In the mountainous area of Swaziland, nine-year-old Nolwazi leaves her house at five am to make the long two hour trek to school. Now that it is winter, it is very cold, and dark; often Nolwazi cannot even see the road in front of her. She walks alone in the dark for the first 45 minutes, and is gradually joined by other children along the way. Nolwazi does this walk every day, with nothing to eat or drink, Monday to Friday. By the time she gets back home after school, it is dark again.
Every so often we see something that inspires us and lets us know that someone else has felt the very thing that we ourselves have felt in the core of our being. In this case, we were blessed by one of our own. Alicia Krawchuk was a volunteer with Hands though 2013 and we are incredibly blessed by her being with us and by her creative mind which resulted in this video: daily good.
People make the world good or bad. Bad things happen to good people daily, but still some people remain good despite all the bad they have endured. I stayed with this family. They were loving, kind, generous and welcoming to me daily. Abandoned by their father - mother and grandmother died of aids - they survive on so little, but still they gave me so much.
Women in this community stand together to feed 50 vulnerable children daily. These women have so little and still, they give so much daily. Now there is hope for these children. Now there is hope for these children because good people are doing good.
In this area it is more likely a girl will be raped than learn how to read. This is the cycle o poverty and aids in Africa. fragmented families > complex situations > fragmented families …
If the good people in these communities stand together, maybe they can break this cycle. Good people caring for each other daily will help these children to climb out of poverty.
I've met so many good people - heard so many stories - that make me want to fight for good! for God!
“Diamonds in the dust.” It’s a beautiful phrase that we have been using in Hands at Work right from the beginning of our history. -Hands at Work Founder, George Snyman
Buried in the backrooms of poor communities, these youth are truly our diamonds in the dust, and worth a lifetime of searching for and discovering them.
On a hot day in September, a group of Church Unlimited cyclists took the community of Mpakeni in northeastern South Africa by storm. Church Unlimited has been partnering with a group of Mpakeni care workers called Siphamandla Home-Based Care over the last year. The Nelspruit-based church is one of Hands at Work's key partners in South Africa. Watch the video below to find out what the event was all about!
A couple of weeks ago Lauren Lee and I had the opportunity to attend Hands at Work in Africa’s Regional Celebration in Zambia. Each year these celebrations are a time of gathering together Hands at Work international volunteers and the community-based partners from all over Africa to encourage each other and celebrate all that God is doing throughout the global Hands at Work Family. This year, from 13 to 16 April, Hands had its biggest Celebration ever in Zambia with nearly 200 representatives from over 40 communities in Africa as well as representatives from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States.
The theme of the Celebrations this year was, “Going Deeper.” The vision of Hands at Work is the local church in Africa effectively caring for the orphaned, widowed and the dying and unified in this mission with the church outside Africa. All of the different sessions focused on Going Deeper in relationship to make this vision become a reality. The celebration kicked off with a message from Hands at Work founder George Snyman who focused on Going Deeper in our relationship with Christ. He asked the question, “Why do you do what you do?” The motivation for caring for the orphaned, widowed and dying should come out of a deep love for Christ, a thankful spirit for what He has done for us, and a willingness to share that sacrificial love with others through service.
An excerpt of Ephesians 4 was given to everyone at the start of the Celebrations to read. I think it speaks directly to the purpose of these regional celebrations.
Shooting went well for this years Living Truth telethon to raise funds for Hands at Work in Mozambique and Zimbabwe! We’re really excited to share this event with an even wider audience of Hands supporters this year. Dates for broadcast are as follows:
Oct 11 Mozambique update and stories
Oct 18 South Africa update and new Zimbabwe stories
Oct 25 Malawi
You can check out www.livingtruth.ca for specific broadcast times. Please send this on to your friends at home who have the opportunity to watch.
Thanks for your interest and support of this exciting event!
This month, 16 nurses from Rosewood Care Centers in Missouri and Illinois, USA travel on a mission trip to the Republic of Zambia, in Southern Africa, a land plagued by extreme poverty and a disproportionately high number of HIV/AIDS cases. They will be encouraging the work and the people in Hands at Work in Africa’s local community based organisations.
We invite you to follow alongside the Nurses for Africa via thier journal, which will document the experience via blog entries, photos, videos and more.
For more information, please visit: http://www.nurseforafrica.net
The TV broadcast Living Truth recorded stories of the work that we are doing in South Africa and aired it across Canada and the States this past Sunday. If you were unable to watch it you can view it online for this week only. Click here to watch stories from South Africa, Mozambique and Malawi of hope and need and learn more about Hands at Work along the way.
"Statistics turn people into a number... A quantity... A thing... But AIDS doesn't happen to 20 million people in the same way. It happens 20 million different ways one person at a time.
Each story is different. Each story deserves to be told by itself."
Check out facelessbook.com. There are currently 4 profiles up there now, all stories from orphans, caregivers and volunteers of Hands at Work projects. Courtesy of Dave Zak.
A long-time Hands at Work supporter shaves his head in support of a Hands at Work project. See the video:
Hear more of Hands at Work in Africa's involvement in the HIV/AIDS pandemic.