New home for disabled Gugulethu mother

Generous response to GroundUp’s report on Cynthia Ntunje’s plight

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Photo of woman in dormitory
Cynthias Ntunje has found a new home with the Missionaries of Charity in Khayelitsha. Photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana

After suffering in a tiny shack, with not enough food and no electricity, disabled Cynthia Ntunje, has found a new home with Catholic nuns in Khayelitsha. The thing she is most grateful for, she says, is getting a meal everyday.

GroundUp reported last month how Ntunje, who has diabetes and is partially blind, lived in a cold, smelly and mouldy shack, with clothes scattered on the wet floor and a loose door, in Europe informal settlement in Gugulethu. The day GroundUp visited her, her meals consisted of burned leftover porridge scraped from the bottom of a pot.

Several readers and the Catholic Welfare Development (CWD) centre in Khayelitsha contacted GroundUp to offer help for Cynthia. CWD has since found her space in the Missionaries of Charity Mother Teresa home in Khayelitsha, where she is staying free of charge.

“We are so well taken care of here. We don’t lift a finger. Everything is done for us. I get food everyday, and I get medication for my diabetes. It’s still difficult to see because my vision is fuzzy but apart from that I am doing well. I miss my son but I am told that he will be brought soon to see me, so I am happy,” said Ntunje.

The home, run by nuns, is a tranquil establishment behind a Catholic church. Walking in the home, GroundUp was greeted by different people, some with disabilities, who are housed there.

CWD social worker Florence Ntshotsho said Ntunje was moved to the home on 24 August.

She said it had been “heartbreaking” to visit her in her shack in Europe informal settlement. “We are happy that she has been placed here at the home. She is doing well, and she is getting her medication.”

Ntunje has never applied for a disability grant. She lost her ID document in a fire and has never managed to make the application. The R350 child support grant she gets for her young son goes to the family who are looking after him.

Ntshotsho said CWD was focusing on applying for a foster care grant for the family.

GroundUp and News24 readers donated R5,500 to Ntunje as well as food. Ntshotsho said the money would be passed on to her son’s caregivers to supplement the R350 child grant.

TOPICS:  Disability Rights Housing

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