ACS-Embrace received a request from Ikhwezilokusa Home (a home for the profoundly disabled), to take a photograph of each and every resident, to then print and frame an A4 copy of each photo. These will then be hung on the wall, above each patient’s bed. We believed this project would make a significant difference in bringing a little bit of joy into the lives of every individual resident as the photos will help create a sense of belonging, of being “at home” and having “my own place”, apart from bringing some colour and upliftment into the dorms.
The team set out for The Home on Friday 14th July, to take the photographs. We were met with joy and excitement. Everybody dressed their best, smiled and posed for us. Over 250 photographs were taken, of which 130 were later printed and then framed.
Madiba Day saw the ACS-Embrace Demo room turned into a photo framing workshop as team members joined in to assist with the arduous task of framing all those photos. Our combined team effort saw the task complete well before noon. The framed photos were carefully packed into boxes and we set out for De Deur, to deliver the photos to the Ikhwezilokusa Home. And what an incredible welcome we received! As soon as they recognised us, those who could, come rushing out to greet us, asking if we had their picture. “Lemme see”; “Where’s mine?” “Can I keep it?”etc.
They carried the boxes of framed photos into the reception area and hastily unpacked them. One of the residents immediately started sorting them according to the dormitories and promptly made off with all the photos for his dormitory – number 4. Along with all the other residents of dormitory 4, we followed, armed with a hammer and a bunch of nails. Clearly there was no time to be wasted. Our “ringleader”, Lincoln, proved to be quite a character. He handed out all the photos and meticulously planned where his was to be placed. How could we not oblige? Team Embrace member, Emmanuel, placed the nail in the wall, where requested, and Lincoln’s picture was up – and met with a broad, beaming smile of approval!
All the other residents sat on their beds, holding onto their photos, insisting that theirs go up next. Emmanuel was very cooperative and in no time at all, everybody had their photos hanging above their bed.
For the team, this was one of the most touching projects we have had the privilege to be involved in. While we do a lot for the home, these photos were very personal and every resident was made to feel special, important and valued. Definitely the most rewarding 67 minutes for every team member.