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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”One day in the Working Life of Child and Youth Care Worker Noni Kumalo” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1456144849663{margin-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1456144868804{margin-bottom: 15px !important;}”]Noni rises early at 4:30am. She prepares breakfast for her family and washes and dresses for work.

It is dark as she walks across to the Zuma Family. Shee knocks on the door and a sleepy Zondi (11 years old) opens the door for her. Noni checks the time. It is 5:15am and she needs to work fast because she has to accompany Lucky Gumede to school by 7:30am. Noni lights the primus stove and puts on the kettle to boil. She slices brown bread and makes peanut butter sandwiches for school lunches. Zondi comes to the kitchen and complains that Princess (6years) wet the bed again and is crying and saying that she is not going to school. Noni asks Zondi to quickly bring the bath basin and pours some of the hot water into the basin. She refills the kettle and goes to Princess’s room.

Princess is crying. Noni comforts her and asks her if she had a bad dream again. Princess says that she was thinking of Ma again and that she always wants to wets the bed when she dreams of Ma. She also repeats that she won’t go to school. Noni helps Princess get out of bed and takes off the bed-sheets and bundles them and they walk together to the bath basin. Noni puts in a jug of cold water and helps Princess out her nightshirt and into the water. Princess keeps crying refusing to go to school. Noni promises to take her to visit her mother’s grave in the afternoon and Princess stops crying as she washes herself, dries herself and puts on her school uniform.

Zondi is ready for school and puts the bowls on the table. In this time Noni has cooked mealie-meal porridge and sliced bread for breakfast. Hlengewe (16 years old) arrives in the kitchen, and shouts at Princess for crying. But she sees the wet bedding and quickly puts it in the bath water and takes it outside to wash before she goes to school. Zondi and Princess eat breakfast. Hlengewe comes in and joins them. Noni drinks a cup of tea and explains to the girls that she has to visit another family but she will come back in the afternoon and take Princess to visit Ma’s grave. She encourages the others to come too. She reminds Zondi to help Hlengewe to tidy up before they got to school. She gives Princess a hug – reminds them again about the afternoon visit, wishes Hlengewe well for her history test and leaves.

Noni arrives at the Gumede home 6:20am. The family is all around the table eating breakfast. All are dressed for school – Robert (18 years), Sweetness (17years) Musa (10years) – except for Lucky. There is an argument going on between Robert and Lucky.  Lucky looks angry and determined. He says he is never going to apologize to the teacher. She was rude about their family. Noni engages in the discussion and agrees with Lucky that the teacher should not have spoken rudely about their family.

She reminded Lucky that that was the reason she was there – to take him to school and discuss the incident with the school principal and teacher. She said Robert was correct about the importance of education and that she expected Lucky to be ready and dressed for school by now. She asks him to get ready quickly. In a slow and uncooperative manner Lucky leaves the table.

Robert asked Noni if there was any news about the foster care grant. Noni said she planned to visit the social worker after the metting at school. She said she would come back to the home late in the evening with the food parcel and news about the grant and the meeting in school. Lucky arrives in the kitchen dressed for school. Sweetness reminds all that she is cooking samp and beans for supper and asks Noni to join them. Noni agrees and says that she will see them at 6:30pm in the evening. Lucky and Noni leave for school. Noni remind Lucky of their preparation for the meeting and warned him not to lose his temper.

They leave the house at 7:05am and arrive at a school at 7:20. The principal and the teacher are ready in the office and call them in for the discussion. The discussion goes on until 8:30. Lucky goes off to his classroom and Noni asks the secretary if she could see another teacher about another child that she works with. Unfortunately that teacher is not available as she is teaching and Noni makes an appointment to see her within the week.

Noni leaves the school and goes straight off to the social worker’s office. She arrives there at approximately 9:00am. She waits for 45 minutes before she gets to see the SW who informs her that the grant payment for the Gumede family is finalized, and in two weeks time back pay of R7000 will be put into their bank account. This is good news. The social worker asks Noni to do the budgeting discussion with the family and tell them that she will be coming for a family sicussion on Friday. She asks Noni to be present at the family discussion. It is 10:30am when Noni leaves the office and goes to the Mbele Family home. She willnot see the children today, but will prepare supper for them. Sis Christina, the neighbour is hanging washing on the line. She reports that the children are all well. Yesterday Bongi spent the day with them as it was Sunday and the boys Bennie (16 years and) don (15 years) went off to the soccer match. Bennie cooked food in the morning – before they went to church – and they ate lunch before the boys went to the match and Bongi came over.

She gives Noni the key to the home and Noni notices that the clothes are washed and neatly folded in the basket. They have not been ironed yet. She sees that a tray of eggs have been left on the kitchen table. Noni smiles – they want her special spinach and egg casserole for supper. She will spoil them. Noni makes herself a cup of tea and takes out her files. She also takes out her lunch and eats two sandwiches with her tea. She puts on the stove and starts the cooking. While things are boiling and braising she continues to fill in the contact sheet for the Gumede family and her time sheet and the daily activity records. She also thinks about her meeting with her supervisor later. Noni finishes the cooking and tidies up the kitchen. At 12:00 her supervisor Linky arrives and they spend 45 minutes in discussion.

At 12:45 Noni leaves to go home. At 1:00 she is back home and cooks pumpkin and putu. At 1:30 her daughter Beauty arrives from school and Noni and her daughter eat together. Noni’s mother-in law arrives from the market while they are eating. She joins them and shows the fresh spinach she has bought and will cook for supper. Gogo reminds Beauty to wash her school uniform and socks before she goes to play.

Noni looks at her watch. It’s now 2:30 and she reminds her mother-in-law that she will be back at 7:30 and hurries back to the Zuma family where she finds Princess waiting for her. The others are not coming on the visit to the grave. Hlengewe is washing clothes and Zondi is opening a can of beans for supper. Noni suggests to Princess that tey should take a plant to put on Ma’s grave and Princess chooses one and carries it to the road. Noni gets a taxi to the graveyard. In 25 minutes they are at the graveyard. Noni talks to Princess as she cries and plants the plant for her mother. She talks about her dream and Noni listens, and then they talk about the bet-wetting and how Princess should manage herself if it happens again, and that Noni will take her to the clinic if it doesn’t stop. Princess asks Noni to pray for her Ma and Noni says a prayer and they sing together. Princess cries again – all the way to the taxi. She sits close to Noni in the taxi. She soon starts to talk about school and other things on the way.

Noni goes into the home and finds the girls doing homework and that the beans for supper are cooked. Zondi says that she put too much salt in the food and had to put in an extra can of beans so they will have to eat the same food tomorrow. Noni tasted the beans and compliments Zondi on fixing up the mistake. She wishes them a good night, hugs them all and asks Hlengewe to walk her out. She discussed the visit to the graveyard and Princess’s grief with her and asks her be gentle with her. Hlengewe asks what they will do about the bed-wetting, and Noni says that she will discuss a plan with her supervisor and a clinic visit may have to be planned. She advised Hlengiwe not to give Princess water after 6:00pm.

Noni realises that it is 6:00pm and walks off to the Gumede home. When she arrives there in 15 minutes she finds Lucky smiling and happy. He offers her a cup of tea which she accepts thankfully as she hands over the food parcel that she has been carrying around for the day. Everybody unpacks and packs commenting on the food items. They then gather around Noni who gives feedback about the school visit and grant. A full discussion on budgeting takes place in preparation for the social worker’s visit. The family eats together and the discussion continues at the supper table, after which Noni says goodbye to all and walks home with Robert accompanying her. She arrives home at 7:30pm.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]