Issy Geshen provides all the services needed to offer quality of life to our frail and indigent elderly residents. The home currently experiences a shortfall of R2659 per month per resident.

‘Newbie’, Elsie Khathi has the greenest fingers!

Elsie’s a remarkable 85-year-old who moved into Issy Geshen a few months ago. Single-handedly she’s transformed our garden into a thriving green paradise!

Elsie went to school in Kranskop, not far from Greytown. She later moved to Johannesburg and got her driver’s licence. All her adult life, she worked towards a better future for South Africa. Her ‘official’ job was driver for a florist, but she was actually working undercover for the Progressive Federal Party from 1959-1990. She would drive political refugees safely from Johannesburg to the borders of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho. She admired Helen Suzman and is proud that she played a role in the transformation of South Africa. Elsie never married but had a son who sadly passed away many years ago. But she has a brother who lives in Montclair. He persuaded her to move into Issy Geshen to be near him and his family for her last years. Elsie’s very happy here and is admired by one and all!



Our residents love the staff – they’re like daughters!

To our residents, Bongi, our longest serving volunteer, is like family. She’s a local woman who lives nearby with her mother, her sister and her niece. When she couldn’t find work, she volunteered at Issy Geshen. Bongi enjoys working with the elders – she enjoys their stories, laughing and singing with them.

Bongi’s one of our team who keeps our home clean and neat. When we asked Bongi what’s changed since she started at Issy Geshen, she replied with happy appreciation:  “I have a uniform, the cleaning products are better and there is a choir!”


Connie’s lived with us the longest

Connie Ngidi’s one of our residents who’s lived at Issy Geshen the longest. Her birthdate is recorded as 25th December 1928, but she believes she was actually born in 1925! This meant that she had to work three extra years before she could retire! So Connie’s either 90 or 93.

Born at Adams Mission on the South Coast, she had a good education at Inanda Seminary and Adams College where she trained to be a teacher. She taught at a few schools and was a headmistress. In her younger days, Connie enjoyed ballroom dancing, singing and playing tennis and she has a lifelong, deep faith in God.

Connie moved into Issy Geshen in 1988 and has been very happy here. She’s bedbound now and suffers from severe pain in her legs. She’s very popular with staff and the other elders, so she always knows what’s going on in the home.

We asked Connie what’s changed over the years and her reply was that “there are more carers and the furniture’s better”.


Our longest serving carer retires

Angelina Mkhongo is the longest serving carer at Issy Geshen – she started here an amazing 31 years ago! She lives in Lamontville a short walk away from the Home. Angelina trained as a carer at the Red Cross Organisation and worked at the Mitchell Park Old Age Home and then at TAFTA. Her aunt, who was matron at Issy Geshen at the time, suggested she work here.

Widowed in 1994, she has four children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Her daughter Ntokoza also works here.

Now 71 years old, Angelina retired recently. She says she’ll enjoy visiting the elders who are her friends. She’ll be spending her retirement actively, starting every morning with a walk with friends. She plans to work in her garden and breed chickens to sell. Her love of old people shines through – she organises a church group for her elderly friends.

We asked Angelina what’s changed since she started at Issy Geshen:

“There was no annex then, and not many frail elders. There were only two day carers and two night carers – usually only one on duty at a time! The elders made their own beds, washed their own clothes and helped around the home. The Eden Alternative was practiced even back then . . . and elders stayed active! Sometimes when the carer had to accompany someone to hospital, the others helped serve meals! Nowadays there are more staff but also many more frail folk. So we really appreciate it when we receive donations such as furniture, blankets and clothing.”

We at Issy Geshen will miss Angelina. She was always so kind and helpful. From all of us: Enjoy your well-deserved retirement and stay healthy and strong.


Our knitters have run out of wool!

We’d happily welcome gifts of wool of any type or colour, scraps, odd balls, even if it’s in a muddle our ladies will untangle it. We have lots of ladies who like to knit and crochet for charity. They say they like to make things for others less fortunate than themselves – because they themselves receive so many blessings.

For the past three years we’ve made blankets for the 67 Blankets for Mandela campaign which are given to the poor, and last winter participated in the Secret Scarf Campaign which handed out scarves to the needy during the cold weather. We’ve completed 15 blankets already and are now starting on scarves.

If you can spare your wool leftovers, please drop them off at Bernina Musgrave, Quilt Worx in Silvervause Centre on the Berea, or at Wool ‘n Weave, Lillie’s Quarter, Hillcrest, and we’ll arrange for them to be collected. If you’d like to buy a couple of balls of wool for our knitters, both these shops have very reasonable priced “charity wool” for sale.

We’d be so very grateful! Thank you!

The cost per resident is

Funded by 100% of the resident’s government pension

and (average)  government subsidy

Shortfall per resident per month

R7214 per month




How we’re funded:

Our annual budget for 2018 is about R6 million.

If not for the kindness and generosity of business, groups and individuals, we’d never be able to meet our budget deficit of
R2.2  million every year.

The challenge we are facing right now is that the shortfall increases every year because the cost of living – certainly the items we spend money on – increases by a higher percentage than the amount by which the government increases pensions and subsidies.  So it’s becoming ever more difficult, almost impossible now, to meet this shortfall.  Can you help? Your kindness will give our old people security into the future.  The alternative is unthinkable!

You can give safely and securely online, right now, simply click here. [link to ‘how you can help’ page] Your gift will reach us immediately.  We’d be very grateful!

If you’d prefer to make your donation by electronic funds transfer or direct deposit into our bank account, our bank account details appear below. Please be sure to use your phone number are the reference so that we can thank you for your kindness.


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