When Theresa Hirschfield was crowned Miss Millennium Jazz Restaurant in 2010, she vowed to one day to help the elderly.
In the same year she won the crown, she read about the plight of an impoverished 78-year-old grandmother, Kealebale Satlhaga, who was struggling to feed her 28 orphaned grand kids.
Hirschfield, the multiple trophy winning coach of the Maruapula School senior netball team and mother of three, immediately sprung into action. She visited the family in their dusty village of Moshaneng, a few kilometers outside Kanye along the Trans Kalahari Highway where she made another donation of food and clothing.
“I learned about the Setlhaga family from The Voice newspaper and I visited them the following week. I took along clothes and food,” she said. “The article was quite detailed as it contained their ages and sexes hence I knew what sizes to get. I was so touched when I got there and, at that time, I was accompanied by my husband and two of my kids.”
Satlhaga has never been to school and cannot read or write; she said in an interview that she was blessed with eight children but they have all died leaving her to care for their kids.
‘Mma H’, as Hirschfield is affectionately referred to by many, says she is currently working on putting a fence around the yard.
“The old lady is crying for water and I have long wanted to put up a stand pipe for her but was told I cannot without erecting a fence first.”
Hirschfield says she has been on radio asking for donations from Batswana and the response has been positive.
“I must say they have really heard my plea and I would like to thank everyone who has lent a helping hand, especially the Attorney General Social Club who responded to my plea. They visited the family for a whole day and helped them clear the yard. They also cooked for them. One gentleman has donated P2 000 which I am going to use to put up a standpipe. There is also a student at Maru-a-Pula whose parents have donated a fence to be put around the plot, and all these I thank God and all Batswana who have really stood beside me.