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Last modified: 17 Aug 2015
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Children benefit from programme

31 July 2015
Likhona Antoni sits proudly in her new wheelchair. With her are Correctional Services deputy Regional Commissioner Nozipiwo Dumbela, Regional Commissioner Nkosinathi Breakfast, her parents Lindiwe and Whitey, Kouga Mayor Daphne Kettledas and Sindi Meleni, representing her husband, ward councillor Timothy Meleni.

Likhona Antoni sits proudly in her new wheelchair. With her are Correctional Services deputy Regional Commissioner Nozipiwo Dumbela, Regional Commissioner Nkosinathi Breakfast, her parents Lindiwe and Whitey, Kouga Mayor Daphne Kettledas and Sindi Meleni, representing her husband, ward councillor Timothy Meleni.

Kouga’s children were the big winners on Friday, July 31, when the provincial sports council of the Department of Correctional Services visited St Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay to commemorate Nelson Mandela Month.

Lead by Regional Commissioner Nkosinathi Breakfast from East London and Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas, the Correctional Services team first stopped off at the House of Hope Soup Kitchen in Sea Vista where they donated a fridge, deep freeze and food supplies to project initiator Nokia “Aggie” Louw.

Mr Breakfast said that they had learnt of the soup kitchen last year when members of the sports council visited St Francis Bay to compete in a golf tournament.

“We were so touched when Mrs Louw told us about the work she was doing. At that time she didn’t even have a fridge and had to depend largely on discarded vegetables to feed the hungry children who visited her home.

“I promised her that we would be back in Mandela Month with a gift to help make her soup kitchen sustainable. Today we are making good on that promise and commit to continue supporting her. Moving forward we would like to find a place where we can cultivate vegetables for the soup kitchen,” he said.

The next stop on the programme was Jeffreys Bay to deliver a wheelchair to a 13-year-old girl whose life was turned upside down eight months ago when she contracted a brain disease which left her unable to breathe, see, talk or walk.

Likhona Antoni spent months in the Intensive Care Unit of a PE hospital. Doctors warned that her chance of survival was slim, but the little girl made a miraculous recovery and arrived back home last week.

While Likhona can breathe, see and talk again, she cannot yet walk. Her prayers for a wheelchair had hardly left her lips when the call came that Correctional Services was looking for a beneficiary for a wheelchair, and so she became part of the Mandela Month programme on Friday.

Tears of joy flowed freely when Correctional Services arrived, brass band and all, in front of her home with the wheelchair on Friday.

Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas had a special word of thanks for the Department of Correctional Services.

“I never cease being amazed by the incredible work Correctional Services does in our communities. They are a team who knows how to touch lives, and I am certain that it would have filled Tata Mandela’s heart with joy to witness these handovers.”