FRANCISTOWN: The Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) staff and students in Francistown donated a house to a needy 89-year-old woman on Friday.
The wheelchair-bound, Maria Dema of Matsiloje was given a furnished two and half house connected with water and electricity. The principal of IHS Francistown, Mantate Manyothwane said they met Dema in 2010 through a Somerset East social worker where she (Dema) used to live.
Manyothwane said that after meeting Dema, they realised that she did not own a plot or a proper house, as she lived in a small house that she shared with her children.
She said through the Community Service Committee, the Francistown City Council was approached to solicit a plot for Dema. “The request was acceded to in 2012 and the institution started to construct the house,” said Manyothwane.
Manyothwane began to raise funds to construct the house and the business community, individuals, IHS staff and students contributed towards its construction.
“We did not hire any contractors to build this house, but some of our staff with construction skills volunteered to build this house for Dema. The total cost of the house was around P50,000,” said Manyothwane.
Minister of Health Dorcas Makgato hailed IHS and those who contributed towards the project for being successful in their charity gesture.“This falls in line with President Ian Khama’s housing appeal and while the IHS’ mandate is to produce and prepare the core of the health system through nurses, it is through this undertaking that we demonstrate to students that community involvement is very critical,” she said.
Makgatho said graduates will emerge from this institution as responsible individuals who will not only be armed with nursing qualifications, but will also realise and acknowledge the meaning of true patriotism.
“Today we are handing over the ninth house and the second in Francistown. This is commendable as shelter is a basic human need and without shelter one cannot live a dignified life,” said Makgatho.
Makgatho urged the Dema family to look after the house for it to last and serve the purpose for which it was built.