Danny's Diary: Tough surviving inequality
We choose to ignore so we can fill our pockets. All this means nothing when our health is compromised beyond repair.
We are reminded how over-populated the world is. More and more people feel lonely. Suicides are on the increase. We suffer from illnesses one can’t see. Because we are unable to adapt our way of living, we pop pills which in the end deliver us to addiction.
The right to education is a basic human right. Private schools and hospitals which swallow almost half one’s monthly income is for many no longer an option.
Labels on health products promise to promote well-being, but turn the box over and it says the opposite. Yet it is a multi-billion dollar industry.
The church is a place for comfort and worship, but for some it is about money. The more you give, the more God will bless. The pastor drives a Porsche, while the poor children in the congregation wear broken shoes.
Then there are those who scramble to get to work and travel on public trains, but trains get vandalised and torched.
Elsewhere, we street people barely survive.
There are those who will never understand our fear of winter. How can they? If (God forbid) they have a break-in, they must deal with the inconvenience of reporting their loss to insurance. All we have are cardboard boxes and plastic sails to keep us warm. We are constantly wet, cold, hungry and grumpy.
The powers-that-be sometimes instruct a clean up, and everything we own is thrown on to the back of a truck. We get violated by the very people who took an oath to serve and protect.
Sometimes we find something worth our while. We try to sell it, but always end up with a raw deal.
Meetings, workshops, forums for the homeless. We are never there. We never hear how others make decisions to change our way of living.
If and when you offer help and we let you down, listen up - we did not disappoint you, it is your expectations of us that disappointed you.
If we are homeless for years, then walk back into the system, we will set ourselves up for failure. We first need to learn how to crawl, then walk, then run.
If there are any topics or questions you would like me to answer, mail me at [email protected]
* Danny Oosthuizen is the #TheDignityProject ambassador. In his weekly daily column for the Cape Argus, he tackles the struggles homeless people face. Connect with Danny on Facebook and on Twitter @masekind3213 or via email.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.