Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Siyathuthuka - Wednesday 7th June 2017

 Siyathuthuka - Wednesday 7th June 2017

This morning the team met with Dan, one of the Regional Support Team, who explained the Hands at Work in Africa "Wall" .......showing the different parts of the care they seek to offer.

We then left to visit the Care Point at Siyathuthuka.  The Care Volunteers gave us a very warm welcome and after introductions shared a time of worship including a word of encouragement for the Volunteers from Debbie and  Letlhogonolo.  The Care Volunteers arrive each day and prepare a hot meal for 81 children.  Today the meal consisted of chicken feet, pap and braised beetroot which we all shared with them.
Before lunch the team divided up into three teams: two of which went on 'Holy Home Visits' and the other remained at the Care Point to play with the children which included ball games, simple maths and colouring in postcards.  The colouring in was a real hit and kept the children engrossed for some time. 

Walking to a Holy Home Visit
The visiting teams each undertook two Holy home visits:

One visit was to a Gogo (grandmother) Gina* who was looking after  5 year old granddaughter. Gogo Gina's daughter had had a mental breakdown after the birth.
The father had left the family home and gone overseas.  Gogo Gina is caring for her granddaughter out of her meagre state pension and has been trying for five years to get help from the government.  The granddaughter attends the Care Point for a hot meal each day and as she was unable to attend today due to not feeling well a meal was sent to the home.  The Care Volunteer was trying to support Gogo Gina in her efforts to claim help from the government in order to be able to continue to provide for her granddaughter.

A drink for one of the children
Another of the visits was to Priscilla, a mother of 10 children.  Priscilla had been a Care volunteer at the Care Point for seven years but was no longer able to fulfil this role .This caused her great distress and we attempted to support and encourage her. We prayed for her situation before we left.

The children at the Care Point were served with their meal at 2.30pm after a time of
worship and prayer.  The children willingly take part in the worship often leading the bible reading, singing and prayer.  Today we were joined by Pastor Moses who interacted very much with the children in their play and their worship. It was really encouraging to see a local church leader supporting the work of the care volunteers.

The children wash their plates after they have eaten and take part in games, especially football.

Letlhogonolo hard at work washing up
The Care Point is a safe place for the children  who are otherwise in a very vulnerable place both in their homes and in the wider community.  They are able to smile when they are given some attention and love, but it easy to see that behind their smiles are hidden hurts and experiences.   This only goes to underline the vital importance of the work of the care volunteers at Siyathuthuka and of Hands at Work who support them.

Sheila Bott
Val Cox