One of our Religious Sisters (who is also a qualified Nursing Sister – Sr. Bridget) has for the past few years done work voluntarily on a daily basis at the Home Based Care Center in Johannesburg (Hillbrow). The area that Sr. Bridget serves is the informal settlements within the infrastructure of downtown Johannesburg, Hillbrow, Berea, Betrams, Yeoville etc. Some of the shelters that these people have made for themselves are in rat infested unused underground garages and warehouses and factories where there are absolutely no sanitation, water supply and electricity. Those that do live in apartments are squashed in due to overcrowding and have the same lack of or non functioning sanitation and electricity. The one building had water pouring down the stairs as Sr. Bridget made her way up to visit a mother with a new born baby.

Due to large insurgence of refugees from all parts of South Africa and Africa in search of work and better living, there is a huge lack of sufficient medical care and social services. At present Sr. Bridget visits, counsels, monitors hygiene and health, assesses medical and nutritional needs and gives spiritual comfort when requested. She assists these patients in complying to their health programme, in their hygiene and with their medication. She hands out to the destitute families any surplus food, clothing and blankets. She gives transport to patients going to clinics, hospitals and Social Welfare. We assess and source the needs of the destitute like crutches, wheelchairs, first aid medication and equipment, toiletries, nappies and vitamins.

Nazareth House wishes to be an active part in building a bridge for the poverty-stricken, ill, local community to uplift themselves through good health care and assistance in all areas by offering the already running programmes and to long-term sustainable strategies such as skills development which will empower them to acquire decent employment and better their living standards.