The Story of MSENGENI Community
The community of Msengeni was first discovered by Hands at Work in 2014. In early 2015, Hands at Work began to mobilise local volunteers from a few churches in Msengeni to care for the most vulnerable children in their community. These Care Workers have united together to care for these children, bringing parental love and care.
Children currently supported: 100
Number of Care Workers: 7
Coordinator Name: THEMBI
Distance from Oshoek Local Office:
Basic Services Started: 2015
In August 2015, provision was made by the Community Based Organisation (CBO) in Msengeni to provide the 3 Essential Services for the most vulnerable children. Today, 100 children are provided with a nutritious meal, access to education and basic health care. The Care Workers dedicate their time and energy to serving these children and supporting them, offering love, care and a sense of belonging. They sacrifice their time to regularly visit the children in their homes and to build strong, trusting relationships with them. Visiting orphaned and vulnerable children in their homes is the foundation of everything Hands at Work does. This enables them to support each child physically, emotionally, and spiritually and helps them to accurately assess each child’s needs and make a plan for how to best intervene and provide sustainable care for them.
The massive drought and food crisis is a huge problem and burden on the families in Msengeni. Clean water, if any at all, is not easily available. If you walk into the community you will discover that it’s common to find people who have not eaten for two to three days. Thankfully, Hands at Work has been recently trucking water into the community and has supplied three water filters to Msengeni CBO to help filter out bacteria. Msengeni CBO recently increased the number of children they are caring for from 50 to 100 children in July 2016. With the help of Hands at Work, drought relief activities have been put in place to provide each of these children with extra support. Breakfast is now provided to children before they go to school, and children receive a hot, nutritious meal, seven days a week. Clean drinking water was also purchased for the CBO to give to each child every day, and water filters were placed in the community. Those sick with Bilharzia are taken to the clinic when necessary to be treated.
Twelve-year-old Alberto* grew up alongside 15 children, his father and his 4 wives, and 2 grandmothers. Having a large family means having many mouths to feed, and the challenge to find enough food for everyone is unattainable. Alberto often would not get enough food to fill his belly at home. Alberto and his siblings also struggle with going to school. They do not have uniforms and often are chased away from school and mocked because of this. Alberto and 2 of his siblings were first welcomed into Msengeni CBO, but recently 9 others were added and began receiving a hot, nutritious meal each day, relieving part of the burden from his grandmother’s shoulders. Care Workers also began visiting Alberto’s home regularly, encouraging them and bringing the love of Christ to the family.
The Hands at Work office in Oshoek currently supports six Community Based Organisations, which exist to care for the most vulnerable in their communities. The office provides training, networking, and encouragement to those Community Based Organisations like Msengeni. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.