Mater Domini Home Continues to Fight the Good Fight
Last year was challenging for the Mater Domini Home in Claremont, Cape Town, but with many blessings and new friends the house for women with difficult pregnancies has quietly continued with its work.
During the hard lockdown the home made its own masks and hand sanitiser. Although some residents suffered from “cabin fever, clinic-visits and shopping gave them some occasion to get out. Eight women, a toddler and five newborns were at Mater Domini during this period. Later on, after a careful admission process, new applicants were approved and more babies born.
The surplus food donated by large stores, which had assisted the home in its careful budgeting, was greatly reduced by the pandemic. “Strangely though,” said resident supervisor Celia Dawson, “the locals kindly stepped in to donate, and the home was well able to manage.”
Dawson has been the resident supervisor throughout the pandemic and steered the home throughout this most difficult time.
There were some highlights. Mandela Day brought joy and surprises when three organisations arrived on the day. The Cape Town Hindu Seva Samaj (CTHSS) Welfare Project, Kirstenbosch Lions Club and the Claremont Police gave new blankets and food parcels to all the residents at the Home.
Other kind contributions were made to the Home about this time. Neighbouring Abbotts College, a private school, fixed a window, Ward councillor Ian Iversen donated blankets, and the Hope Women’s Forum arranged a raffle. “All these, and other donations too, have been very much appreciated,” the Mater Domini Board said.
Mikateko Media arrived with fresh bread and donations one day — and the suggestion that the grounds of the home would be ideal for a craft market. So they organised three market days as well as a Christmas market. “This has opened up new channels of support,” the board said.
The Catholic Women’s League (CWL), which has quietly assisted the Mater Domini Home with care programmes, raffles for fundraising and project-assistance. The CWL organised a second-hand stall that proved popular. The hope is that this can be extended to provide a regular income.
Towards the end of the year, an anonymous benefactor donated a generous sum to assist with needed improvement and maintenance projects at Mater Domini Home, whose building is old and much utilised.
With all this help, the Mater Domini Home has felt blessed during a difficult period and managed to continue. “We keep our doors open to give hope and support for pregnant women in difficult circumstances,” the home said.
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