In August this year myself and three other mums took our sons to South Africa to visit the Hands@Work charity based in White River, South Africa.
Hands@Work is a charity we are supporting through our 9.15am service. The goal of Hands at Work is to care for orphaned and vulnerable children through its unique model of community care.
It seeks out the 50 most vulnerable children in forgotten areas of South Africa and gives each one a school uniform (you can’t attend school without one), basic health care and a daily nutritious meal. In addition, they find the women (and occasionally men) who are already caring for children and offer them a role of Care Worker. These care workers cook for the children and act as a surrogate parent for those who may otherwise be orphans. The care point offer a sanctuary for children whose lives have been blighted by AIDS and poverty.
We stayed for 10 days in total visiting the ‘Hub’ (where the charity has its HQ) before travelling to Osheok to visit some of the ‘Care points’ and meet the children and care workers. During our stay we joined in with the Care Workers jobs by helping to prepare the food the children ate and serving it. The boys in particular loved joining in with this and were delighted to be able to help fetch water, wash the children’s hands and dish up the dinner!
One of the most important aspects of Hands’ work is performing Holy Home Visits. These are similar to the visits UK schools do for children starting school. This is a vital aspect of the charity’s work as it enables them to see if there’s anything that they can help with or pray with them about.
During our time at the various Care Points we were struck by the warmth shown to the children by these amazing care workers and were privileged to be able to join in with the provision of care given to the children. In particular we were amazed and encouraged that despite unbelievable hardship there was a real sense of joy in the communities and we felt hopeful that there will be tangible improvements for these children in the future.
- Anna Anderson
Our partnership with Hands@Work will be an ongoing partnership and will involve teams of us going out to visit our community Houtbos building relationships with our wonderful care workers and individual children. There will be prayer meetings and opportunities to get more involved, whether it is giving financially, fundraising, praying or visiting on a team. One of the values of Hands at work is to make it personal, so knowing children and caseworkers by name and praying for them is really important.
For more visit www.handsatwork.org.