posted May 5, 2014, 6:02 PM by MSC Mission Office Australia
Ten years ago Natalia Ramalakana then 15, her daughter (1) and her two younger sisters Komodso (13) and Mandy (8) were orphaned and found abandoned and starving by Sr Christine Martin. Natalia had buried both her parents in the front garden. They were all supported in the Bakhita Home and subsequently were provided with further education opportunities (FET College) and living allowances.
While completing her Childcare Diploma Natalia, with the assistance of Sr Christine and Ametur, opened a crèche in the original family home in Bolebedu South. Through Sr Christine Natalia was selected as a beneficiary of Humanitarian Projects International (H.P.I) who have funded the construction of a new crèche on the site capable of accommodating up to 75 children. Currently there are up to 40 children using the existing outdoor facility.
Although there is a municipal water supply on-site it is intermittent at best therefore does not provide an adequate supply of potable water for the children and staff. Recently one water tank was installed and connected to the water supply. Upon completion of the building two water tanks were installed on stands in close proximity to the building. A volunteer fitted the guttering to the building and linked them to the tanks to harvest the run-off from the roof. Both tanks will also be connected to the main water supply so they can fill overnight. A number of locals were on hand to gain an understanding of the benefits of the process.
To ensure a guaranteed water supply Savuki Drilling was contracted to drill a bore hole at the crèche site however the first attempt to procure a reasonable flow of water was unsuccessful. The company undertook to drill a new bore-hole but despite several promises they have not returned. They have now advised that they will do the job when next in the area. This may be some months down the track and there will be a further outlay the steel lining and set-up costs.
A further three orphan homes were provided with roof guttering and water tanks as there is no municipal water supply in the local area. In some cases it is quite a trek to the nearest source of potable water and water was being drawn from the local river resulting in one family suffering from gastric problems. The two other families were quite a distance from the nearest supply (2 klms) on quite hilly terrain and experienced serious difficulties in drawing water as one young woman was heavily pregnant and the other suffers from TB and is HIV positive.