• Some residents of Ikhaya Loxolo color in, in an atmosphere of love and acceptance (VOA/Taylor)
  • The home’s director, Alex Gunther, applies for disability grants on behalf of her patients and keeps meticulous records (VOA/Taylor)
  • Young and old are welcome at Ikhaya Loxolo – the only facility for hundreds of miles that helps mentally ill people and their families (VOA/Taylor)
  • The home is in a particularly isolated and poor part of South Africa (VOA/Taylor)
  • Hobeni community elder Mama ka Blondie harvests beetroot from the Ikhaya Loxolo garden … She too believes that mentally disabled and ill people are bewitched…(VOA/Taylor)
  • Village sangoma, or traditional healer, Zwelisithile Bendlela, says evil spirits cause “mental problems” (VOA/Taylor)
  • The Ikhaya Loxolo compound in Hobeni district (VOA/Taylor)
  • Hobeni Xhosa chief, Patrick Fudumele (VOA/Taylor)
  • At Ikhaya Loxolo, mentally disabled people are provided with love and material things that they otherwise would never have received (VOA/Taylor)
  • Caregivers watch patients play a card game at Ikhaya Loxolo (VOA/Taylor)
  • A patient during a lesson at the home (VOA/ D. Taylor)
  • Patients are taught to look after themselves at Ikhaya Loxolo VOA/Taylor)
  • “Love” is Alex Gunther’s “central philosophy” at the home (VOA/Taylor)
  • Alex’s husband, Michael, an accomplished farmer, helps her to run Ikhaya Loxolo (VOA/Taylor)
  • At the home residents are taught very basic education (VOA/Taylor)
  • Patients are taught basic farming skills so that they’re able to provide food for themselves (VOA/Taylor)

Home of Peace Works to Support Mentally Ill in South Africa

Darren Taylor

Published June 28, 2013

It’s just a circle of simple mud huts with roofs of thatch and floors of dung, in a mist-shrouded valley near the village of Hobeni in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. But for the residents, Ikhaya Loxolo, “Home of Peace,” is a paradise of love and acceptance, where they feel worthy, in contrast to the world beyond its fences, where they’re shunned.

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