A Home Interventionst’s Testimony
Herman de Jager (a Home Interventionist in KZN) travelled 200km from his home in Port Shepstone in a ten year old Fiat Uno to Umzimkhulu, a deep rural area in KwaZulu-Natal. The area lacks many services and access to the homestead is by dirt roads. Irrespective of the adverse conditions, he journeyed religiously for twelve weeks to make a difference in Mbali’s life.
Making home visits – meeting parents who love their children and want the best for them has been an enriching experience.
Mbali is a three year old boy who developed severe jaundice after birth. This may have caused her hearing loss and developmental delays. His parents were very proactive in seeking out help for their son and due to this they were referred to HI HOPES by Grey’s Audiology Department in Pietermaritzburg at the end of 2010. At the time we had no Home Interventionists able to travel to the area, but Herman agreed to take on the challenge and started visiting the family in May 2011.
Mbali’s father, Thulani, was so thrilled to hear that someone from HI HOPES would be visiting the family that he took a day’s leave from work and continued to do this every time Herman came. Thulani then insisted on going to the nearest trading store to buy him a Coke. This was the best way he knew how to reciprocate the family’s appreciation. It was during this short term intervention of twelve visits that Herman assisted the family in understanding Mbali’s hearing loss, wearing of hearing aids and the various communication approaches used by deaf persons. The family opted to use the auditory-verbal approach and the Interventionist was supportive of their choice by providing materials such as hand-outs encouraging them to create an enriched auditory environment. By the end of the twelve visits, Mbali was counting from 1-10, building blocks and could name several colours. He is wearing his hearing aids all his waking hours, and with such wonderful progress, his parents were exploring various options for him to start preschool soon.
Being Part of the HI HOPES Team is extremely rewarding
Make a difference!
Konki Moabelo was trained as part of the foundation group of HI HOPES Interventionists (HI) in 2006. She is a HI in Gauteng and has supported over 60 families through their journeys of raising deaf infants to date. What Konki loves most about her job is that it gives her the opportunity to touch and change so many lives. One of Konki’s small victories is to have seen the first child that she taught, Lesego, graduate to Grade 4 at St Vincent School for the Deaf. She continues to look forward to assisting and helping more Deaf babies and overcoming the challenges that lay ahead in this highly specialized field of early intervention in families of deaf and hard of hearing babies.
Phumzile Nxumalo is highly respected in the New Castle community where she works as a Home Interventionst for HI HOPES. In the five years that she has served with HI HOPES, she has impacted the lives of 50 families. She has assisted numerous families in the area in getting their deaf children accepted into schools. Her work has involved informing parents about Deaf Culture and sign language. She often visits families and their babies in the deep rural areas where there are no reliable transport facilities. Most of the families that Phumzile works, with have never met a deaf person before. Phumzile feels that HI HOPES is doing a great job in her life by equipping and skilling her to help deaf and hard of hearing infants and their families.