The Story of MafambisA Community
Volunteers from the local church in Mafambisa have come together to care for their community. These Care Workers have identified and brought the most vulnerable children into their care and their dream is to bring hope to those living in extreme brokenness. The community of Mafambisa remains vulnerable for a number of reasons. There is no clinic in the immediate community. Community members need to travel, often on foot, for 7 to 8 kilometres to reach the nearest medical services. Many people suffer from curable diseases, simply because they are physically unable to walk the distance to the clinic or afford a taxi to transport them. The school is located on the edge of the community so many children walk up to 2 to 3 kilometres each way to attend the school. It is common for the most vulnerable children to lack the correct identification documents, making it a challenge to attend school.
Children currently supported: 100
Number of Care Workers: 6
Coordinator Name: Currently identifying Coordinator
The provision of daily, basic services to children began in 2008 in Siyathuthuka under the leadership of Zandile, who sadly passed away a few years later. Since this time, Hands at Work has sought the best care for the most vulnerable children in the community from committed Care Workers. In late 2017, the Care Point location shifted to a local church where 100 children are now being cared for under Mafambisa Community Based Organisation (CBO). These children find hope in the Care Workers who walk to visit them in their homes and who ensure they receive a daily meal, access to education and basic health care through the 3 Essential Services program.
The Hands at Work local office team in Hazyview are on the ground weekly in Mafambisa, building relationships of trust and love with the Care Workers who are supporting the most vulnerable families in the community.
At the Care Point in Mafambisa, children receive a hot, nutritious meal every day from the Care Workers. They also participate in Bible-related activities and pray before each meal. The Care Workers are able to support children holistically, determining those who need medical attention and ensuring that children in need are assisted with funds for school as well as uniforms and school supplies. The Care Point is growing into a place where Primary Caregivers can talk through their struggles and receive support.
Hands at Work is continuing to look at how to introduce aspects of play at the Mafambisa Care Point. Currently, tyres have been installed which give children a place to play and to sit when eating. The Hazyview local office team are also in the process of planning how to better improve the basic facilities at the Care Point – like a kitchen, shelter and toilets – so that the local volunteer Care Workers can continue to provide the best support to the children under their care.
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.
14-year-old Siyanda lives with his mother and two siblings. His mother is South African born but his father is from Mozambique. Siyanda’s father is unable to find consistent employment and finds odd jobs to try to support his family as best as he can. He is often gone for months at a time, however, leaving the family without a father figure. Thankfully, they receive a child support grant which covers some needs, but they still do not have enough to cover every meal and other basic necessities.
By inviting the three children to the Care Point, Care Worker Alzira could guarantee a hot, nutritious meal for them every day. Alzira and the other Care Workers could also provide a Christ-like love for Siyanda and his siblings, teaching them and reading Scripture together. Through this, she has built a friendship with Siyanda’s mother who now attends the Care Point herself to connect with other caregivers in her community. Though Siyanda’s family has only known the involvement of the CBO for a short time, Christ’s love is already breaking through and hope is beginning to shine!
The Hands at Work local office in Hazyview currently supports six Community Based Organisations which exist to care for the most vulnerable in their communities. The local office provides training, networking, and encouragement to Community Based Organisations like Mafambisa. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.