Monday, August 2, 2010

UFS Article: 'Miss Deaf SA continues Xhariep Clothing Project'

There is nice article on my involvement with Xhariep Clothing Project. To read it and see the photo, copy the following link and paste it in your search bar:

Here's the article:

Miss Deaf SA continues Xhariep Clothing Project

Trompsburg – The Xhariep clothing project was started in Trompsburg in 2001 by the well-known veteran correspondent of ‘Kontrei’ and the ‘Volksblad’ Chris Boshoff in collaboration with Mrs Toys Venter who manages the clothing bank.

Venter is now an old-age pensioner and the time has come for a younger generation to continue the good work of their forbearers.

Vicki Fourie (Miss Deaf SA) and Magteld Smith from Voices of Change, Transformation for People with Disabilities, in conjunction with the Faculty of Health Sciences have taken up this challenge.

Smith, who herself is hearing impaired, is the daughter of Chris Boshoff and has been collecting clothes in the Xhariep district for many years.

Boshoff was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2000 and underwent a number of operations. A few months ago he was also diagnosed with lung cancer. Magteld says that despite the illness and all the operations, he was still involved in the Madigetla and Noordmansville communities and never missed an opportunity to assist them. Everyone in the communities knew him as “oom Bossie”. They had a great affection for him, and he for them; especially the elderly and children.

The project was initiated as a result of the consolidation of a number of charitable organizations in the area. This was done to prevent a duplication of services. Major problems in these communities are unemployment and poverty. A large number of people have come from cities to smaller communities looking for work. These plans frequently fail and these individuals fall deeper into poverty. These people need clothes, blankets and other necessities. The winter months hit especially hard.

Oom Bossie paid special attention to the hearing impaired people of Madigetla , Boompie and Noordmansville. The children produce wonderful craftwork and can communicate with each other with their own unique sign language. No wonder there are over 100 different dialects of sign language in South Africa!

Mr Boshoff received special commendation for his selfless involvement in the community at the year-end function of the Helpmekaar club in the town. This was 3 days before his death.

The younger generation, such as Vicki Fourie and VOC (under the leadership of Prof. André Claassen of the Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, Head & Neck Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State) are continuing the good work of their predecessors with the Xhariep Clothing Project. Magteld and Vicki, both deaf, are setting an excellent example for the rest of the youth of South Africa by showing compassion for their fellow men and women and not shying away from working with those less fortunate than themself.

VOC would like to thank everyone who has supported the Xhariep Clothing Project in the past and asks for their continued support in this regard.

Magteld Smith wrote this article.


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