ISAAC SILOKO: A PILLAR OF STRENGTH AND COMPASSION IN DIEPKLOOF

Siloko's efforts are not going unnoticed. "Isaac Siloko symbolises the true spirit of community and compassion. His actions remind us all of the crucial role men can play in nurturing and protecting children," remarked Mr. Netshipale during the visit.
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  • Resilient Caregiver: Isaac Siloko, a 63-year-old resident of Diepkloof, Orlando East, exemplifies resilience, love, and dedication by stepping up to care for his sister’s grandchildren after her passing. His story highlights the critical role men can play in raising and nurturing children, especially during challenging times.
  • Community and Compassion: Siloko’s proactive approach, including building an additional room and arranging family counselling, demonstrates his commitment to providing a secure and loving environment. His efforts are recognised by the Department of Social Development, which supports his family with a top-up grant and grocery vouchers.
  • Broader Context: Amid South Africa’s challenges, such as crime, economic hardships, and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Siloko’s story is a beacon of hope. It underscores the importance of men in strengthening family units and ensuring the well-being of children, aligning with government initiatives like the White Paper on Families.

By Precious Mupenzi

Isaac Siloko, a 63-year-old resident of Diepkloof, Orlando East, is a shining example of the vital role men play in raising children. His story is a demonstration to resilience, love, and dedication, exemplifying the spirit of collective responsibility towards the well-being of children while the child protection week campaign is underway.

Siloko’s life took an unexpected turn in April 2024 when his sister, who was also a grandmother to three young children, passed away. She had been caring for her grandchildren since their mother’s untimely death years ago. Faced with this new reality, Siloko opened his heart and home to his nieces and nephew, aged 16, 15, and 8, in addition to his own four children, two of whom are minors.

Despite the challenges, Siloko embraced his new responsibilities with unwavering commitment.

“These children are part of my family, and family means taking care of each other, no matter what,” he shared, his voice filled with determination. “I worry more about the two girls, and I want to make sure they have everything they need to feel secure and loved.”

Siloko’s dedication was evident when the Department of Social Development’s senior officials, led by Acting Director-General Mr. Peter Netshipale, visited his home. They found him covered in dust, mixing cement with the help of friends to extend a room for his nieces.

“I want them to have their own space, a place where they can feel at home,” he explained.

His proactive approach includes arranging family counselling sessions through a social worker to help everyone adjust to their new situation.

“It is important that we all heal together and learn how to support each other,” he noted. The social worker confirmed that Siloko’s case is receiving attention, with a top-up grant currently aiding the family while the foster care application process is underway.

Siloko’s efforts are not going unnoticed. “Isaac Siloko symbolises the true spirit of community and compassion. His actions remind us all of the crucial role men can play in nurturing and protecting children,” remarked Mr. Netshipale during the visit.

In addition to numerous challenges facing South Africa, including crime, economic hardships, and the lingering effects of HIV/AIDS, families are also grappling with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many children orphaned. The government’s policies, such as the White Paper on Families, aim to support and strengthen family units through various programs. In this context, Siloko’s story is a beacon of hope and resilience. The Department of Social Development handed over a grocery voucher to Siloko family during the visit.

Orlando East, Soweto, where Siloko resides, is home to a diverse and dynamic community, with a population of nearly 1.9 million. As the country commemorates the International Year of the Family, stories like Siloko’s highlight the importance of men stepping up to provide care and stability for children in need.

Siloko’s children are thriving in school, and the family is slowly finding their footing.

“Every child deserves a chance to succeed, and I am doing everything I can to make sure they have that chance,” Siloko concluded

In a world where traditional gender roles are being redefined, Isaac Siloko stands as a powerful example of the transformative impact men can have in the lives of children. His story is a call to action for men everywhere to embrace their roles as caregivers, mentors, and protectors, ensuring a brighter future for the next generation.

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