Pinkie’s Story

Pinkie* was born in an ambulance in 2002 on the way to hospital, where her mother abandoned her. She was placed at our Maria Kloppers Campus in 2005 and was later moved to our specialist campus in Langlaagte.

“Three years ago I met Pinkie, a low-functioning 14 year old with Down syndrome. Pinkie had a fear of climbing up and down a flight of stairs. She would burst out in screams and I would look on helplessly. She could not communicate effectively and was unable to explain what was wrong. I could not console or reassure her”, says Pinkie’s Social Worker, Lu-Juan Esterhuizen.

Until recently, Pinkie would only interact or talk with her Barbie dolls and housemother. She could spend endless hours a day, sitting in a corner with her dolls. Pinkie had a strong bond with her housemother, tannie Mary Jonker, who had worked at Abraham Kriel for 30+ years. They were inseparable – wherever you saw Pinkie, tannie Mary was right there beside her. Tannie Mary has since retired and Pinkie had to be moved to another house on the Langlaagte campus; a move that changed young Pinkie’s life forever.

Pinkie has gone from a shy withdrawn child to being the center of attention. She dances, plays and interacts with her sisters. She attends a special needs school and seems to be enjoying it very much. Although she is not able to do much at school, she clearly understands her teachers. Pinkie is a hard worker and although her school work is not always 100%, her housemother and social worker are always motivating and encouraging her. “Pinkie has come out of her shell and it is beautiful to watch”, says housemother Gladys Lecholo. “She sometimes gives us a hard time but she is such a joy to be around. She is outspoken and will put you in your place if she feels that you are out of line. She doesn’t play with her dolls that much anymore. I guess she has found a sense of belonging”, adds Lu-Juan. Pinkie is about ready to go out into the adult world, but will still remain in a protected environment.

It takes a village to raise a child – an African proverb. Abraham Kriel Bambanani is such a village, but YOU, as the donor have given Pinkie the opportunity to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. Without your support, Pinkie’s story may have had a different ending. Pinkie is unique and there will never again be a child like her, but there are many more special and unique children that rely on your ongoing kindness and care.

*Not her real name

Pinkie se storie

Pinkie* is in 2002 gebore in die ambulans oppad hospitaal toe, waar sy agtergelaat is deur haar ma. Sy is in 2005 by ons Maria Kloppers Kampus geplaas en later na die spesialiskampus in Langlaagte geskuif.

“Ek het vir Pinkie drie jaar gelede ontmoet as in 14-jarige met Down sindroom. Sy was ‘n tingerige meisie met ‘n vrees om trap te klim. Op of af het geen verskil gemaak nie. Sy sou begin skree terwyl ek hulperloos toekyk. Sy kon nie kommunikeer en vir my vertel wat verkeerd was nie. En sy was ontroosbaar”, vertel Pinkie se maatskaplike werker,  Lu-Juan Esterhuizen.

Tot onlangs het Pinkie net met haar Barbie poppe en soms haar huisma gesels. Sy kon vir ure aaneen in ‘n hoekie sit met haar poppe. Pinkie het ‘n sterk band gehad met haar huismamma, Tannie Mary Jonker, wat toe reeds 30+ jaar vir Abraham Kriel gewerk het. Hulle was onafskeidbaar en Pinkie was soos Tannie Mary se skaduwee. Tannie Mary moes egter aftree en Pinkie moes skuif na ‘n ander huis op die Langlaagte kampus. Die skuif het verrassend goed gewerk.

Die skaam en teruggetrokke Pinkie was eensklaps weg en in haar plek was ‘n kind wat dit geniet om in die kollig te wees. Sy dans, sy speel en sy  gesels met haar ‘sussies’. Sy woon ‘n skool vir kinders met spesiale behoeftes by en geniet dit baie. Al kan sy nie veel doen by die skool nie, is dit duidelik dat sy die onderwysers verstaan. Pinkie werk hard, maar haar skoolwerk is nie altyd 100% nie en tog moedig haar huismamma en maatskaplike werker haar aan. “Pinkie het uit haar dop gekruip en dit is ‘n lieflike ding om te aanskou”, vertel huismamma Gladys Lecholo. Sy kan soms moeilik wees, maar is eintlik ‘n vreugde om in die huis te hê. Sy het ‘n opinie en sit jou maklik op jou plek indien sy dink iets is verkeerd. ” “Sy speel nie meer so baie met haar poppe nie en ek reken sy voel asof sy hoort,” voeg Lu-Juan by. Pinkie is amper gereed om uit te gaan in die volwasse wêreld, maar sal altyd in ‘n beskermde omgewing moet bly.

Dit vereis ‘n dorpie om ‘n kind op te voed – lui die Afrika spreekwoord. Abraham Kriel Bambanani is so ‘n dorpie, maar U as donateur het inderwaarheid vir Pinkie die geleentheid gegee om in ‘n veilige en gesonde omgewing groot te word. Sonder U ondersteuning sou Pinkie se storie dalk baie anders geeindig het. Pinkie is uniek en daar sal nooit weer ‘n kind soos sy ons pad kruis nie, maar daar is baie ander spesiale en unieke kinders wat sonder dat hulle weet, staatmaak op u voorgesette omgee en liefde.

*Nie haar regte naam nie