Everyone starts here – at the help desk. It is the equivalent to our reception and an important place for clients or anyone else coming to Isibani. The help desk provides information on the services offered at Isibani and staff there will either be able to help directly or refer the client to someone else who can help them further.
The main role of the help desk is to try to solve the problems brought to us by clients coming to the centre. Often people come because they have problems with applications for Identity books (IDs) or birth certificates. The help desk is able to provide relevant information and documents that will be needed by the Department of Home Affairs. Help desk volunteers are also able to follow up on the progress of existing ID book applications, sometimes this involves being left of hold with the department of home affairs for some time and our clients can’t afford the airtime to call themselves.
Some of the people coming to us for assistance with ID books are responsible for a whole family so it is important for them to get an ID in order to be able to apply for social grants.
Moreover, clients come to the help desk to apply for the feeding scheme, Matthew 25, or to ask for emergency handouts of clothes, blankets or kitchen goods in cases where they have lost their home in a fire, for example. Where applications are received for emergency relief (either feeding scheme or other handouts) a form is completed with all the applicant’s details and one of the Isibani home based care team will then visit the client at home to assess their situation more fully.
The centre is open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.