Following a chance meeting with elders from the Thokoza Hostel, Tafta social worker, Happiness Mchunu, hosted a wellness day for them on 23 August. The event included talks on active ageing and physical exercise sessions.
Most of these elders are forced to continue earning a living as street vendors. At the hostel they share rooms with other elderly people, younger women and even children. In discussion with Tafta, they raised concerns about access to food, assistive devices and the need to earn an income. Tafta CEO, Femada Shamam promised to do everything in our power to help them.
Sylvia Giyana (68) has been a resident at the hostel since 2001. She relocated to Durban to be closer to her mother and son. Despite conditions in the hostel, Giyana, who participated in the Tafta wellness event, said she was well-cared for thanked Tafta for the wonderful food and care given on the day.
Hlebani Bhengu, formerly from Ndwedwe, still works daily as a vendor to support her four children. She was excited at the prospect of Tafta coming to the aid of hostel dwellers. “Meeting the social workers, who’ve given us a lot of support, gives us hope for the future,” she said.
The Thokoza hostel was built in 1925 to accommodate black working women. Some of the Elders have lived there since the 1950’s when they were young women. Many raised their children there.
Pictured above: Thokoza Hostel elders enjoy the Tafta wellness morning.