CARE Awards: Spreading the joy

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

Joy Chiang of Pam Golding Properties Durban North and La Lucia volunteers with the Durban North Umhlanga Crisis Team, for which she counsels victims of domestic abuse, rape, suicide, hijacking, armed robbery and accidents.

She has also established SOLOS (Survivors of Loved Ones’ Suicide) to support those who have lost a beloved to suicide, as well as to counsel anyone who is living with a mental illness.

Joy is committed to de-stimatising mental illnesses and helping people understand the signs and symptoms of mental health problems in themselves and others. Her monthly support group has become a prominent resource in the greater Durban area as it offers people with depression or bipolar disorder, or those suffering from trauma, the help and reassurance that they need.

SADAG (SA Depression and Anxiety Group) often refers people to Joy, and these patients feel very secure in discussing their lives with her. Joy also often engages in telephonic counselling, which is sometimes all that people can cope with at a very sad or depressed time in their lives.

Joy has also done many presentations to schools and companies, once again highlighting the issues around mental health. By helping people understand that support is available and that mental health is treatable, she is able to help many patients.

in addition, Joy donates her time and, where she can, her personal resources to both the Khulani Children’s Home and Holah Baby Shelter. For these shelters, she encourages the greater community to assist with the paying of essential bills and contribute to Foodbank so that groceries are delivered weekly. One of her favourite "tasks" is ferrying the littlies at Khulani to church and back.

In addition to her monetary donations that benefit all the children, babies and caregivers, Joy lights up individual lives – as an example, when she recently gave a high school girl under the care of one of the facilities that she supports, an evening gown to wear to her formal dance.

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