Victoria Nkomana spends her retirement years helping the aged, vulnerable

Local Hero nominee Victoria Nkomana is a founder of the Phumalanga Old Age Home in Alice.
Local Hero nominee Victoria Nkomana is a founder of the Phumalanga Old Age Home in Alice.
Image: SUPPLIED

Victoria Nkomana realised during her travels that many people were struggling for something as basic as putting food on the table.

Now the 74-year-old grandmother of five is using her retirement years to help as many of those people as she can.

She is the founder of the Phumalanga Old Age Home which helps 80 vulnerable senior citizens from Alice.

Nkomana established the home in 2003 to cater for elderly people from Alice and surrounding villages.

She feeds hundreds of people in the small town, on top of the senior citizens the home looks after.

Our objective is to alleviate poverty, focus on community and family unity, access affordable health care, protect the rights of elderly, golden games and much more

“We operate as a day care centre for the elderly and the needy in our community, catering for two meals a day. We now cook for about 300 people every day.

“Our objective is to alleviate poverty, focus on community and family unity, access affordable health care, protect the rights of elderly, golden games and much more.”

Nkomana has also hosted undergraduate and postgraduate University of Fort Hare students of psychology and social work for fieldwork training since 2009.

“The Alice Victoria Memorial Mobile Clinic visits the centre monthly to deliver medication and conduct health awareness for the elderly and other members of the community,” she said.

Phumalanga also looks after the needs of the youth and other vulnerable members of the community.

“Through the centre, we have organised learnerships, internships, apprenticeships and TVET College placements for skills development of the youth and disabled in our community.

“The programmes are very successful in benefiting our youth and the disabled.

“The centre has worked closely with our sister organisation, African Footprints of Hope Organisation (AFoH) on many programmes. We have also received food from FoodForward SA, the Siya Kolisi Foundation, Spar Fort Beaufort and Spar Alice.

Through this working relationship with AFoH, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we worked tirelessly to distribute PPE and more than 7,000 food parcels to destitute families in Raymond Mhlaba municipality and beyond

“Through this working relationship with AFoH, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we worked tirelessly to distribute PPE and more than 7,000 food parcels to destitute families in Raymond Mhlaba municipality and beyond,” Nkomana said.

She said in 2019 they had celebrated two centenarians from KwaGaga Village, an event which was hosted by deputy speaker of the Eastern Cape Legislature, Mlibo Qoboshiyane in collaboration with the Ubomi Foundation in Gqeberha.

“It was a day never to be forgotten by these two elderly women. In addition, the office of the deputy speaker donated more than 100 blankets as Christmas presents for Phumalanga beneficiaries.”

She said her aim was to one day build a proper home for elderly and vulnerable people.

“We have identified a piece of land, and we are waiting for the municipality to allocate us this property.

“It is our sincere hope that we will get funders to build us this home so that we can leave a legacy for generations to come,”  Nkomana said.

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