The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons) partnered with Ukhozi FM Radio Station, part of the SABC Broadcasting, by donating wheelchairs to honour seven elderly women on 30 August 2012. These veteran women have given much time and effort to build and help their community over the years and are now struggling with mobility.
Ukhozi FM has been honouring women during August, as part of Women’s Month in commemoration of the 9 August 1956 march by women, many with children on their backs, on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest the abuse of women and children. As the month of August comes to a close, the Church and Ukhozi FM felt a desire to acknowledge these women by holding a wheelchair handover at the Umlazi BB Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Graham Sabela, Public Affairs Director for the Church in Durban, along with the Department of Health made arrangements for the event, and to invite the recipients of the wheelchairs. TJ Whitteveen of CE Mobility in Durban works closely with the Church and the Department of Health to make sure the wheelchairs are fitted properly and delivered to the handover events.
The program included the choir of the Umlazi BB congregation singing “Come, Come Ye Saints,” a favourite hymn of the late “Kansas City,” a former broadcaster of Ukhozi FM. The words of the hymn “all is well” were commented on by Charles Magaqa, a leader of the Church congregation, as he spoke to an audience of about 75 people. Mr. Magaqa also spoke of another favourite hymn, “As I Have Loved You, Love One Another.” This hymn reflects the reason why the Church gives service to those in need – following the example of Jesus Christ.
Station Manager, Vicky Masuku, of Ukhozi FM Radio said, “This Church helps our elders. We value our elders. Thank you to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We all put in together to help uplift the community. Whatever is done in this church should be done in all churches.”
“Mom Theresa” (Theresa Mthembu) gave an enthusiastic speech to the women saying, “This is the month of us (women). You cry today but you laugh tomorrow.” She concluded her remarks by adding, “on behalf of these veteran women, I want to thank this Church. The Church can have beautiful buildings, but God wants the Church to be in our hearts.” Mom Theresa is a true veteran as she has spent 40 years in the ANC with unbroken service.
Remarks were given by the Department of Health on the behalf of the Minister of Health KZN. Mrs. Mzobe gave a community message of support. The conclusion was given by Graham Sabela speaking of the many Humanitarian Efforts made by the Church on behalf of the communities in South Africa and other parts of the world. Mr. Sabela goes to great lengths to work with Ukhozi FM in finding eligible recipients of wheelchairs, donated by the Church. There have been hundreds of wheelchairs donated in all parts of Kwazulu Natal due to his tireless efforts.
At the conclusion of the event, a wonderful luncheon was served, catered by Icebolethu Caterers. There many tears of joy and beautiful songs of thanksgiving during this great day of celebrating women by honouring our elders. The entire group was touched as they watched these wonderful elderly women being wheeled out of the building in their new chairs, a much easier and better way than they had entered.