Masisizane Service Centre is a Daycare for Pensioners (old aged) as well as orphans. First established in the 1955, 58 years ago, situated in the township of Inanda (4). The Centre is among very long-serving centers in and around Durban. With its excellence in the community, Masisizane looks after various Pensioners and orphans from various backgrounds. Its principal motive for such is to give the old aged people self-confident, self-esteem and the feeling of belonging in the community. Here pensioners are given a life-time opportunity of doing what first amuses them, they are taught various skills, and tones of hand work. They try by all means not to use the modern, sophisticated technologies while working or in completing various activities. Thus, they use their hands and brains. Reason being, they, according to Mrs. Bophela, the Founder, encourage activeness in elder people, being able to use their hands without the assistance of technologies they might not have them back at their homes.
To reminisce, Masisizane Service Centre became a vision of Mrs. Bophela way back while she was still working as a Nurse at the McCord Hospital, where she tirelessly worked for 35 year, before retiring. Her vision has always been to change the community that she lives in. So one day on her way to work, as usual, she saw pensioners being seated in the cold, during the harsh weather of June and July (winter), while waiting for their grants. Seeing such havoc, her lifetime vision then arose. Masisizane Service Centre was established to help those poor pensioners to; at least get a shelter to wait in while waiting for their Government grant, instead of helplessly sitting in the cold of the winter’s harsh weather. And she’d provide them with tea to warm them up while waiting for their grants, for at some point, the grant payment would (used to) take place at the premises of Masisizane Service Centre.
The term Masisizane simple means “Let’s help one another/ let’s help each other,” which was the/is the prophecy of Mrs. Bophela. And yes, people do get help here, not only pensioners and orphans, but the entire community of Inanda and beyond. Help is what you see and get in the centre.
The Masisizane Service Centre offers various services to the community. Besides being a daycare for adults, the centre also offers some skills both to pensioners and orphans, and to the community as a whole. Grannies are taught beadwork, they do garden on their own, for themselves, both in the centre and to their homes as well. At Masisizane they also make their own candles, using their hands. The candle making process Mrs. Bophela refers to it as an exercise for grannies. For she says that they chant and dance while making candles, and they really enjoy it. They do pottery, tailor or sewing, participate in sports, getting educated through ABET program. The also host an exhibition day (Display Day) where they showcase with their products where they invite people to come a browse, and buy their products. Here grannies are made to feel brand new or young.
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Sihle Makhamisa 6 October 2013
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