While the School's team traveled back to the Hands at Work hub today, the second team of this year's visits set out from the UK.
Four adults from Lichfield Diocese (Philip Swam, his daughter Millie Swan, Maria Tabou, and Rose Westwood) are part of what we have called the "Matlosane Team"
Matlosane is one of the Diocese
of the Anglican Church in South Africa - and is twinned with Lichfield Diocese.
The region is part of the North West Province of South Africa and lies west of Johannesburg, stretching from Klerksdorp up to the border with Botswana... there are many rural settlements as well as townships outside the main towns (one of a number of hang overs from apartheid which still remain). The main industries are mining (Gold and Platinum) and agriculture although unemployment is quite high in some regions as a number of the mines have closed
During their time in Matlosane the team will stay in the homes of local church members and try to build up and develop the already good relationships between Lichfield and Matlosane Dioceses
After arriving on Tuesday 23rd the team are scheduled to visit the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg http://www.apartheidmuseum.org before driving to Itsoseng in the North of Matlosane.
One important feature of this part of the visit is that the team will be joined by two young leaders from Matlosane (Kagiso Teme [a young man from Itsoseng] and Mmabatho Naseba [a young woman from Zeerust]). They will then all travel together to Johannesburg on Monday 29th July where they will meet up with the Church & Community Team from Lichfield (who will arrive from the UK early on 29th). The combined teams will then all travel to the Hands at Work Hub in White River to visit the communities with whom Link 4 Life Project are partnering.
Kagiso and Mmabatho have been chosen by church leaders in Matlosane and their visit costs are being covered through donations received via the Bishop of Lichfield's 2013 Lent Appeal. It is hoped that churches and communities in Matlosane can benefit from seeing some of the Hands at Work models of home based care for orphaned and vulnerable children and then perhaps strengthen & build up the work already being done by the church in Matlosane. So a big thank you to all who gave to the Bishop's Lent Appeal - it is good to see the funds put to work - and there are a number of other "exchange" visits in the pipeline.
But all this joining up of teams is a week away at present... for the moment the "Matlosane Team" will take time to visit friends new and old and learn about the joys and challenges of living in Matlosane. If you want to know a little more about Matlosane and the church and communities there then why not visit our companion blog http://matlosanematters.blogspot.co.uk and see how previous visits to our partners there have helped to strengthen links.
Thanks for reading - hopefully there will be some more detailed updates from the school team soon when the internet problems are sorted.