Activities Report for 2018

Help for the Needy

Family Care Ministries volunteers regularly assess the needs of the various community members we have been assisting throughout the year. Our aim is to make a difference and help those who are able to find ways to support themselves.

  • 100 households are receiving regular food assistance in Orange Farm and Evaton West alone.
  • Volunteers go to clean the houses of sick people, cook meals for them and collect medication at the clinic on their behalf.
  • 25 orphans have been provided with study materials and clothing items they needed for school. They also receive food parcels on a monthly basis.
  • A wheel chair and walking sticks were given to 7 disabled people. They also received a Bible and food parcels and clothes regularly.
  • Abused women and children received counselling and were helped to get to social workers for further assistance.
  • Youths taking drugs were referred to a rehabilitation centre for counselling and medical attention.
  • 18 children are helped with their homework and meet for afternoon studies twice a week.
  • Blankets were distributed to the elderly and disabled.

In addition to this, we continued to bring a wholesome hot meal to 120 elderly in Brixton at the end of every month of the past year. Along with the meal we give out fruit and home baked cupcakes. The encouraging words and time spent praying for the elderly make the visit the highlight of the month for many of them.

Because so many children come for food as well, some of our volunteers have prepared hot dogs, and bought snacks and juice for them and pass them out.

Most of the weekly food donations we receive from a supermarket are delivered to Ouma Helen, who is 87 years old now. She continues visiting and ministering to needy families in Industria and Fleurhof helping in whichever way she can. She has started visiting the homeless bringing once a week a warm meal to about 30 of them.

On Heritage Day, the 24th of September, 80 food parcels were distributed to the elderly in Orange Farm.  The local community gathered to sing and dance for them while they enjoyed a delicious meal.

The following is a list of food items distributed by Family Care Ministries volunteers in 2018:

  • 327 food parcels
  • 564 crates of fresh fruits, vegetables, other assorted foods, canned and other dry goods
  • 144 kg frozen vegetables
  • 112 kg of a rice
  • 775 kg of meat
  • 9620 loaves of bread
  • 125 kg maize
  • 17 kg of sugar
  • 284 l of milk
  • 15,300 eggs

 

The Band of Brothers, a group of Christian business friends who have joined Family Care Ministries to make a difference in the lives of families in Orange Farm, have continued to join our volunteers on a monthly basis in visiting and ministering to disadvantaged families & orphan households. The prayer and encouragement offered are as helpful as the food parcels. One single mother who was sleeping with her 5 teenage children on one double bed in a one room shack got a big surprise when an additional room was built for her family paid by one of the business men. It was furnished with a bed for each one them.

No Kids without School Shoes

In 2017 Family Care Ministries started the campaign “No kids without school shoes”. Our volunteers who visit families regularly had noted that some of the children didn’t have any school shoes while others had shoes that were too small or broken beyond repair. In 2018 we were able to provide 341 pairs of school schools to needy children in Orange Farm and Evaton West. We are grateful for the help we received from Sole to Sole and from a caring and concerned business man who provided 150 pairs and helped to distribute them among the children of the families we regularly assist.

Other Donations

Other donated goods included a gas heater and 157 blankets which were distributed during the cold winter months. In addition to the food, caring for the needs of families included the passing out a total of 111 bags of used and new clothes and more than 400 used and new adult and children’s shoes. Family Care Ministries volunteers also distributed 30 dozen sanitary napkins and 550 adult diapers to those who needed and could not afford to get them. A wheel chair and walking sticks were provided for 7 disabled persons.

A friend who was closing down her business gave us 3 bakkie loads of fabric and thread. The material was delivered in Orange Farm and Evaton West and promptly turned into bedspreads, pillow cases and clothes by the ladies who could sew. Nothing went to waste.

Family Care Ministries volunteers also distributed 850 stationary sets, toys and books to children in the area. Four fire extinguishers and four First Aid kits were given to preschools who lacked the finances to purchase this essential safety equipment.

Training

Early Childhood Development Workshops

Our ministry to principals and caregivers who work in the ECD environment continued to grow.  The message to lay a better foundation for the future learning for South Africa’s children in township areas reverberated with many and the sense of personal responsibility in this task is growing. It is becoming better understood that the struggles children face in schools is due to the lack of foundation children received in their early years.

Family Care Ministries held workshops in Ennerdale, Vlakfontein, Eldorado Park, Naturena and Orange Farm. 165 principals and caregivers were able to get some important input and training on the developmental needs of babies, toddlers and young children and on various types of activities to use in the classroom. We received some sponsorship and were able to donate teacher guide books, picture cards and other educational toys to some of preschools but a lot more has to be done to meet the needs.

The caregivers didn’t realize how easy it can be to make a puppet until they tried it. Using a plastic bottle and some fabric they came up with these amazing creations.

Here are some responses from the workshops.

Thank you for the opportunity to come to the workshop. It was truly inspiring, motivating, joyful, exciting and loving. God bless you. Keep up with the good work. Don’t give up. Let’s change the world. – Lesedi E.C.D. & Preschool

Thank you very much. It is important, motivating, exiting and I learned many things. Please come again.- Mkanyezi Day Care

The workshop makes me feel better and teaches me how to take care of the children at the centre. The pictures that I have seen show me how to take care of and love the children and what I have to do or say in front of them. I’m teaching! I have enjoyed everything that I’ve seen and learned today. – Buhle Smart Beginnings

For me the workshop was good, for us and for the children of Orange Farm. You opened my eyes and let me see that I am very important and I play a big role. I have to keep it up and help the others and come back again. I love what you are doing and I wish you can come to our crèche and guide us. We are with you on your side. We will make it big. – Sedibeng Sa Thutu Day Care

The workshop has been a real eye opener for me because it made me see things that I did not know about. It helped me know how children are like. I am really grateful for it. Thank you for this.- Nkululeko Pre & Nursery School

 

Our volunteer heading Family Care Ministries’ ECD training project was able to meet with 90 principals from the Orange Farm area to discuss plans for 2019.

Thanks to the help of Calulo Foundation we were able to upgrade a preschool in Orange Farm. The roof at Isibuko Sezwe Preschool was leaking into the classrooms every time it rained and some of the support beams had rotted needed replacement. We fixed the problem so the 30 children could be in a safer environment. The drab looking paint was peeling off the walls in places. A young team of volunteers worked for a couple of days to brighten up the classrooms. With Calulo Foundation’s help we supplied the fabric to sow 30 mattress covers that were needed and curtains for the classrooms.

Family Care Ministries donated some used toys and bought some educational toys, teaching aids and books for the children as well. The teacher guide we gave each teacher lists scores of simple-to-do activities that help create a stimulating environment for children. In addition, Family Care Ministries offered 6 training workshops for caregivers from several of the preschools in the area.

Prison Ministry

When a fire was set at Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Centre, the classroom facilities used for Bible studies were damaged. The repairs on the rooms took longer than expected. There were therefore no classes in session during the first half of 2018. Because of this the total number of Bible study enrolments for the year was quite low compared to previous years.

In addition to this we experienced long delays in getting mail to inmates via the postal service which made it difficult to keep the course running. With the help of the residing Chaplain and his office staff though, we did manage to keep classes going for the second half of the year.

Family Care Ministries invested in Christian booklets on different themes to distribute to inmates. We were able to mail 95 to those participating in our advanced course.

Here are some responses that we got from inmates:

I enjoyed the course very much. Since I started this course, I pray and read my Bible daily. This course helped me to understand the Word of God better and now. I love the Word of God. More than anything else in the world, I’m willing to change my life for the better.- Lucky

I enjoyed this course because this course is teaching me about love. It teaches me that without love you’re nothing and other things I need when I go out. It encourages me to stay away from stealing. I thank God for that. Thank you.- Frans

I have enjoyed the course very much and I have also learnt the deep things of God which are hidden that most of the preachers of today don’t teach in the church. They teach so much about motivation and the pleasures of this world. I would like to receive more books of this teaching.- Sifiso

I don’t know how I can say thank you for this course. I thought I was alone. I thought there is no one who loves me. But now I know that there is Someone who loves and cares about me. His name is Jesus. The book of Luke 6:38 says, “Give to others and God will give to you.” There is so much that I learnt in this course.- Siyabonga

I enjoyed the course greatly. It helped me weigh my faith and works as a Christian and helped me see see that I am still lacking in many ways, i.e. helping those who are in need spiritually and material wise. The stories used as examples in your pamphlet taught and motivated me greatly.- Sipho

Christmas Programs and Events

Family Care Ministries did not manage to raise the funds needed to host the yearly large Christmas parties for children in township areas. It was decided that the funds that we were able to raise would be invested in ways that would benefit our dedicated volunteers more directly. They sacrifice their time and put a lot of effort into the work without receiving any remuneration. As most of them do not have jobs, we assisted them in ways that would help them be more effective in their work. Two volunteers received cell phones that would enable them to document their activities and communicate with our chairman and coordinate projects more effectively. A single mother was given a sewing machine that would enable her to make better use of donated fabrics, fix second hand clothing items, and raise some needed support for her family.

Although we cancelled the Christmas parties in Orange Farm, Evaton West and Soweto, Family Care Ministries did assist Ouma Helen who organized again a party for the children at one of the housing blocks she regularly visits. We had brought a jumping castle for the event but found on arrival that there was no electricity in the part of Fleurhof. We had to go in search of a generator and got a much later start than expected. Despite the delays though the children had great fun and spent the time waiting by playing games and showing off their dance skills.

Outreach

Boxes and boxes of paper were used to print 20,200 gospel tracts, 2,440 Bible Verse booklets, over 6,000 pages of Bible study course class sheets, 64 Bible Study Course Teacher Manuals, and other pamphlets in three languages. Aside from what we printed, we also distributed 500 Christian magazines, 47 Bibles and 307 devotional booklets. A member of the Gideons International joined with their daughter to hand out over 100 New Testaments to the elderly and others of the Brixton community.

While sharing the Gospel one-on-one is most effective, volunteers also used social media such as Facebook and Whatsapp, SMSs and email messages to spread God’s Word and to counsel and encourage others to find faith in Jesus.

Malawi Work

Family Care Ministries has had a work in Malawi for the past 9 years now training disciples and leaders who have a desire to teach others to teach others. As part of our outreach we sent gospel pamphlets, Bible Study Course Manuals and Bible verse booklets to assist trainers and trainees to spread God’s Word and message. Family Care Ministries has supported a farming project and youth outreach by supplying 5 soccer and 5 netball balls.

Lives are changing

God’s unconditional love for you!

As part of Bible study class we shared the following text with inmates at Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Centre in Makhado, Limpopo. Knowing how much God values us as believers helps us realize how indebted we are to Him to live a life dedicated to Him.

Jesus’ love is reaching out to you right now. His love, His forgiveness and His mercy are all right there, just for you, if you will only receive them. Jesus is not stacking up all your faults and failures and mistakes to hold against you. When He looks at you He sees possibilities that others do not see. He sees your every tear. He hears your every cry. He feels your every frustration, your every worry, your every burden, your every desire. He knows everything about you. He sees straight through to your heart of hearts and all that is in it, and He deeply loves you. He is right there by your side, and He will never ever forsake you.  He loves you and He patiently waits for you!

Here are some of the responses we got from inmates that participate in our Bible study course:

I feel like Jesus has forgiven me all my sins. He has accepted me into His Kingdom. He is embracing me. He is completely protecting me. He loves me and wants me to live a clean life. – Frans

Reading these words give me hope that Jesus loves me just the way I am. If I ask Him for forgiveness He will give it. He can even

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Christmas Activities 2015

It appeared that Family Care Ministries volunteers, and other volunteers who joined us again this year, enjoyed the Christmas activities as much as the children and elderly did. Events were hosted for the children in Evaton West, Orange Farm, and Soweto, a total of about 650 children. We served a meal and brought gifts to the 120 elderly people in Brixton.

Christmas for the children

Our DSC_4893-600biggest event in Orange Farm was attended by about 450 primary-school-aged children. Kevin Le Clus, with his many years of experience in hosting entertainment events, knew just what to offer to channel the children’s seemingly endless energy. He and his team kept everyone hopping, running and jumping. As Frisbees zipped through the air, ropes were pulled to the breaking point and balls were tossed and chased by teams of children. Their screams, shouts and laughter could be heard from a long ways away. As always, the jumping castles were a complete hit.

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Rising from the ashes of defeat

By Talitha

  

Each year we receive letters and test answers which make it evident that lives are changing in prison. Not all goes to our credit. We know that one sows the seeds another waters it but it is God that made it grow.

Here are some responses we received:

My life has changed completely since I started learning and reading the word of God. I used to think life was over for me, but now I have no more that thought again. My life has changed for the better.

I went through a stage in my life where I felt that I’m a hopeless case. That’s when I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I gave my life to Christ and that’s when bit by bit my life has been transformed to a new creature. I love the Scripture where Jesus says if the Son has set you free you are free indeed.The words of God give me light and happiness. When I read the word of God, I feel free.

My life has radically been transformed through the word of God. I had this struggle of mind but I have learned to fight the darkness. I have to

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Activities Report for 2014

Helping those in need

Help for the needy families in Evaton WestFamily Care Ministries distributed food donations of approximately 300 litres of milk, 3100 loaves of bread, 900 kg of potatoes, 72 trays of eggs, 1130 kg of meat, 1250 crates of assorted foods, fruits and vegetables and dry goods to the needy, elderly and unemployed. In addition to this we gave used clothing, folders and stationary. We received a half a bakkie full of curtain material and cut offs which we passed to a skill-building centre to use with their trainees.

Each month of 2014 members and volunteers visited

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Our Christmas wishes to you

May you have the gladness of Christmas, which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas, which is peace;
The heart of Christmas, which is love.

*

There’s more, much more, to Christmas than candlelight and cheer;
It’s the spirit of sweet friendship that brightens all the year.

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Preschool teacher training

By Talitha

Here is a little update on how the preschool teacher training workshops have been going. A big thank you to those who support this project, who make it all possible. We deeply appreciate it.

I just completed training for the first group of 20 principals and practitioners. We covered each of   tBusi- Group 1-600he six development areas in detail throughout the three full day workshops. In addition I touched on needed key skills such as lesson planning, creating a stimulating crèche environment and assessment. The short 15-20 minute section on brain development seems to help to make things click and provide motivation for everyone.

We started with social and emotional development, moved on to language development and Groupwork 2-600communication and ended with physical and cognitive development. This helped attendees to walk away with a much better understanding of why children behave like they do and what the root causes of different behaviours are in development. It is easy to get irritated and annoyed with some behaviours that occur especially when caring for large groups of children. Some behaviour is linked to phases and stages in development. Gaining a greater understanding can help us to have more patience and provide the guidance for children keeping their needs in mind.

I had prepared a list of different activities, teaching aids and toys that provide stimulation and      growGroupwork 3-600th in each of the development areas. Most teaching aids were made from waste and recycle materials. This showed that implementation does not always have to be expensive.

Often we don’t realize that there are steps that we can take to change things. We hope for our circumstances to change so we can move forward instead of doing what we can.

The foundation for future learning is laid in the early years. So much lies in our hands. Understanding the power that lies in our hands is sobering and should motivate us. We are the ones to encourage brain development by providing lots of action, activities and stimulation through the senses.

Here are some comments and reactions:

I am grateful that I attended the course because it opened my eyes and taught me to be more creative and not just sit there doing nothing. I did not know the things about the brain before.  – Sellina

The things were good and understandable because you showed some videos and activities on how it is done. – Christina

The course was very good for me. I’ve learned a lot about how to react and respond to babies and how to teach and approach them. I am very grateful because I learned a lot of new things. – Emily

I saw I can improvise if I don’t have toys. I learned more about how to handle children. – Anastacia

I would like to thank you for the information. For me everything was difficult but now I have a clue and a better understanding. – Thandi

All the information that I received is relevant and will be useful to me at my centre. – S’bongile

Much to everyone’s delight we held a raffle at each of the workshops. The top winners each got a children’s table with chairs for their classroom and crèche. Even though these were second-hand items, they were in much demand. Seeing how desperately each practitioner wanted to be the one to win showed how in townships often even the most basic resources are lacking. We are praying about what we can do in the future to fill not only the needs for training but also the needs for resources. I will likely plan on holding a workshop on making simple toys and preparing teaching aids in the coming year.

If you are interested and want to donate to this projet to make a difference, we can use your help. Sponsorship covers …

  • Workshop expenses, such as cost for the printing of hand-outs and refreshments
  • Printing cost of a 250 page teacher’s guide containing weekly lesson plans with songs, action poems and rhymes and learning activities for the different development areas.

Resource material we would like to donate or subsudize cost for:

  • 21 sets of picture/word flashcards suitable for use in a classroom setting
  • a CD with 40 children’s songs for teachers to learn and use in the classroom
  • 40 Christian and character building value posters with a memory scripture and short story

Any support will go a long way.

Are you like a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

By Talitha

The difficulties that we find ourselves in in life can be compared to hot water. No one seems to escaIMG_0333-600pe. But what is your response to difficulties? Are you like a carrot which goes in hard and comes out all soft? Or, are you like the egg that goes in soft inside and comes out all hard? Or, are you like the coffee bean? Hot water does not change the coffee powder. The coffee powder changes the water! Likewise we should not let adversity affect us, make us weak or turn our hearts hard. We should make something good from the difficulties we face. We should be like the coffee bean.

This ending to our two workshop afternoons for 30 Highschool teachers of a Cosmo City school got everyone thinking and laughing all at the same time.

Working together with Natalie from Change the World Trust, we covered the topic IMG_0184-600of classroom control and discipline. We had done this workshop for Primary School teachers before and found that many of the same principles stand even when learners are older. In fact, we all need rules and standards to abide by. We all don’t take rules serious unless there are consequences attached to them.  It is easier for us all when expectations are clearly defined. Within boundaries children are then able to unfold and experience freedom and learn and grow.

SteppIMG_0310-600ing back, seeing where the problem lies and assessing the situation is so often overlooked when facing difficulties. But without this very important step it is diffult to find workable, effective solutions. Many times we find ourselves so close to the trees that we cannot see the forest anymore. We get so close to the problems that we cannot see a way out or through. This is what we tried to help educators do.

We shared techniques for keeping control in the classroom that educators, psychologists and counsellors worldwide found effective in the classroom situation. They were well received by educators. It took many months of research to glean these tried and proven solutions from various sources.

What the educators had to say:

It was a very informative workshop. Especially for me as a young teacher. Even though part of me had lost hope, I now believe that it’s not too late to change or start over and be a Great Teacher to my learners. – Phumelele

The workshop was an eye opener to me. It has equipped me with skills and different techniques of handling misbehaviour and ill-discipline in class. Thank you so much, please keep coming to do workshops for us. – Nyakuna

The workshop was interesting and revived my zeal to get ahead amid the challenges I encounter in my everyday life. – Mathabi

I think workshops like these are needed to boost teacher’s moral. It was encouraging. – Portia

This presentation was very helpful. It helped me to know how to discipline my learners and how to make rules for my learners. – Francis

I enjoyed everything and especially how to avoid attacking learners and keeping it cool. It’s not easy, but I will try because, after all, they are learners who need our guidance. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. – Mawanda

Teacher Training continued

by Talitha

We would like to share with you a little update on our workshop project.
On the 13th of June Teacher's giftswe started the Early Childhood Development workshops I have been preparing for the first group of caregivers. Building on and expanding the early learning topics I taught on last year in Orange Farm, this program consists of 3 full day workshops. It covers all the key areas of early childhood development: social and emotional development, language development and communication, and physical and cognitive development.
18 principals and practitioners were able to participate and benefit from the first training session. A second group is scheduled to begin at the end of July and work on taking a third group trough the training is underway.
I was able to adapt my presentation and training material to bring it in line with the some resources the Education Department will be publishing shortly. Though this took time and effort, I believe it was well spent and an important step. Working and pulling together and teamworking is so much more effective in the long run.
Our first workshop topic was social and emotional development. Basic knowledge on how children develop in this area and what DSCF2010-600can be expected from them is quite key to understanding young children, their behaviour and emotions. This topic served as a wonderful spring board on highlighting the importance of showing love and affection and taking time with children in one-on- one conversation. Sometimes the tendency is to overrate toys and equipment. It goes forgotten that the day to day interaction with a child is what has a big impact on child development. It is the relationships we build with a child that go a long way in nurturing the self-esteem and self-confidence that will give the child the resilience needed when facing the obstacles that come with life. The foundation for good social and emotional skills is laid in the early years and can help a child deal with the often adverse circumstances they find themselves in nowadays.
Understanding tDSCF1991-600hese key points helps practitioners meet the needs that children have and gives them the tools to offer the needed support so little ones, particularly in  townships, get a better start in life. Research has shown that it is far better to get things right from the beginning then to try to fix things or intervene in a child’s life at a later point in time.
Because children learn through imitating behaviour they see, we talked about being role-models and taking the God-given responsibilities of showing love, care and respect to children seriously. We ended with a prayer for an infilling of God’s Love which was well received.
In each of the workshops I am including a short section on brain development in early childhood. It is very envisioning to understand what potential God has put in each child. No matter of which race or on which continent a baby is born, God is no respecter of persons. He has a plan and purpose for each to fulfil. Understanding what happens in the brain when children do various activities is very motivating for teachers. When they understand that they can influence brain growth and development, they see that a lot is up to them to effect the change they desire. TheiDSCF1960-600r efforts make a difference.
I find caregivers to be very eager to learn. Many realize (or come to realize) the vital roles that they play in children’s lives and in their communities. They would love to do so much more for children, but most have no training and little to work with. There are many obstacles to overcome.
We are so grateful for the support and sponsorship which goes towards this projects. It’s empowering Family Care Ministries to make a difference in people’s lives through this teacher training project. There is so much more that can be done to help these precious people who sincerely desire a better future for the children in their communities but it is aDSCF2020-600 good start.  I have prepared along with the workshop training materials two teacher manuals. They consist of teaching plans, learning games and activities covering 40 weeks of teaching for children age 0-3 years old. Each manual also includes a section with health, safety, nutrition and care tips. The activities described don’t require expensive materials but make use of house hold items and even waste materials. We are printing free copies for each attendee (a total of 430 pages for each).
We had received some second hand items that we used for a raffle. The proud winners were so happy to receive a rocking horse and a sandpit/wading pool. Everyone else still smiled when they received a consolation price of a ruler and snack.

God’s Word works wonders

The following responses were written by inmates who participate in the course we offer at a Limpopo correctional center.

Many good things come to my life in very surprising ways. I had lots of resentment in my life whereby I always had worries about the world problems. But after I received the word of God and reading it every time, I started to have comfort and learned to forgive everyone I have resented in life. The Word of God is doing many things in my life. – Tshepo

My life has radically been transformed through the word of God. I had this struggle of mind but I have learned to fight the darkness I have by allowing the light to come in. Through meditating and putting the word in practice I changed my way of thinking and acting. – Rodney

God has taken away all doubt and worries which used to dominate my life. I no longer worry about carnal things, but focus on God. God’s word has brought me happiness and joy. Before I used to be a loner and I was always sad and depressed thinking God didn’t love. – Nkanyiso

I have found peace within myself whereas in the past I was a very bitter man, a sinner and carnal minded person but after studying the word and starting to meditate a lot of things have changed within me. Although I’m still struggling with others but with God’s Word I will conquer all. Jesus changed my life for as a sinner I was already dead but Christ saved me and took away all my sins. They became His burden therefore that alone shows how much love He has for me. Even my biological parents can’t take my sins and make them their own or die for my sins. – Tankiso

I know how to live with other people and to forgive one another. Even now, I know God is there. God loves us more than anything that is here in the world. So that is what I learned I about God. I will never turn back. I am a son of God. – Bongani

I have changed my life. I have changed my attitude. I am now willing to work on positive things only and avoid the problems in my life because God said, “everything is possible for those who believe.” Aderto

I have learned to practice and memorize God’s Word daily. I go to a quiet place and have moments with God and learned to pray and wait for an answer. – Devine

When I feel troubled, whatever bad things are trying to tempt me to do wrong, I just take it to God in prayer. A lot of things changed. Even my family tells me that I’m different than before. I can see wrong from right. There is a bright future for me and I have a good successful future plan by giving my problems to Jesus. – Reginald

Since I realized God’s Words everything changed for the better. For me accepting God’s words brings joy to my whole entire life and happiness. I know now how to communicate without anger and with Him I am happy. – Bongani

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Family Care Ministries is registered as a Non-profit Organization in terms of the Non-profit Organization Act, 1998     Number: 007-316