Speech by KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo on the occasion of the official
opening of the LIV HEALTH CARE CENTRE in the village square, 12 June 2014
NLB Chairperson - Prof Alfred Nevhutanda
Tich Smith - founder of LIV
Joan Smith - Co-founder of Lungisisa Indlela Village
Beautiful children of the Village
It is a pleasure to again visit this bastion of hope created to accommodate around 150 children who come from different backgrounds but have one feature in common; that of either being orphaned; neglected or abused.
Time and again, it has been said that in Africa and in the African culture; there is no orphan as children are supposed to be a responsibility of all the adults in the community.
Today the very existence of this facility nullifies all that as we know that the Department of Social Development and the Courts of Law have taken upon themselves to protect and refer those young ones who are experiencing all forms of neglect into this Village.
When I first came here I marvelled at the beautiful setting of this Village and appreciated that our young ones are nurtured in a very soothing and refreshing environment that gives them a gaze to the deep blue sea; the spectacular Hazelmere dam and the never ending rolling green hills of Ndwedwe. The setting is indeed therapeutic and conducive as a place where these children can get unconditional love, care and spiritual disciple.
Today, on this second visit, I come bearing the well wishes of our Premier, Hon Senzo Mchunu, who directed that we greet and thank all the nurses; psychologists; counsellors; mentors and social workers for the sterling work being done here. He says you have his support and blessings.
Our coming here also signifies the endorsement your stated vision that seeks to:
‘Bring holistic healing to every child on the village, to restore these broken lives to full health, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, raise them up and nurture them into the fullness of what they were destined to be, and release them into adulthood, with skills and a purpose, to make a positive contribution in society.’
I shudder when I think what all these kids here have gone through in their young lives but also get comfort in knowing about the amount of love; care and understanding that they derive from here.
What you do here allows these children to learn to trust again and regain enough confidence required for them to rebuild their future and live again. What is being done here truly reflects what our icon, Tata Nelson Mandela had in mind when he said:
‘We understand and promote the notion that while children need to be guided they also have an entrenched right to be whatever they want to be and that they can achieve this only if they are given the space to dream and live out their dreams.’
Our special appreciation for all the miracles taking place here unreservedly go to Joan Smith, co-founder of this Village; Dr Andre Van Niekerk, who is the consulting Paediatrician and oversees the management and structure of the clinic; Dr Thinus Van Niekerk, who has a private dental practice in Ballito and Umhlanga who heads up the Dental Care section; the visiting overseas medical personnel who volunteer their services here as well as all the personnel that have made it their duty to be of service to these vulnerable children.
We are also here to express our gratitude and say thank you to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund for providing Lungisisa Indlela Village with the Health Care Centre. We are all exited that this centre comes fully equipped with facilities for nurses, psychologists, counsellors and social workers who will offer professional services to the children here. We profusely thank National Lottery for their generosity and a good choice in their selection of entities to be funded. It indeed does appear that our National Lottery Trust Fund also made use of President Mandela’s good advice, when he said:
‘Together as a nation, we have an obligation to put sunshine into the hearts of our little ones. They are our precious possessions. They deserve what happiness life can offer.’
As the KwaZulu Natal Department of Health, we commit to work with Lungisisa Indlela Village to ensure that services offered at the Health Care Centre are all encompassing and of value to all.
Currently, we do appreciate that those who reside here do access health care in our clinics in Tongaat; Verulem as well as Osindisweni Hospital.
We are also aware that they also make use of our Mobile Clinic that visits the Cottonlands; but now we are saying, there is no reason why the Mobile Clinic cannot operate from the Centre to offer the Primary Health Care services to the children here.
We are also saying we are ready to dispatch our School Health Teams from our Tongaat CHC to come here with the sole purpose of promoting health and preventing diseases.
Children who are on chronic medication either for HIV and TB especially those that are stable, their treatment can be pre-packed from Tongaat CHC or Osindisweni hospital and delivered here.
We are also ready to dispatch our School Health Team from Tongaat CHC to visit the LIV School and offer School Health services aimed at identifying and addressing health barriers to learning through the screening of:
In a nutshell; the KwaZulu Natal Government considers LIV as a partner and is ready and prepared to work with you in the attainment of your well-meaning motto of:
Rescue a child, Restore a life, Raise a leader and Release a star.
Again, we say thank you to National Lottery Trust Fund and to all the progressive professionals and people involved with this Village.
I thank you
Contact: Desmond Motha on 083 295 3901
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