For those who left South Africa after 2015, the tragic story of the ‘Life Esidimeni’ scam is still etched in everyone’s memory. For those who already lived in the USA, the news of the brutal and inhumane deaths of 144 patients at psychiatric facilities in Gauteng, shocked the world.
The tragedy was due to a poorly planned move by the Department of Health, and it eventually cost the lives of 144 people and, to this day, some patients remain unaccounted for.
Over the last thirty years, Roy and Matilda Harris have been working tirelessly and selflessly, founding seven non-profit mental health facilities in Cape Town. These facilities include a frail care centre, a clinic, and satellite clinics which provide full-time residential and medical care to over 300 at-risk, no-income individuals, some with severe and profound mental and physical disabilities.
These adults and children cannot be integrated into their communities due to the severity of their mental and physical challenges, which include Schizophrenia, Bipolar Mood Disorder, Severe Epilepsy, Brain Injuries and Down Syndrome to name but a few.
Unbeknown to Roy and Matilda at the time, the success and growth of their undertaking would bring the enormous responsibility to serve these patients on a long-term basis.
The cost of living in SA is currently soaring, making it difficult for the facilities to cope with the demands. Due to a lack of support from government, a declining South African economy, and state corruption and governance failure, USA4RSA was established. It is a fully IRS registered 501(c)(3) fundraising non-profit foundation based in Florida, USA. USA4RSA’s aim is to ensure the future long-term financial sustainability of their South African non-profit facilities.
Setting up a satellite office in America has enabled them to raise funds for, protect the health and well-being of, and ensure a stable future for all mental health residents and patients.
The desperate need is ongoing with a current waiting list stretching to over 200 anxious families and hospital social workers waiting to have patients admitted.
Donations are a fundamental part of what makes USA4RSA possible. Fundraising is the only way they can provide services to the disabled community. By becoming an active participant in this cause, you can help ensure that a tragedy such as the ‘Life Esidimeni’ scam is never repeated.
Saffas can play a significant role by initiating your own peer-to-peer campaign to raise awareness and funds, making a difference in the lives of those who cannot help themselves. Opportunities also exist to contribute towards start-up costs of the new USA4RSA office in the USA or donate towards essential current needs at the non-profit facilities in Cape Town.
Please do not hesitate to contact the USA4RSA team anytime via email, phone, or social media to discuss how to get involved. If you have specific questions or would like further information please visit www.usa4rsa.org.