By Theodorah Mawasha
GA-RAPITSI– The distressed family in Ga-Rapitsi village under the Greater Letaba Municipality, has been in complete dire straits since the passing of their parents in two consecutive years of 2010 and 2011.
It is mentioned that the family survives on child support grant which is not enough. The MEC for Social Development, Nkakareng Rakgoale accompanied by Greater Letaba Municipality Mayor Peter Matlou, visited the family to hand over food parcels, school uniforms and other basic amenities.
Tzaneen Voice Reporter took time to spend the day with the family, the eldest of the eight siblings, Maria Mokumo, shared with this publication how she had to drop out of school at a tender age of 16 to take care of her baby, shortly after giving birth.
“When my parents passed away, their responsibilities fell on my shoulders. I fell pregnant during that period and had to drop out of school because I did not have any guidance. I was in Grade 10 and I stopped going to school. I felt burdened. I do wish to go back to school nonetheless”. She mentioned
The 21-year – old woman hopes to improve her home situation and set a good precedent for her siblings. “I wish to go back to school. I don’t care about my age. I realize now that leaving school was not a wise decision”.
The Social Development Spokesperson Witness Tiva confirmed that social workers have activated the family preservation, foster care and parenting skills programmes to assist the family.
Mokumo said they appreciate the help received thus far from government; however, they hope the promises the authorities made on their visit will materialize sooner rather than later.
“Our house is leaking, we don’t have enough space. We have to share rooms with our brothers. We are really struggling. We are not coping”. She concluded.
Greater Letaba Mayor Matlou has committed to assist the family in refurbishing the decapitated seven roomed house.
According to the 2019 Profile and analysis district Development Model issued by Mopani District a total of 7 166 households are headed by children which is about one-quarter of the figure in the province and less than 10% of the figure in the country. About 2.3% of child headed households in the district live in informal dwellings and 86% live in formal houses. In 2016, there were 34.8% of child headed household in Mopani with women as their head.
Social workers are still tending to the family assisting them with psycho-social support until their lives are improved.