Being a mother is the most rewarding and equally challenging role that any human could fulfill. Sure, being a president of a country and looking after the livelihood of millions of people has its fair share of intricacies, but motherhood is a whole other ball game. Thankfully there are those who seek to level the playing field and share experience and knowledge so that the skill of our mothers can be developed, meet Qaqamba Gubanca.
Qaqamba Gubanca is offering a roadmap to vulnerable mothers as they navigate parenthood. “We all want to be good parents,” she says. However, many mothers from townships in South African do not have access to basic maternal healthcare and necessary support that is vital in the early stages of a child’s life.
This oversight gives way too many threatening illnesses such as malnutrition. To help ease the burden, Gubanca connected with Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Trust based in Cape Town. Here she fulfills her duty as a Mentor Mother, with a key focus on empowering families and equipping mothers with the skills and know-how to ensure their children grow up safe and healthy.
Gubanca herself faced a multitude of challenges while growing up in a village in the Eastern Cape. Having lost her parents and becoming a mother of a daughter, Gubanca had to set her pride aside and beg for help from the community she stayed in. “I thought that was the end of the road,” she shared. But as soon as she heard of Philani Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition Trust, she relocated to the Western Cape to find a better life for her daughter. “Here, I gained a community and family,” Gubanca said.
While Gubanca helps pregnant mothers to attend antenatal screenings, she also keeps an eye on children’s health and fitness, maintains their nutritional needs, and assists with regular checkups. In the event that a child displays signs of illness that less experienced mothers may overlook, Gubanca escorts the mother and child to the clinic for medical assistance. “I want to use my experience to help others,” she said.
The organisation has transcended to new heights by reaching other countries such as Ethiopia and Swaziland. In her own village, Gubanca maintains and fulfills her desire to bring healing and upliftment. “Sometimes all we need to do is show guidance and support to our children,” she added sincerely. Seeing a child that is healthy and a mother that is equipped to love and care for them is all it takes to put a smile on the selfless Gubanca. “I love this job knowing that I make a difference,” she shared.
Not all heroes wear capes, some just have a warm blanket, a bottle and a wealth of knowledge to change nations from the ground up.