Could you survive on just R1 780 per month? This is the reality for South Africa’s pensioners, as this is the government grant they receive on a monthly basis. The NOAH Home in Woodstock helps the elderly make the most of their money by providing them with a place to live for under R500 per month.
NOAH was established in 1981 by Catholic Welfare & Development, in response to the need for safe, affordable accommodation for the underprivileged elderly. Starting with one communal home for social pensioners, this holistic model of support aims to ensure that over 730 social pensioners are able to continue to lead purposeful and dignified lives.
“This is the harsh reality for every South African social pensioner. It’s all they have to pay for a place to live, food, medical expenses, clothes, transport and other basic needs,” the Home says. “After a lifetime of work, many of these old people are stripped of their dignity and become victims of loneliness, destitution, abuse, illness and depression. Our mission at the Neighbourhood Old Age Homes (NOAH) is to restore dignity, respect and life-affordability to social pensioners.”
Kind-hearted Capetonian Bernice Crossman, along with her wife, have taken it upon themselves to help the elderly at NOAH by beginning a donation drive to make their lives just a little easier.
“I don’t have any grandparents, and my wife was raised by hers,” Crossman said. “Both of us have a soft spot in our hearts for the elderly, and we’d like to give a hand where we can.”
Crossman has seen how many elderly simply cannot make it to the end of the month on their pensioner’s grants. “There’s not much we can do in our capacity either, but we realised we could help with the circumstances in regards to at least basic groceries,” she said.
The couple intends to donate groceries to the Home primarily, along with hygiene items. “We’d also appreciate books and other entertainment items,” she added. “Basically, we want anyone who can to donate things they think would help their own grandparents.”
The pair have tried to get the word out on their donation efforts, but thus far, the response has been described as “dismal”.
”We wanted to help after we went shopping at one of the Spar’s in Woodstock, and we saw the donation pile, which looked absolutely dismal,” Crossman said. “Because the elderly are so close to our heart, we’ve decided to try to give back to the elderly in this time. We want to show that there are people who still care in this time of chaos.”
The elderly of the NOAH Home also try to generate their own income by making and selling a variety of delicious goods, but often this is not enough.
Donations can be dropped off at the Crossman’s restaurant called The 2 Eves, which is located at Unit 2, Corner of Kloof and Buiten Singel streets, Gardens, Cape Town.
Donations can also be made to the Home by clicking here.