In July 2016, Markus Kalmbach, a pastor and long-term friend of Hands at Work from a Lutheran church in Winsen, Germany brought a team of 13 people to South Africa and Swaziland. They visited a number of different organisations, with the hopes of gaining a deeper understanding of the poverty and injustice in Africa. Upon returning to Germany, the group, feeling deeply impacted by their time serving in Swaziland with Hands at Work, started to seek ways that they could build upon the growing relationship with Hands at Work. Soon after, a formal partnership was established with the goal of raising enough funds to support 50 children in the community of Msengeni B in Swaziland.
“To the surprise of everyone involved, 50 people came forward within the first few weeks with a desire to partner with Hands at Work, supporting the community of Msengeni B”, says Markus. “In February 2018, with additional support raised, we were able to begin supporting Chigodole, a new community in Mozambique and at the beginning of July 2018, a third community in Malawi, Kawaza.
We are grateful for the amazing support that we have seen growing in our church and surrounding communities. We have not only seen God’s hand in this but we have witnessed a deep appreciation for what Hands at Work is doing. Through regular visits and strong relationships, people have realised the love and trustworthiness that Hands at Work is based upon and therefore are willing to support the work with their finances and prayers.
Many of those who took part in the first trip have become advocates for what Hands at Work is doing across Africa and have spread the vision and mission behind who we are partnering with in Africa. Through articles in the newspapers, sharing in church meetings and emails, we have gained more and more support.
One example of this was a young boy who heard about the project through his parents and gathered his friends together. They went through the neighbourhood asking for donations. By the end, they had raised over 100€. Another 10-year-old girl wanted to help the poor children in Africa and decided to give some of her pocket money and donated 14,57€.
Of course, we get larger amounts, but these little gifts show us what giving is about: to count your blessings and to help in whatever way that you can. These kids offered something of what they had and their donation comes with a deep conviction that their contribution is going to change a child’s life and it definitely comes with a thankful heart – thankful for what we have.
Many others have come to us and said that they want to support this good cause because they know it reaches the poorest of the poor and are thankful for what is being done.
We are convinced that this partnership with Hands at Work is going to grow beyond our imagination. It has and it will change people’s lives; in Msengeni B, in Chigodole, in Kawaza and certainly in Winsen (Germany).”
For more information about the partnership that the advocates in Winsen, Germany are building with Hands at Work, please visit: www.patenprojekt-swasiland.de .