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Sarsih in South Africa
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A charity fund forSarsih Miskin

$560 given of $3,500 goal

Sarsih in South Africa

Started by: Sarsih Miskin

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I am an American living in South Africa where I work/volunteer at a rural hospice in a poverty stricken community.

The hospice itself is able to give 24 hour care for up to 20 individuals with its main focus on HIV+ patients.

My roles at this clinic are as follows:

1) Art program coordinator where I use art as a healing and coping mechanism for both mental and emotional wellness, as well as focusing on regaining fine motor strength and flexibility in the hands and wrists of our patients.

2) Exercise program coordinator which again is helpful towards the mental and emotional states of our patients and includes both group and individual sessions to rebuild muscular strength for patients that are both capable and those who are struggling to regain mobility.

3) Counselor for both our care workers and for individuals of the community. Many of our care workers are qualified to conduct in home HIV testing and it is an emotionally draining task, particularly if they are confronted with a newly diagnosed patient where it is their job to give them this news face to face. It is my job to check in on them as regularly as possible to see how they are coping with this task so that the emotional build up does not lead to a mental break or begins to affect other parts of their lives outside of work. I am also seeing a handful of young adults from the community in counselling sessions to help them cope with and overcome emotional issues that are affecting their daily lives, often due to a traumatic event (e.g. rape) that has happened in their lives.

4) Teen Team Co-Leader: My co-worker, Thandi, and myself noticed a growing need for HIV+ teenagers to have accountability for not only taking their medication but for mental and emotional stability. As a team we go out to the homes and schools of teenagers we know that are HIV+ and make connections with their families and their teachers to create a safe space for them to be open with their emotional and mental struggles in order to prevent them from falling into depression or anger due to their health status which can cause them to default on their medication.

5) Homeschooling: As a qualified teacher I have completed a homeschooling program with two brothers (Fanuel and Abraham) who were abandoned by their mother several years ago. Due to the fact that they were not left with any documentation (birth certificates, etc.) their education was put on hold as they could not attend high school without this documentation. Together we completed a homeschooling curriculum and are now working with a pro bono lawyer to ensure they can complete their high school exams and receive their certification officially.

I am currently working with another 19 year old who was in our care at the hospice as he was not only sick for a very long time, but also contracted meningitis and needed a brain operation which wiped out his memory to read and write along with many other things he learned through school. We are now working slowly together to help him regain his memory of these things and carry on his education.

Latest Update

Apologies for the lack of updates the last couple weeks! Our internet has been down, but will hopefully be up and running again this week. Thank you for your patience and continued support!

Posted by Sarsih

September 24 at 12:10pm

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A new update/blog post is up on my website! Go have a read and learn about two amazing kids that I work with! https://sarsihkegel.wixsite.com/sarsihinsouthafrica/post/the-story-of-fanuel-abraham

Posted by Sarsih

August 20 at 5:36pm

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The newest weekly update is available on my blog at: https://sarsihkegel.wixsite.com/sarsihinsouthafrica/post/public-holidays-and-playing-pa Thank you for your support!

Posted by Sarsih

August 13 at 7:24pm

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Hello all! Head over to my blog https://sarsihkegel.wixsite.com/sarsihinsouthafrica and check out a full update about the last week! We expanded in art, made progress with our exercise class, and even had a birthday party for Fanuel in town. Thanks for your support!

Posted by Sarsih

August 6 at 4:26pm

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Hello everyone! It has been a busy couple of weeks being home back at Nakekela. It was so lovely returning and seeing several faces that were already there before I visited overseas. The best part was seeing those faces a bit brighter and healthier than when we left them! A couple of the patients I am working with have progressed from wheelchairs to walkers and canes and are even giving the treadmill a go on our exercise days. Some of my older, wheel-chair bound patients are also having a lot of fun using the exercise bands to strengthen their arms and core. In art we have been busy making cards and restocking our supply of artwork to sell to visitors that come through our doors. The patients are really enjoying this, but as some of them are doing so much better in their journey to a healthier body, I will be introducing them to embroidery this week as a bit more of a challenge. Other notes from the last week: I applied for my permanent residency here in South Africa!

Posted by Sarsih

July 30 at 12:57pm

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9 Supporters

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  • Anonymous2 weeks ago
  • Anonymous6 weeks ago
  • Anonymous11 weeks ago
  • Anonymous15 weeks ago
  • Anonymous16 weeks ago
  • Matthew17 weeks ago God bless u and ur work
  • Michelle Kegel17 weeks ago May you continue to be a blessing. Love Shelly
  • Anonymous17 weeks ago
  • Mike and Ellen van Hamburg17 weeks ago Best wishes.