Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Local woman takes pleasure in helping the destitute

Direpang Segosebe’s volunteer work has allowed her to form special friendships with other people in the community.  She refers to the destitute as her family. Segosebe works as a nurse at Princess Marina Hospital but in her spare time she helps the less privileged people in society. “My intention is to keep changing people’s lives for the better. Over Christmas of 2012, I came across four men who call the streets home, their hunger was clearly written on their faces. I went to my house, prepared a meal for them and brought it back out,” said Segosebe. She says as she sat on the African Mall pavement to eat with them, she discovered from their conversation that they were adversely affected by ill health, starvation and above all, unidentifiable because none of them had an Omang despite being between the ages of 37 and 43. “I took them to the clinic soon afterwards and, being a nurse, i advocated for them to get treated in the absence of identification,” she said.

Although she managed to get them treated, Segosebe could not help but wonder how difficult it must have been for the gentlemen to access any other services without valid Omang’s. “Essentially it meant there was no official acknowledgement of their existence ÔÇô a basic human right guaranteed by law,” she says. Segosebe also said their lack of knowledge and understanding of how things work had unfortunately left them in the dark for too long. “Ever since 2012, I worked tirelessly to help them locate their families across the country and complete forms so they can get their Omang’s. As we speak, the four gentlemen are now in possession of their Omang’s!” exclaimed Segosebe. She says she is very excited for them as she feels it is the beginning of a whole new chapter for them.

“Failure to register for Omang within a month after reaching the age 16 is an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding P500.00 or 6 months imprisonment or both,” said Khumonyane Seoke, the Principal Registration Officer at Borakanelo Omang Office. She says her office worked hand in hand with Segosebe to get the gentlemen registered, but looking at their circumstances they ended up waiving the charges.

For a lady with a demanding job in the field of health, one may wonder where she gets the surplus energy from. “It’s because I believe we were all born for a purpose. I long figured mine – to gain trust from people I consider vulnerable – so they allow me close enough to help them. I felt a sense of achievement when the four took me to their home villages, one of them as far as Tswapong District to meet their families and headmen during this process,” she says. Segosebe says she is also driven by a stanza from the National Anthem that calls on us to ‘arise and help the country’. “I urge people to help those in need. I don’t do this for any financial benefit; I do it for the peace of mind I get when I know that I have made a positive impact in someone’s life,” she concludes.

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