Historically, malnutrition led the Nardini Sisters out of the hospital and into the community. In fact, the first outreach services began in the early 1970’s when Sr. Sola Schaumann responded to the nutritional needs by leaving the hospital, where she worked as a midwife and professional nurse. She set up adult education courses at the Sizanani Centre. She also coordinated protein projects and community gardens in the region. Chicken rearing proved to be the most successful and accepted form of bringing the much needed proteins into rural families. Today, those who are on treatment for HIV and TB require proper nutrition for the medication to be tolerated. Infants and small children continue to suffer from both kwashiorkor and marasmus forms of malnutrition.
Sizanani responds to the nutritional needs of the children and families we serve through several projects including the Sponsorship Programme that began in 2010. Currently, sponsors provide an average of 195 food parcels each month. In addition, clinical nutrition such as formula or e-pap are provided to those who are sick or undernourished. Finally, we help families establish and maintain food gardens. These gardens serve as important sources of nutrition and surplus vegetables may be sold to supplement the family’s income.
After Sphesihle and Ndumiso left for their tertiary education, the Sizanani Huts staff took responsibility for the garden. Today, Ntobeko Mnyandu and Sr. Selina Baloyi (both pictured above) work to ensure its continued success.
In 2007, Sphesihle Zulu and Ndumiso Shezi, two young learners from Sigananda Primary School, attended an organic gardening course offered by Sizanani. After the course, the boys approached Dr. Lindner (Sr. Ellen) to express an interest in establishing a demonstration garden. She asked them to “make a plan” and they did. Fr Aquilin Mpanza, the local parish priest offered the use of a piece of uncultivated land overgrown with heavy vegetation and without water. Then, under her guidance, they created the demonstration garden. The boys continued to work in the garden while attending High School. Today, Ndumiso is studying architecture and Sphesihle is studying agriculture, both with the help of Sizanani. Recently, Sphesihle completed an internship at the Inkamana Abbey Vryheid, where he was exposed to opportunities that he says he never could have imagined.
My name is Ntobeko Mnyandu. I feel so happy about working at Sizanani Huts in the Garden. Sizanani helped me a lot when my life was very difficult especially after my parents left me with my uncle, who then passed away in 2012. A few months after his death the house burnt down, I was always worried, hurt and had lost hope. I felt like my life was over. I was 17 years-old and had no one, absolutely no one, just me and the burnt house. My neighbour took me to Sizanani where I received assistance. Sizanani built a new house for me and started attending to all my needs. Sizanani caregivers kept visiting me and supporting me. They even helped me find my mother who had been away from home for years. Sizanani has given me hope in my life.
The number of Sponsorship Food Parcels provided to Sizanani client families.
The total number of food parcels (excluding sponsorship parcels) provided to families.
The number of clinical nutrition e-pap food parcels provided to Sizanani clients.
The number of clinical nutrition formula food parcels provided for 22 infants.