Some times this nation leaves me speechless!
By Louise and the KTD196 Dream Team – Director
Hello, How are you? I am well!
Thank you for being a part of our success, thank you for being there for the children and ladies of KTD196 and welcome to the Community.
Every week I draw from the happenings at KTD196 to create a GG report for you to understand the work we do, and the impact we have. I try to make it encouraging and informational as well as letting you know about the workings of KTD196 on a human level.
This week, I can’t do that. This week I am so frustrated and sad. I want to share with you regarding some of the injustices that our kids face as part of their everyday lives.
Recently, we decided to do some succession planning for lower level staff. We have 5 ladies that work in the field everyday walking from village to village and running the scouts program on behalf of KTD196. These ladies are predominantly over 50yrs of age, and they have been working with us up to 15yrs. However, that is not sustainable when for example, the weather yesterday was 44C or 111 degrees Fahrenheit, and they had to walk to the different villages, such is their mammoth commitment.
So, we have identified 3young men aged between 18-20yrs, 2 of whom grew up in the program and the 3rd has such heart to work with children and be a part of KTD196 that he was a no brainer to bring on team.
This all sounds great, I agree. Sadly, one of the young men whom I shall call Justice is a foreign national. His parents escaped the war in Mozambique in the late 1990s and came to South Africa. Justice and his siblings were born in 2000-2010. There are 6 of them, all South African born, but none have identity documents. Justice’s father passed away, he was the only one with documents. Now the family are undocumented. According to legislation, if the father was alive they could all apply for the ID required. There is no other way for them to become legal residents.
The impact of this is they are able to receive health care at local clinics if there is a nurse who is sympathetic, they were able to go to school but not allowed to graduate high school, Justice received 4distinctions but cannot go on to University. He cannot open a bank account, get a job, or contribute to society in a formal manner because he is undocumented.
I also have been the victim of an unjust and corrupt system as a foreigner, and it required a National Class Action against Home Affairs for the Constitutional Court to demand Home Affairs to process 400 outstanding work permit applications dated over a period of 4years. We won the case 2018, but still over 100 people are living in limbo, classed as legal illegals, 5years later. They are not allowed to work, enter into contracts, leave the country or risk being banned for 5years. During this time, I could not renew my licence, vehicle registration, have a cell phone contract etc. I was fortunate, I had the resources to be a part of the class action. Justice does not.
Here is a young man that is at the start of his adulthood, wanting to contribute to the building of South Africa and to support his family and he is prevented from doing so by the current Immigration Laws. There is also a lot of xenophobia in this nation with frequent riots happening where foreign nationals are targeted, whether they have the correct visa’s or not.
Sadly, he is one of many, trapped in limbo as a non-person. His whole family is condemned to the shadows. Fortunately, his mother is a part of our SHG program so the family have hope, but they have to remain under the radar.
I know this won’t be a popular post because of the many current refugee crises various nations are experiencing, however it’s important that you understand the context in which we work. The frustrations that we deal with on a daily basis. Often I question myself, how far would I go to protect my family, would I be willing, as is the case in the Ukraine, to pack up and leave my nation and become and international refugee? Would I leave the decimated nation of Zimbabwe so that my children would have a future? How far would you go to protect your family? I can only imagine the fear of leaving all that you know behind you, to an uncertain future.
We will continue to fight for Justice and others like him so that he can come out of the shadows.
I want to thank you for reading this. Please if you would like to comment or respond you are welcome to email me at email@example.com