Helping with food parcels and other challenges
Part of my role at Isibani is to help with delivery of food parcels, we deliver to a few farms around the Winterton area feeding those who can’t feed themselves.  Often when visiting with a food parcel we come across other challenges in the household.  We recently found a young mum who has 4 children, she is an orphan and has no ID book.  Without an ID book she cannot claim social grants for her children, she does not have a birth certificate herself and with both parents deceased it becomes more difficult for her to get an ID.
We were able to assist by taking her and her aunt to home affairs where they were interviewed,  the young mum and the aunt are interviewed separately about their family structure and then the answers compared to ensure they were telling the truth and the identity of the young mum can then be confirmed.  After the interviews are successfully completed the ID application can be made.  She is now waiting for her ID book to be issued.
She was very happy to have received help as she has suffered for a long time without an ID book.

We are able to help lots of people with ID books and birth certificates, mostly this just involves giving them information about the process but in some cases we assist further by offering transport assistance and we also follow up on the progress of the application.  This is necessary in extreme cases of poverty or for our disabled or vulnerable clients.

Feeding at the primary school
We have recently started a feeding programme at our local primary school, Celimfundo.  The department of education provides one cooked meal to all children attending school but we know that for some children this may be the only decent meal they have each day.  We are now working with the school and providing a further meal to children as they leave school.  More than this, by being present at the school and meeting the children, we see those who clearly have other social problems, in these cases we can accompany the child home, meet the family and see if there are further areas where we can offer help.
The community are very grateful for the support we are offering with food for their children.
We also deliver meals to people who have health problems and are struggling to look after and feed themselves.  We pre-cook these meals and deliver them to our clients who then just need to warm them up at mealtimes.  Reaching out to these clients is an important part of our work, they need to take their medication with food and when they have no food they tend to default on their medication creating further health problems.  We are able to assist these clients until they get back on their feet.

From Thandi


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