Activities Report for 2017

Help for the Needy

The trend of growth has continued throughout 2017. Our focus was not on starting new ventures this year but on increasing the impact in the communities Family Care Ministries volunteers have been working in. Our goal is to make projects as sustainable as possible.

Our food distribution has seen the most increase this last year. Family Care Ministries volunteers worked at making sure the 507 food parcels went to the most needy families and child-headed households. Elijah in Evaton West, Iris in Diepkloof, Soweto, and Mandla, Zanele, Eunice and Manja in Orange Farm spend time with families and in the households to see in which other ways they could better their personal situations. Some were helped with legal work, others were helped to get the medical attention they needed while others received assistance towards educational needs.

We continued to bring a wholesome hot meal to the 120 elderly in Brixton throughout the past year. The team of volunteers has grown and the new team members have added hot dogs, snacks and juice for the children to the meals distributed. The fruit and home baked cupcakes are an all-time favourite now. The encouraging words and time spent praying for needs make the visit a highlight of the month for many of the elderly. We are grateful for the many helping hands that join us in this effort.

Ouma Helen, now 86, amazes everyone by still venturing out to Industria every week. Despite her age, she tirelessly does all she can to assist the needy in this community. Despite existing on a small pension, struggling to move around and still looking after her great grandson, she keeps going and going. What an example!

Sister Glover, who we supported for many years with food donations for families in Noorgesig in Soweto, went to her heavenly reward at the age of 89. Family Care Ministries‘s help to the families still continues though as we now deliver the food items to a NPO that used to closely work with her.

On Heritage Day, the 24th of September, South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions. A nation belongs to all its people.  Family Care Ministries volunteers used this opportunity to celebrate with the elderly in Orange Farm. Donations of meat, rice & vegetables where used by some of the women to cook a delicious local meal to share with a group of pensionists. No such event is complete without lots of speeches, dancing and some encouraging words from the word of God. The elderly were given over 50 food parcels to take home so their families can benefit as well. It was a joy-filled day spent in the local community together. A similar event was held a week later in Evaton West.

The following is a list of food items distributed by Family Care Ministries volunteers in 2017:

  • 507 food parcels
  • 892 crates of fresh fruits, vegetables, other assorted foods, canned or dry goods
  • 620 kg frozen potato chips
  • 300 kg frozen vegetables
  • 25 kg of a rice
  • 350 kg of meat
  • 8000 loaves of bread
  • 100 kg dried beans
  • 462 kg maize
  • 15 kg Maltabella
  • 20 kg of sugar
  • 750 Vienna sausages
  • 360 l of milk
  • 16,000 eggs

No Kids without School Shoes

Family Care Ministries started a campaign “No kids without school shoes”. Our volunteers who visit families regularly noted how some of the children were in great need of school shoes. Some didn’t have any, others had shoes that were too small or broken beyond repair. We identified over 100 children in Orange Farm & over 50 children in Evaton West that are in desperate need of school shoes and have managed to provide 21 pairs to some of the neediest in Orange Farm and Evaton West so far.

Family Care Ministries projects serve as a rallying point for like-minded people who would like to be a part of charitable endeavours.  A group of Christian business men, who call themselves a Band of Brothers, joined our volunteers in Orange Farm in visiting and ministering to people in the community. They sponsor 15 food parcels for disadvantaged families and orphan households in Orange Farm each month and then help in distributing them praying and encouraging people as they do. They do their best to help out in other ways.

A Mrs South Africa contender purchased 25 blankets and distributed them with us to families in Orange Farm and Evaton while a Christian school added another 50 helping with ministering to people as they did.

Other Donations

Other donated goods included items such as a guitar, a casestte player, a colour copier with 5 extra toner cartridges, briefcases, a bed, desk, chairs and office chairs. Kitchen equipment such as 2 stoves, 5 kettles, 5 irons, a blender, 2 toasters, pots, salad bowls, and a grill and braii set were distributed to those who needed or could use these items. Household goods consisted of 10 cushions, 20 pillows, a laundry basket, a large tub, an ironing board, 6 large bags of curtains, 4 boxes of household ware, 2 boxes with plates, cleaning supplies such as dish soap, Handy Andy, bleach, and toiletries such as shampoo, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes and more. And let’s not forget the boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations Family Care Ministries was able to give away.

The children were thrilled to receive a total of 4 bags of toys, balls and a box with games. They were a little less excited about the 100 Ring binders, files and 4 boxes of stationary supplies we gave out but were grateful nonetheless as they needed them for school work. We received the floor paint, paint brushes and roller we needed to complete work at our centre in Evaton West. The 4 wheelchairs and adult diapers went to the handicapped in Orange Farm.

To top it off we distributed a total of 4 bakkie loads of clothes and shoes.

Early Childhood Development Workshops

Many of the problems experienced by educators teaching in South Africa’s primary and secondary schools can be traced back to the lack of input children receive in their early years when the foundation for future learning is laid.

It is often overlooked that the foundation for literacy is built long before a child begins Grade 1. It starts while children are still in nappies. Learning to talk, listen and understand are precursors to identifying letters and sounds, and later words and whole sentences. Playing with number toys, building blocks and shapes allows children to get an understanding of mathematical concepts while they play. Experiences of this nature at an early age are essential to future academic success.

Though more emphasis has been placed on ECD by government, we find that little direction or support filters down to caregivers at day care centres and preschools in township areas such as Orange Farm and others. Most of the resources developed by the department, don’t reach the areas where these materials are most desperately needed. Lack of access to the internet, training, and money make most of these resources inaccessible to the many caregivers in small preschools. This leaves centres in township areas under-resourced and staff untrained.

In 2017 Family Care Ministries’ focus shifted from offering training in Orange Farm alone to include other surrounding townships. We held workshops in Ennerdale, Eldorado Park, and Boksburg. 109 principals and caregivers were able to get some important input and training on the developmental needs of babies, toddlers and young children. The resources that have been created to go along with the programme are in big demand and we are looking for ways of raising sponsorship to donate sets of these teaching resources to the most needy preschools.

Here are some responses from the workshops.

  • For me this workshop has really taught me a lot. There’s some things I never really understood. – Alicia
  • I really enjoyed the workshop and I’ve learned more about children’s development. I’ve learned more about things I didn’t know about and I am going to implement what I’ve learned with my children/learners. – Sibongile
  • The facilitator was well prepared, the information valid and relevant. She didn’t try to be fancy or unfair. I enjoyed the level of respect and that she was on the same page as the rest of the teachers. She understood that all centres are different and was able to relate topics to everyday usage. – Vanessa
  • I enjoyed the course a lot. The facilitator did well so that I understood everything she shared with us. I was amazed to see the amount of learning materials we can make out of waste materials. I am truly impressed. Thank you. It is much appreciated. – Shireen

Prison Ministry

Family Care Ministries’ rehabilitation work at Kutama Correctional Center in Makhado continued throughout the year 2017. Bible Study classes were again held in each of the three prison sections. The facilitators who are inmates are overseen by the residing Chaplain. We offered three course which 237 inmates signed up to. 208 offenders graduated successfully by the end of the year. Though we are unable to visit very often due to the distance and security restrictions at the facility, we correspond regularly with inmates. We do our best to answer mail with requests and questions promptly.

We again received sponsorship in the form of Christian booklets on different themes. We were able to mail 136 of them to those participating in our advanced course. The course materials and booklets resonate with many inmates.  Here are some responses that we got:

  • The Word of God changed my life completely. Now I understand why a human being must suffer. I know the illustrations and parables of the word in the Bible will help me a lot. May the Lord God extend your life like the way you change my life. I love the word of God more than anything. – Solomon
  • I would like to thank you for showing me the importance of the word of God. May God richly bless you for the good work that you are doing for us while we are here in prison. God bless you. What I can say today to you is that I started to teach the words of God and minister them to others to help them understand how much God loves them. We are blessed by God now and happy to love God and to forgive other people who wronged us as the same we request the people we have wronged to forgive us. So thank you so much. Thanks to your hard work you are doing for Christ to us who are spiritually young. Thank you for taking such a good care for us. Why I say all this is because I can ask as many questions as I like but you keep on answering me and you make me to love God every day. – Siphiwe
  • Thank you so much for this lesson. I am so highly blessed by this teaching. Thank you so very much and may the Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ richly bless you. I am very grateful that I have known you, Josef and Talitha, and also Family Care Ministries. I pray for your strength and growth in this work of Christ. May you continue to bless many more other believers and those who do not have the knowledge of Christ. – David
  • This course taught me about all the possible things God can do in my life if only I believe in Him. It also taught me about personal responsibility and to respect the values and beliefs of others. – Charles

 Christmas Programmes and Events

Christmas is a time of giving. It is a special time to help the disadvantaged so that they, with the help of a food parcel, can also celebrate this holiday season to fill their hearts with hope and courage.

Family Care Ministries uses Christmas as an opportunity to bless the less fortunate in Evaton West and Orange Farm. It is always a joyful event to celebrate with the elderly and children by hosting Christmas parties for them.

In Evaton the party is held at the local community hall and is attend by over 200 children. We provided the jumping castle, organised games, and served snacks and a hot dog lunch. Before children return home they receive a stationary gift pack with a colouring and story book and some snacks. This provides them with some fun activities to do over the Christmas holidays. The basic stationary set offers something to start school with when it opens again.

The local councillor is thrilled that we have chosen her community to work with the youth and elderly and needy families. Being aware of the desperate needs in some of the households, she is grateful for the regular food items and food parcels we distribute and other activities for the youth Family Care Ministries offers.

In Orange Farm the party is held at the local Itemoheng Primary school and is attended by over 400 children. It is more challenging to keep them all entertained but seeing children’s big smiles always makes it worth the effort.

Family Care Ministries assisted Ouma Helen who organised a party for the children at one of the housing complexes in Fleurhof she regularly visits. Many hands made the work feel light and the children enjoyed themselves and the jumping castle to the max.

 The elderly in Orange Farm and Evaton West were treated by Family Care Ministries with a get together, a meal and a food parcel to take home as well.

Outreach

We used up 31 boxes of paper in the time period this report covers to print numerous gospel tracts, Bible Verse booklets, Bible study course materials and other pamphlets in three languages. It is Family Care Ministries’ members passion to spread hope, cheer and comfort to all they meet. Aside from what we print, we also distributed 500 Christian magazines, 12 Bibles, 20 New Testaments, 177 other booklets and more. One-on-one conversations are best but volunteers also use social media such as email, Facebook, SMS or Whatsapp to spread the message and to counsel and encourage others to find faith in Jesus.

Malawi Work

Family Care Ministries has had a presence in Malawi for the past 7 years now. The focus of our work is on training laymen, students and pastors from different churches. The work has been supported financially and by way of gospel pamphlets, Bibles, New Testaments, and Bible verse booklets. All our members are volunteers dedicated to serving God as the love of Jesus compels them to share the Good News with their people.  To help the work to become sustainable and help members generate income for their families and cover travel expenses, Family Care Ministries has helped them start a farming project and trading post.

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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