Last Updated
Thursday 27 November 2014, 14:40 pm.
Albino mother wallows in poverty

SELEBI-PHIKWE: Botshabelo North is one of the poorest locations in the copper mining town of Selebi-Phikwe. It is home to 28-year-old Mpho Ditshotlo, whose house is just a stone's throw away from the busy BCL Mine.
By Staff Writer Fri 28 Nov 2014, 21:10 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Albino mother wallows in poverty








The young woman lives with her three children in a yard with three one-roomed mud huts. Rising from the fire where she is cooking lunch, Ditshotlo quickly ushers The Monitor team to a shade, where her mother joins us.

Ditshotlo starts off by saying that she is unemployed and lives in difficult conditions. She explains that she dropped out of school at Form Three in 2003 due to pregnancy.Her first child was born in 2001. In 2003 she gave birth to her second born and in 2010 she gave birth to her third child. "I was fortunate to get assistance from the council social workers but they are not catering for my children. The council is also not providing me with clothes," she says.

Ditshotlo and her children depend on relatives and well-wishers for clothes. She was enrolled in the council destitute scheme in November last year. She gets sunscreen lotion from the local clinic because she is an albino.

She says that the cream is not enough because she needs specially made bath soaps for her skin. She says that she was bed ridden last October and was diagnosed with skin cancer. She states that she has been informed that the disease is incurable. She gets medicine from Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital in Francistown to alleviate the problem. She goes for chemotherapy in Gaborone. She says the skin cancer is getting worse because she uses fire to cook.

"It is only that I don't have a choice or else I couldn't be going anywhere near the fire place." She has parted ways with the father of her children and he is not assisting her.  "Right now, my children do not have school uniform and paying for their school fees is a headache. I must ask from my relatives to pay for me. I could be far in life if I had not dropped out of school because I was a bright student. My dream was to become a nurse one day," she says with sadness written all over her face. The mud house she lives in belongs to her relative. She says it can collapse anytime.

Ditshoto's mother, Matala feels sad when she sees her daughter suffering. Mpho is the second born of five children. Their father passed away a long time ago. Matala says she does not have the means to take care of her child and grandchildren because she is unemployed.

She says Mpho is sensitive to the elements and cannot do anything heavy like working in the Ipelegeng Programme. She appeals to companies and organisations to come to their rescue.



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