Kya Sands informal Settlement
For more information about Daily Bread Organisation, contact Charmaine on 073 951 1918.
Alternatively, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choosing not to look away.
Homeless and abused people in our communities are a fact of Life, especially in big cities.
Many of us don't know how to interpret this situation or what we can do to help.We may vacillate between feeling guilty, as if we are personally responsible, and feeling angry, as if it is entirely on their own shoulders.
The situation is, of course, far more complex than either scenario. Still, not knowing how to respond, we may fall into the habit of not responding at all. We may look over their heads not making eye contact, or down at the ground as we pass, falling into a habit of ignoring them.
Each time we do this, we disconnect ourselves from a large portion of the human family and it does not feel right.
Most of us know in our hearts that the homeless and poor are not so very different from us.
They may be victims of poor planning or an unavoidable crisis. Some of them are mentally ill, some are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and some are choosing to be this for reasons we may never understand.
We can imagine that, given their lives, we would likely have ended up in the same place.
Let's then look them in the eye and acknowledge our shared humaness.
My name is Charmaine McGinley and in 2008 I lost my contract at a Venue in a large Casino. I had the earning power of R50 000per month. With one swift stroke I went from main bread winner to unemployed. I convinced myself that in no time I would find myself back up at the top. Weeks turned to Months and more than 300 cv's later ( no courtesy replies from employment agencies - funny thing that?)**(see end of page). And then the recession struck. And try as I might no jobs - I only got one interview - and it was with a friend. Panic set in but in front of friends and family I kept up the appearance - believing in a new promise of tomorrow.
I had bought a property on a main road as an investment but I was also unable to rent this property out. So I decided to try my luck at turning the property into a Training Venue. Friends rallied and helped out where ever possible. My Mother,Granpa, Sister, Brother and extended Family had to resume the responsibility of feeding and caring for my 6 year old daughter.You guys taught me the True meaning of Family.
As like many families in this recession we had electricity and water cuts due to non payment. Once again Family and Friends rallied and bailed out.
A neighbour who heard this, quietly and with great sensitivity, sent her nanny to collect my daughter for a bath or a meal- this turned out to be a big Blessing - and a great friendship was started between our children. I had to sell my car and managed to by a wreck for R20 000 ( I now love this little car and she gets us to and from).
I had lost my sense of self as I had always defined myself by my Job, House and Car.
By the Grace of God I never lost the properties even though their bonds had not been serviced in 18 months -Thank You - Nedbank and Standard Bank - never knew I would end up being grateful but I truly am.
Then somewhere in between all this by default a Kid landed on my doorstep from the police station as a runaway - as fate would have it he would end up living with us.
The UN and later IOM got involved and he was sent to a Shelter in Kempton Park. I was told to cut all ties with him or he would lose the funding granted to him. But me being me I refused to listen and I started doing TeamBuilds for and to assist the shelter.
In December 2009 and I inherited 10 kids from this very shelter and was nominated as Foster mom to these kids for the next 6 weeks - but they have came without funding - once again friends and family rallied to my aid.
I am not a religious person but I do believe that God put me on this path to find my Purpose. If I had not walked the path of Nothing from having Everything I would not have the empathy or Love or even the Understanding to do that what I do now.
I have not been able to walk this journey without my beloved Cordelia who also embarked on this path and who has served without a cent remuneration - at no stage did she throw in the towel or give up - she has fed clothed and cared for each that has passed through our doors - never for one minute judging or being unkind - but instead working with the utmost Love and Respect.
The venue did not take off as planned but has helped with the odd buck to keep food or clothing on the table for those in need .But the venue has established itself a good name and as soon as this recession lifts and the economy is back to normal it will be better than usual business - having weathered the worst of storms.
To all my unsung Family and Friends - yours have been the footprints in the sand.
To those who continue to support our dream: Thank you! We will continue to carry the torch...
To Allegiance Air our heartfelt thanks for stepping up so that I could give the Kids a home and an unforgettable Christmas.
To Dr Wulfsohn thank you for taking such good care of our boys and putting them back on the path to health.
To Sergeant Beauty from Douglasdale Police Station who is my True Inspiration - I salute you.
May We Together Make This World a Better Place...
** Since writing the above - I have continued to send out my CV the only company that has responded
immediately and with much empathy have been Steve and Mary Ann from Hickmore Recruitment
http://www.hospitality.co.za/** Hats off to you - you help to make this world a better place...
I have made my peace with this calling and will continue to serve...