The moving relationship between a local doctor and his domestic worker of 20 years has touched the hearts of people across the nation as he builds her a home.

Lulama Gomana (54) is a single mother of two from Delft who lives in a shack with her two children, her two grandchildren and her late brother’s two children.

Gomana has worked at Dr Raoul Goldberg’s clinic since 1995, cooking, cleaning, managing his dispensary and performing the important job of deciphering his handwriting.

After years of dedicated work, Goldberg has been saving portions of his retirement fund to go towards building a home for the woman who has supported him over the years and reliably performed her daily duties without fail.

Gomana and the doctor together.

Working alongside Habitat for Humanity SA, Dr Goldberg has already started with the beginning stages of construction and Global Village volunteers from Thrivent, based in the US, and the Path to Health team have come along to contribute to the construction process.

Together, the teams and Dr Goldberg hope to finally make Gomana’s dream of living in her own home made of brick a reality.

Gomana’s house construction underway.

She has lived in a small shack with three rooms for over 20 years. With limited space available, the children have no choice but to sleep in the kitchen.

“Living in a shack is not safe at all ‘cause it’s very dangerous…so scary all the time with shooting [and] so much thugs around and my dream is in the years to come to have [a] nice brick house, and also helping other people in the community. There are sometimes there taxi shootings. When you don’t sleep at all during the night’ cause [you are] too scared of bullets coming through the shack. But by the grace of the Lord ‘til now nothing that bad had happened. That is why I need a better place to stay with my children,” says Lulama.

Gomana standing in front of her current home.

In 2016, strong winds blew Gomana’s shack away and with the help of neighbours it was returned to its original site but holes that had to be hammered to secure the walls have also left the structure vulnerable to rain.

After hearing about his beloved colleague and friend’s terrible living conditions, Dr Goldberg decided he could not sit idly by while she struggled.

“How can I rest peacefully in my home when I know that others are sleeping in a wet bed? There is no holier than thou. We are all humans,” said Dr Goldberg.

Gomana and Dr Goldberg side by side.

Since then, the good doctor has put his money where his heart is and is currently doing all he can to ensure Gomana has the safe, warm home she has wanted all these years.

After hearing about Gomana and Goldberg’s story, Habitat for Humanity SA is encouraging employees everywhere to be more aware of their domestic worker’s living conditions and do what they can to help.

Find out more about the Domestic Worker-Employer supported Housing Project here: [email protected]

Pictures: Facebook

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.