The Story of MATSINHO B Community
The poverty of the people living in Matsinho B Community is immense. There is a large prevalence of HIV/AIDS resulting in a number of parents passing away, leaving children either alone or under the care of another relative. With little opportunities for employment, many people are forced to rely on farming small plots of land to survive. A stronghold in the community is the cultural practice of witchcraft and traditional medicine, leading people to make unhealthy choices on the basis of fear and misleading. Each one of these challenges adds to the vulnerability of the people living in Matsinho B Community.
Children currently supported: 50
Number of Care Workers: 16
Coordinator Name: Baba Antonio
Distance from Chimoio Local Office: 35 km
Basic Services Started: 2018
Since 2011, Care Workers from the local church in Matsinho Community have gathered to carry out their calling to care for the most vulnerable children within their community. Care Workers have let Christ work through them to transform the lives of the most vulnerable children in Matsinho. Since the Hands at Work local office team was formed nearby in Chimoio, it has allowed for a close relationship with the Community Based Organisation (CBO). This also gives the Chimoio local office the opportunity to grow more leaders as more time is spent together. The Care Workers work hard to advocate for the children they care for, especially young girls, who are susceptible to early marriages and pregnancies.
Over the years, as the needs of the most vulnerable within the community and the surrounding areas continued to grow, the leaders of Hands at Work knew that they needed to respond. In February 2018, the Hands at Work local office team in Chimoio and the Regional Support Team started walking in a new area of the community, known as Matsinho B, where the most vulnerable children are in desperate need of life-giving services.One of the pastors, who was supporting the original Matsinho Care Point but living in the Matsinho B area, graciously offered his church building to be used as the new Care Point. His wife, who was already a Care Worker became the ‘Mother Theresa’ of the Matsinho B CBO. Two Care Workers, who were serving at the original Care Point, have moved to serve at the Matsinho B Care Point, in order to be closer to their homes. Through church mobilisation and sharing the vision of Hands at Work, an additional nine Care Workers have joined Matsinho B CBO and committed to serving the most vulnerable.
The Care Workers began walking in their community and visiting the homes of the most vulnerable children, assessing their needs to ensure that the most vulnerable are being reached. In July 2018, 50 of the most vulnerable children started receiving a daily nutritious meal and support with their education and health care. The Chimoio local office have been walking with the Care Workers as they visit the children in their homes. They encourage the Care Workers to build strong relationships with the children, which enables them to support each child physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This also helps them accurately assess each child’s needs and make a plan for how to best intervene and provide sustainable care for them. Despite their own difficulties and immense vulnerability, the Care Workers aim to bring a Christ-like hope and love to their community.
Acting out of compassion for the most vulnerable, members from the community stepped forward to build a set of toilets and a cooking shelter for the children, offering to build the bricks and do the labour.
Despite her age, four-year-old Grace* has already experienced a great deal of trauma and pain. She does live with both of her parents, but both struggle with a mental disability, preventing them from being able to sufficiently provide for their children. Additionally, Grace has witnessed her father physically abuse her mother. Never knowing where her next meal was coming from, Grace would walk around the community with her parents, looking and begging for food.
Grace has a younger brother, Phillip*, who at seven months old was found by the Care Workers and Hands at Work local office team in Chimoio, dying of malnutrition. They were quick to take Phillip to the hospital where he received lifesaving care. Today, Phillip and Grace are doing better. Although their life is still extremely difficult, they are visited by the Care Workers and have a place at the Care Point where they are known, loved and accepted.
The Hands at Work office in Chimoio, currently supports four 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 Matsinho B. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.