Poverty essay and image by Samkelo Qwane and Anele Masiza (in collaboration with visiting graduate students from Old Dominion University, West Virginia)
No one ever wants to live in poverty! It’s the worst experience and here are the stories of our experiences.
Samkelo’s story began when he was a young boy living in a small house with about 10 people. It was a four room house, a kitchen, a dining room and to bedrooms. The only furniture we had were two beds. My grandparents had a room and the rest of us had to use the other bedroom. Most of us slept on the floor.
The hard part was that no one in the family had work, my mother and aunt were always looking for small jobs to try get food on the table. If they couldn’t get jobs we would go to bed hungry.
When my aunt got a nurse job at Groote Schuur hospital things changed. She was able to provide us all with enough food and also buy some furniture for the house. Her work brought so much happiness to our family.
Anele’s story began when his mother lost her job when her contract ended. She couldn’t renew it as she lacked qualifications. As she was the only person with work it was difficult for our family to keep body and soul together. We survived by the help from a support group but their contribution only lasted half the month, we really went hungry for the last week.
My mother looked for small jobs and my sister brought little scraps of food back from school for us. She was the heroine as she studied hard and completed her matric! (grade12) She immediately started looking for work and luckily she found a job very quickly that was able to support the whole family.
Would you ever want to experience this? Or would you want to help someone in need? It is in your hearts.