One Step Closer to Healing & Wholeness
We firmly believe that if we want to build safe, child-friendly communities we need to help the adults in those communities deal with the hurt and pain they carry. Through partnerships with organisations specialising in adult programs we can begin to address this need.
In January Frederick and Doris Kammies of Youth With A Mission ran a six session Steps to Abundant Life workshop with a small group of men & women in Fisantekraal.
This was followed up by a two day Conference at the beginning of February. The conference was open to all adults in Fisantekraal and jointly hosted by MercyAIDS and Lofdal, Fisantekraal. Despite the torrential rain on first day of the conference, a number of adults turned up. As is often the case, there were more women than men, but it was pleasing to see quite a few men there too, The noise of the rain on the roof made for a bit of a challenge, but the sessions went well. The question-and-answer session saw some of the group's specific concerns addressed, which is always good. A number of people took the opportunity given after the sessions to talk individually with members of the team and receive prayer.
The second day's session was run as part of Lofdal's church service. It was well attended by both men and women. Again a significant number of people spent time one-on-one with team members to talk through some aspect of the teaching and receive prayer.
We are really praying that many people encountered God's love & acceptance during the conference. Pray with us that it will be a significant step for them towards healing and wholeness.
Internship goes local
Who knew that German students working with kids, and recruiting other overseas volunteers to join them week after week, would have such an impact?
Watching students from Germany, some not much older than themselves, give their time and energy to come and work with kids in South Africa AND without being paid...in fact paying to come...sparked lots of discussion among the youth in Fisantekraal.
These youth are not strangers to the idea of giving time and energy into the community - they've helped us with camps and kids clubs inside and outside Fisantekraal since 2010. But this, for them, was a whole new ball game. And for one young man it helped him figure out what he was going to do after Matric.
Marno, or Lano as he is known, lives in Fisantekraal with his mother & sisters. He was part of the youth forum and drama group. As the year progressed he spoke more and more of taking a 'gap year' because he wasn't sure what he wanted to do. Since he wasn't sure of which direction to head, he decided not to go study something just for the sake of studying. A wise move considering the cost of further education.
After watching him over the year and hearing his heart for vulnerable children, we decided to talk to him and his mother about him taking his gap year as an intern with us. We began the conversation around November; explaining that we had no funds from which to pay him. But, we could help him figure out his study path, give him whatever training we had access to, and give him lots of opportunities to explore working in different aspects of the work we do with kids. And, we would try to find money to at least give him some pocket money. In December he finished Grade 12 and passed reasonably well.
At the beginning of January we went to talk to him and his mom again and Lano joined our team. Our first local intern! The first task we did togther was to visit the Dept of Education to help Lano register to redo 3 of his subjects this year to give him a better aggregate result. We discovered that he could do supplementary exams in Feb/March to see if he could improve the marks. So, he signed up for these and has been studying diligently as part of his internship. If he is still hopeful of even better marks he will register for the year end exams too.
On top of his studies Lano has so far taken part in the Steps to Abundant Life training course and was with us at the HSRC's launch of guidelines for counselling and testing children. It was fascinating having him there - hearing the perspective of one of SA's "born frees" who has gone through the school system. Among other 'duties' he is a group leader at the kids clubs, will be part of the i am special school team and will help plan & coordinate the June Super Club. Oh, and he helps with Afrikaans at the study clinic too!
We are really blessed to have Lano on the team, and are grateful to his mom for giving us this privilege. We'll keep you posted!
In to the schools
A good school is such an important institution in any community. Good in the sense that real learning & nurturing takes place, that children are safe and valued and inspired by competent, passionate, caring educators. But a good school requires team effort - staff, children, parents and the broader community must work together to make the most of the opportunity that a school building and departmental resources provide.
At the end of 2012 we believed that in order to impact the children in Fisantekraal in a deeper, broader way we needed to get into the schools. We began to pray and talk - and listen to what parents & children in Fisantekraal were saying. We decided that Trevor Manual Primary School should be our focus for 2103 since the majority of the children who attend our weekly kids clubs and other events are pupils there.
Unsure of nothing else, other than Trevor Manual was definitely 'it', we began to pray & brainstorm how and who. Towards the end of November Ethne Klerck - the MercyAIDS team's newest member, said she would be interested in the schools' aspect of our work.
And the next thing we knew, Ethne had met with Luani from i am Special ministries and together they had approached the principal of Trevor Manual Primary School about running the program for all children in Grade 1 to 3. He agreed to allow the program into the school and to print the workbooks!
Ethne is building a team - Fisantekraal residents and people from outside who would love to be part of this venture. The sessions are on Tuesday & Thursday mornings. If you think you'd like to be involved or want more details please contact us.