Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A wonderful team...

All the group are in bed now, & before I go I wanted to pass on what a wonderful team the students and staff and youth workers have been.
The photos above show some of the scenes, (too many to show now) of todays visit to a feeding programme ... more details below. Milly Humphis-getting stuck into some washing up, Africa style and also the orderly and polite queue of boys & girls waiting for thie food, as some of our team helped to serve them You may be able to see, Georgia Siverns & Amy Leigh, as well as Tina Aplin & Dawn Allen. The large pots in the foreground were used by local volunteers to cook the maize meal porridge... the size of themgives you an idea of how much food was cooked and needed!

One of the South Afirca team who we worked with today said to me what a great team our group were today. They really got alongside the children we met and gave them time, fun, and attention, which they get so little of as most of them we met today had lost both parents though HIV/AIDS or related illnesses.

So if you a parent of one of the students with us... you cane be really proud of how they are digging deep and giving of themsleves in situations that are emotionally trying for us all.

The team of local volunteers we met today though are truly remarkable... they are the real heroes of what goes on here. We were in a region called Bush Buck Ridge... and each week day, a team of unpaid volunteers come to a community building, and cook a hot meal for the 60 or more orphaned and vulnerable children. This is in addtion to their work as mum, wife, gardener etc etc. Before they were given the use of a community building they did this from their own homes! And this remarkable work of compassion goes on quietly, in so many communities throughout South Africa.

Hands @ Work provide the back up and invite overseas donors to give to support the purchase of food (Maize Meal and beans). The idea of caring for those in need in the community is really strong... I can't help thinking that we have a lot to learn in the UK from the generous giving of time and effort and care to those in need.

We have our last full day with Hands @ work tomorrow and then Move to Mercy Air on Friday after a closing service & time of sharing.

Thanks for your comments and responses, it's a real encouragement to the team to know that people are interested in what we are experiecing and witnessing.

Thank you and God bless.... Richard Westwood