The Story of BEESKOP Community
The community of Beeskop is situated close to the South Africa/Swaziland border amidst picturesque, rolling, grassy hills with sparse trees. Though it is visually stunning, it can be bitterly cold and windy. Because of its proximity to the border, the community has many cultural ties to Swaziland. Many of the residents have come to South Africa from Swaziland to find a better life, but life can be bitter in these beautiful hills. Beeskop Community struggles with so much brokenness, yet there are those who have glimpsed God’s heart for their community and have a vision for the vulnerable to be loved as God loves; these are the Care Workers, and though their numbers are small, they have big hearts. Currently Beeskop has five dedicated Care Workers. This is a growing point for the Community Based Organisation (CBO) as the need is so great.
Children currently supported: 50
Number of Care Workers: 7
Coordinator Name: Thembi
Distance from Local Office: 20 KM
In partnership with Hands at Work, provision was made by the CBO in Beeskop to provide the 3 Essential Services for the identified most vulnerable children in 2014. Today, 50 children are provided with a hot nutritious meal every day, as well as access to basic health care and education. Beeskop CBO was formed with close ties to the Ministry of Health in South Africa which has been subject to changes in government over the years. The Service Centre continues to meet with the Ministry of Health to discuss the issues of caring for the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable.
Visiting orphaned and vulnerable children in their homes is the foundation of everything Hands at Work does. Community volunteers who regularly visit the children build up strong relationships, enabling them to support each child physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This also helps them to accurately assess each child’s needs and make a plan for how to best intervene and provide sustainable care for them.
In 2019, due to a change in Government policy, children who do not have proper legal documentation to attend school will no longer be permitted. The Hands at Work local office teams in Hazyview and Oshoek are working hard to make plans for the children and families this will directly affect. Hands at Work is seeking to understand the increased vulnerability our children face, not only due to the lack of education and regular routine, but in their day-to-day living. Hands at Work sees the Life Centre in each community as an opportunity to facilitate the growth and development for each child affected. Programs to facilitate learning, skills and development will be introduced at our Life Centres over the course of the first few months of 2019, allowing each child to have a place where they feel loved and a sense of belonging.
Twelve-year-old Hope* stays in Beeskop with her mother and three of her siblings. She is currently attending school in grade six. Ntombi*, her mother, is from Swaziland and only the youngest has a South African birth certificate. Because of this Ntombi cannot find regular work to provide for her family. Through the CBO and Hands at Work, Hope has received a new school uniform, a blanket and a mattress.
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 Beeskop. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.