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The Life Story of Jacques van Vuuren

Jacques is one of four children and he moved into Alexandra Hospital when he was 11 years old. He moved to Includid in 1997 when he was 28 years old. He attended Molenbeek School until the age of 21 and is basically literate. Jacques enjoys cooking and his favourite food is spaghetti and roast chicken. He has learnt to bake a cake.

Jacques tells his story...(in his own words)

Jacques is originally from Ysterplaat, I lived with my mom, brother, sister and two nephews. It was very nice to live with my mom. I used to help her when she cleans the house. I never see my father but I heard from my mom that he passed away by the time I was a small baby.

I attended a crèche at Ysterplaat. My mom used to take me in the morning to the crèche and fetch me in the evening. After I finished crèche I attended a primary school at Ysterplaat and I can't remember the name of the primary school.

The teachers at school sat down with my mom and they came up with a decision that they are going to put me at Alexandra hospital, I was 11 years old. I find myself good after that. They decided that because they see too much problems at my mom's place. Every time there was a fight and the place was too noisy with the people who used to come and make noisy in my mom's place.

I started to live in Alexandra hospital when I was at the age of 11 years old. I first lived in ward D ward 5, then ward 11. I attended a school named Molenbeek Slein School; I was at the age of 12 years. I gained lot of skills at Molenbeek. I was doing woodworks, beading, handmade papers, writing and numeracy. At the age of 21 years old, I had to finish attending classes at Molenbeek

In 1997 the social workers sat down with me and explain to take me to Friends of Alexandra. In 2002 the name of the group home became to change to Includid. I first live at the group home Sunshine house, Rainbow house, Double Storey, Lighthouse, then Broadway house. I settled myself at Sunshine house. I enjoy living in a group home, I share with two other residents. I have my own chores to do at home, I help dry the dishes. I can even cook food that is the thing I never do by the time I was with my mom and the time I was at the hospital. I got the opportunity to work in the community at mobile Library. My responsibility is to clean the books, wipe the books with a damp cloth, take out broken plastic covers etc.

When I compare my life the time I was living in the hospital and my new life that I am in a group home it is totally different. By the time I was in a hospital I had to time for going out and cooking, doing my own shopping. My life at the hospital was fine, at the same time it was disturbing me when I see patients go to the punishment room in ward 15. Most of the time the food was not nice, if you come late to the table to eat the nurses take the food away and you don't get to eat. At 6.00 a.m everyone had to wake up, if you didn't feel like standing up the nurses come to take you to ward 15 for punishment. At 9.00 p.m. everyone must be sleeping. If you don't sleep the nurses come take you to ward 15 for punishment. It was not nice being in the punishing room, if you go there in the morning you don't get food for the whole day. If you go at night you don't get food for the whole night. I was punished at old ward 3 for two weeks and it was not nice. I had to bathe 30 patients. I was at the age of 23 years old. I was also sleeping in ward 3 for two weeks as punishment. After the punishment I didn't bath the patients.

Now I can cook at home and do my own washing and shopping. I go to Shoprite. Includid is the best place for me.

In my new home called Includid I do everything that I am willing to do. I work Monday to Friday at Employment Training areas. I enjoy working it keeps me busy. I get pay at work every Friday. I am doing my saving to buy whatever I like to buy with my pay. I started work in the garden then later in the papermaking project. I saved up my money to put DSTV in my own room at Sunshine house. I also bought a cell phone. I enjoy myself to be part of Includid residents. I go out most of the time and have party at home.

Jacques' video life story
Jacques, telling us
his life story
Jacques doing house chores
Watch out for Jacques
telling us about his
house chores
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