‘Revelation’ sees local hero nominee help change lives of youth involved in drugs

Affectionately known as Aunty Pam , Nombulelo Jantjies,67, collected 55 young people from her community in Egoli Flats and took them to a rehabilitation centre in Durban in 2015. Five years later, she started a community vegetabe garden at the Alphendale Clinic where she sells vegetables with the young people, and also cooks warm meals on Wednesdays for clinic patients and the young people in her community.
Affectionately known as Aunty Pam , Nombulelo Jantjies,67, collected 55 young people from her community in Egoli Flats and took them to a rehabilitation centre in Durban in 2015. Five years later, she started a community vegetabe garden at the Alphendale Clinic where she sells vegetables with the young people, and also cooks warm meals on Wednesdays for clinic patients and the young people in her community.
Image: SUPPLIED

An annual church conference in Durban provided a revelation for Nombulelo Jantjies, 67, after she was touched by the story of a former drug addict.

Inspired, Jantjies decided to plough back into her community in Egoli Flats by helping the youth involved in drugs to change their ways.

“On March 28 2015, I took it upon myself to speak to a group of 14 young people who were busy smoking drugs, and told them about the rehabilitation centre in Durban where they would spend 21 days to be rehabilitated.”

Jantjies said one of the young people had requested a notepad and pen, and later that day returned with the names of 32 young people who wanted to change their lives for the better.

My house became a home for these young people; I started cooking soup for them, and conducted prayer sessions

“My house became a home for these young people; I started cooking soup for them, and conducted prayer sessions.

“After spending some time with them, I found out that they wanted to extend their skills in woodwork.

“In June 2015, the number increased to 55, which included 10 young women and 45 young men.

“It was overwhelming, but I enjoyed every moment,” said Jantjies, fondly know as “Auntie Pam”.

Jantjies said on June 25 2015, the department of social development provided transport for the group to be taken to the centre in Durban.

In 2020, “Auntie Pam” started a community vegetable garden at the Alphendale Clinic, where she sells vegetables with the young people, and also cooks warm meals on Wednesdays for clinic patients and the young people in her community.

“We started the community vegetable garden last year, where we supplied Proveg and community members.

I cook meals for the chronically ill patients on Wednesday and also cook for the young people. I do this out of my goodwill of helping my community

“I cook meals for the chronically ill patients on Wednesday and also cook for the young people.

“I do this out of my goodwill of helping my community, though we stopped this year in February due to lack of resources, but we will carry on again sometime this year,” Jantjies said.

Lindiwe Zondani, who nominated Jantjies as a local hero, described her as “a selfless mother” who prioritises other people’ needs first.

“She is doing all of this only for the community and she doesn’t even have a child involved in drug abuse or any kind of crime in the community,” Zondani said.

DispatchLIVE


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