Widow’s home repaired with help from Australia

WARMER WINTERS: The home of Mlungisi resident Nomfundo Mqhwishi was repaired recently through a crowdfunding account which was set up by her friend who now lives in Australia      Picture: SUPPLIED

A Komani mother said she is ‘overjoyed’ when her house was rebuilt by a Good Samaritan in Australia.

Nomfundo Mqhwishi from Mlungisi lived in a house without a roof for more than two weeks after it was destroyed by strong winds last month.

The house was repaired after she informed her friend and former employer, Mandy Wendt, how it was destroyed.

Wendt, an expatriate in Australia, organised help for Mqhwishi by opening a Go Fund Me account, an open sourcing account where people publicly donate to a cause.

Mandy Wendt Picture: SUPPLIED

Mqhwishi, who is a care giver, said she was happy and humbled by the gesture because she had no means to rebuild her home.

“My husband has passed away and I care for my children alone. Recently with the country on lockdown I had not been working. It took me years to build the house and I had no way to start repairs.

“I did not spend a single cent in the reconstruction. Wendt sympathised with me when I really had nowhere to turn for help.

The mother of three said her family spent the two weeks in the house, in the cold of winter, because they had nowhere else to go.

“I had to stay up at night and look after my children because we live in a very dangerous area. I often had to try and get bats out of the house as they were scaring the children. We were also afraid most nights. On the first night the zinc from the old roofing was stolen,” said Mqhwishi.

Mandy Wendt, who described Mqhwishi as a good friend, said she happy to change the life of Mqhwishi.

“Noni (Mqhwishi) was an excellent carer for my late father. She is the most wonderful person with a true gift of compassion for others with disadvantages. She also lets the little children in her village come to her house to play and be safe, out of the streets. Jesus has given her a ministry of helping children to stay safe. Noni is a beautiful woman of God. She inspires me every day.”

Being in Australia, Wendt roped in her elderly mother who helped coordinate the effort on this side. She worked with other people who helped make her dream come true.

“We started a “Go Fund Me” fundraiser in Sydney and many wonderful people donated to Noni’s roof building project. I thank my mother, Dirkie Finlay, along with Michelle Löest and Johan Reynders for helping me make this vision happen. If it were not for them organising things in Komani, this would not have happened.”

Nomfundo Mqhwishi after it was destroyed by strong winds Picture: SUPPLIED

The roof was rebuilt by Jonathan Löest, who worked pro-bono with his team. New windows and a front door were added to Mqhwishi’s home.

Jonathan Löest said: “It was a privilege to help. It was a really bad situation for her and the children. We worked over the long weekend and everyone was so excited when we finished.”



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