Since the inception of Women in Action (WiA) in May 2009, members have focused on the goal of making a difference in the lives of those they meet by spreading awareness on various health issues and empowering individuals to take care of themselves.
This group is made up of pastors’ wives who assist their husbands in the communities where they work. Within the group there are those who have become volunteers and been trained by the CANSA Association of South Africa for Cancer Awareness and Bohani Trading and Projects for HIV Awareness. The group first began going to the Oncology Department at the Johannesburg Charlotte Maxeke Hospital three times a week. When they found patients came from Baragwanath and the Far East Rand Hospital, they formed other volunteer groups for those areas.
Now groups visit the Johannesburg hospital every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and other groups go to Baragwanath and the Far East Rand Hospital on Tuesdays. Because some of the patients do not only have cancer but also HIV, WiA has formed a separate group dedicated solely to HIV Awareness. As volunteers, WiA help make the patients in various hospitals more aware about cancer and HIV.
They not only distribute relevant handouts but also take the time to listen to what the patient has to say, and in so doing they come to know of many other needs the patients have. After every visit there are those who take the time to follow-up with the patient by calling them back to see how they are doing. During such call backs we come across those who are in dire need and require further assistance other than just knowledge about their sickness.
The WiA goes that extra mile to visit patients in their homes doing what they can to assist, whether it is going to the CANSA office to collect a pair of walking sticks that will make the person a bit more comfortable or rallying together to buy food so that they’ll have something to eat. It doesn’t matter whether you are a member of the UCKG or not, what matters to us is helping you to cope in your time of need.
The women of Women in Action are just that – women who take action in making a difference in the lives of others. They make every effort to become educated and trained in the relevant area of volunteering so that they can give proper and accurate information to the patients. No matter where the need may arise, you can be sure if a difference needs to be made you’ll find a Woman in Action doing just that.
Mrs Donna Owumbiko (Cancer Volunteer Coordinator)