NGO proves that sharing is caring

MATTHEW HIRSCH

Nursing Atlantic Homecare – an NGO based in Camps Bay, which provided home-based care to elderly people in Camps Bay, Hout Bay, Sea Point and the City Bowl – closed down earlier this month due to a lack of funding.

While they largely relied on their paying clients to keep the organisation afloat, tough financial times meant many were unable to afford the service.

Two directors, Jan Caccivio and Jean Chicken, told the Atlantic Sun that the organisation had been started to help people who were ill. “One of our founders, Rosemary Berry, wanted to help people in the community and specifically people that were sick,” said Ms Caccivio.

They got registered and trained nurses and started in 1995. “We funded the organisation by having paying clients but fewer people were able to afford the service and started moving to dedicated old age homes. It was a financial decision to close down the organisation.”

She added that by the time of closure, Nursing Atlantic Homecare employed around 200 caregivers. They informed the caregivers of their decision and since then most of them have been able to find jobs. “We did not want to get to a stage where we had to retrench people,” added Ms Caccivio.

While the organisation may be closing, it is, however, still helping people. They have decided to donate the funds they had left – a total of R100 000 – to like-minded organisations, among them Ikhaya le themba which is based in Khayelitsha, the Arisen Women’s Foundation in Mitchell’s Plain and the Hout Bay Community Health Forum.

Liz Huckle, of the Hout Bay Health Forum, which promotes health education and helps vulnerable people in Hout Bay, said they were thrilled with the donation.

Theresa Richardson, of Ikhaya le themba, said the donation would help them hugely. They are based in Site B and run everything from community gardens to health education programmes. She hopes the funds will go towards buying a new bakkie for the organisation.

Ms Caccivio and Ms Chicken said they were glad they had been able to donate to similar organisations and were looking forward to finally having some time off.