Noluthando Simazi was working in Cape Town when she had a stroke. She returned home unable to continue working.
Community Disability Worker Nosakhiwo Blayi found her at home where she was feeling quite hopeless. She was not accessing any rehab services and was reliant on others to cook her food and fetch her water. She was living with relatives at the time and the relationship was quite tense. She also had a temporary disability grant that was about to expire.
“I was feeling so sad when I returned home from Cape Town and I had given up on the idea that I would be okay again,” she says.
Blayi referred Simazi to an occupational therapist at the clinic. Here she learnt techniques to adapt activities and was also given a chopping board to make it easier to prepare vegetables for cooking. She was booked for a disability grant assessment and later started receiving a permanent grant. She was able to use this social grant to move herself and her 8-year-old daughter out of her relatives’ home and into their own hut. She started fetching water, doing her laundry and even cooking meals on her own.
In 2018 Simazi joined a Rural Ability community-based savings group in her community. Before joining the group, she was struggling to buy clothes for her child and needed more space than just the one room that they were living in. From her savings she has been able to buy clothes for her child for Christmas and has even built a flat.
She says that the saving group has helped her to improve her life and solve some of the problems she was having. Noluthando appreciates the support of the RAP and says there should be more programmes like it in South Africa, because she was feeling so hopeless when she came back from Cape Town and “then you came here to help me”.