Tag Archives: children

The edge of Durban Harbour, South Africa – part 3

The edge of Durban Harbour, South Africa part 1 and part 2, were followed by introduction to part 3.

It was in the latter post that I briefly introduced a gentleman who I met at the edge of the harbour. Let us call the gentleman “Bheki”.

To better acquaint myself with Bheki’s apparent plight, I read the Telegraph.

Aislinn Laing of Johannesburg reported as follows: “Eighteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africa is now judged to be one of the most unequal societies in the world and its 19 million children bear the brunt of the disconnect.

The Unicef report found that 1.4 million children live in homes that rely on often dirty streams for drinking water, 1.5 million have no flushing lavatories and 1.7 million live in shacks, with no proper bedding, cooking or washing facilities.

Four in 10 live in homes where no one is employed and, in cases of dire poverty, the figure rises to seven in 10.

A total of 330,000 children – and five million adults – are currently infected with HIV, and 40 per cent die from the pandemic annually.

Child support grants, introduced in 1997, now reach 10.3 million children but another one million who are eligible do not yet receive them”.

The Daily News reported as follows: “Government failing the unemployed: ANCYL (ANC Youth Leauge) – The ANC Youth League has responded to the latest unemployment figures with a double-barreled blast at the government for its apparent failure to demonstrate the “commitment” and “clear will” required to deal decisively with the jobless plight of young South Africans.

Stats SA’s latest Labour Force Survey, released on Tuesday, indicated that formal unemployment rose to more than 25 percent in the first quarter of 2012, up from 23,9 percent in December. And National Treasury figures put youth unemployment – 18 to 30 year-olds – at about 42 percent, compared to 17 percent for those older than 30”.

Bheki walked past me and I asked him if he was interested in participating in my amateur paid photo shoot. He hesitantly agreed; I suspect being not sure of my actual intentions.

From thereon things relaxed a helluva lot and it was not long before he asked me for a lift a few kilometres down the road with his collection of scrap metal (in the barrel / white sack seen in the photos below).

Sensing an opportunity (both of us in fact), Bheki asked if I would allow him to load additional scrap metal in my vehicle on the way to where I offered to drop him off.

I then offered to drop him off at a scrap metal dealer as it was a diversion of an additional few hundred metres and I would get to see an area of Durban I had not seen in a while – it was a win-win situation. Read more about the scrap metal industry here.

Bheki thoroughly enjoyed the ride and was quick to point out, when I dropped him off, that I should leave immediately as the area was not safe.

I really enjoyed meeting Bheki on the edge of Durban Harbour.

Bheki does not have a home and seeks refuge in abandoned buildings and under bridges at night
Bheki does not have a home and seeks refuge in abandoned buildings or under bridges at night.
Bheki has not bathed in a long while and possibly earns around 2 to 3 USD per day. When the camera was not pointing at him; he was smiling from ear to ear.
Bheki has not bathed in a long while and possibly earns around 2 to 3 USD per day. When the camera was not pointing at him; he was smiling from ear to ear. He took this photo shoot very seriously.
The sack cannot hold much metal so Bheki hides his collections of metal in and around the areas he searches
The sack cannot hold much metal so Bheki hides his collections of metal in and around the areas he searches all day long.
The railway lines surround the harbour and Bheki looks in every possible place for any scrap metal
The railway lines surround the harbour and Bheki looks in every possible place for any scrap metal. He does not beg and earns an honest but meagre wage. He has not given up! 

St. Thomas’ Home for Children visit to CROW

Can you also hear the CROW of St. Thomas’ Home for Children?

Here is the big idea:

  • Benefit two non-profit organizations in one go
  • Organize a trip for the children of St. Thomas’ Home for Children to visit CROW
  • Bus transport, entrance fees, snacks, cool drinks and lunch are required
  • Sunday 26 August is a possible date, subject to CROW & St Thomas management tying up loose ends
  • All sponsors, helpers, their friends, family and children to attend the event
  • The standard visit is as follows: “We are open to the public on the last sunday of every month. The gates open at 10:30am and the guided tour starts at 11:00am. A donation of R20-00 per person is asked upon entry and refreshments, t-shirts and diaries are sold before and after the tour. Please support CROW and join us. Gain an insight into the world of wildlife rehabilitation in one of the biggest centres of its kind in South Africa”
  • With help from others it will happen soon
  • Interested to join this fun heart-warming event then please email St Thomas principal@stthomas.org.za or Andrew awharvard@gmail.com
  • Cash or consumables sponsorship for this event is strictly payable / donated to St. Thomas’ Home for Children for their use
  • Any other support of any type for this event or anything else would be greatly appreciated
  • This blog will be updated shortly with more information

Given Gain: “St. Thomas’ Home for Children is a place of love and protection for children in need of care. We are a non-profit organisation providing residential care to 60 vulnerable children between the ages 2-10 years, all of whom have been found in need of care by the courts. Our children require our care for a variety of reasons, from being orphaned, abandoned or neglected to being physically, sexually or emotionally abused.”

Tel: 031 207 3223
Email: principal@stthomas.org.za

CROW: “CROW is the Centre For Rehabilitation Of Wildlife situated in Yellowwood Park, Durban. It is a wildlife hospital that cares for the injured and orphaned wild animals and birds in Kwazulu Natal. CROW has 12 depots in and around the Province and is considered to be one of the leading rehabilitation Centers in South Africa”

Tel: 031 462 1127

Email: info@crowkzn.co.za

Below are some images I recorded during a visit to CROW

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals (children*) are treated” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

*not actual quote