Aug 22, 2013

Global Giving Report August 2013

Dear friends

It is with deep gratitude that we write to all of you to thank you for your continued support of our mission. 
Because of you we have nearly reached the $7500 mark through Global Giving towards our Nutrition & Wellness Project!  It is so wonderful every time we get the email from Global Giving notifying us that another donation has been made!  And like clockwork, every quarter, they duly transfer it into our account and we are filled with unbelievable joy knowing that there are people in the world, many miles away, who have the heart and the
desire to make a difference in our area of biggest need.

At the moment, we are concentrating very hard on fundraising for food.  It has been hard going as the fuel price
continues to escalate.  For example, in 2011 our weekly food parcels cost R23 (±$2.70) each, in 2012 it went up to R26 (±$3.05) and our quote for food parcels for the remainder of 2013 has escalated to a huge R32 (±$3.76) each!

Naturally, the people affected most by the price increases, are the people we serve in Missionvale; the poorest of the poor. For them, the R1 (±$0.11) increase per loaf of bread hits the hardest.  This means a higher demand as
more and more people are struggling to survive.

It is only because of people like you that we have been able to meet some of their needs and for that we can never thank you enough.  Once a person has eaten, they can face the many other challenges they are confronted with.

It is winter in South Africa at the moment, and although we do not experience snow and ice like many of you, the night air can be bitterly cold especially when you are living in a poorly insulated shack. For most of us, winter can be a lovely time to snuggle up with a hot cup of tea after a long bath before climbing into bed with the electric blanket
on!  For our beneficiaries, none of this is possible.  First they have to make the long walk to the tap to get cold water to bring back to the house.  If, like last night, it has been raining, there is almost no way of heating the water as the people are unable to build a fire in the pouring rain.  A few people have paraffin stoves, but can barely afford the paraffin that is needed to fuel it.  And when they do, a horrible black smoke fills the entire house.  So for most people in Missionvale, on a cold and rainy night, there is no comfort, no escape.  They arrive here at the Care Centre then the next morning, often drenched and their feet covered in mud, and throughout the crowd you can hear the endless coughing and coughing.  It is a grim picture, but it is their reality.

I hope that every one of you reading this will take comfort in knowing that your contribution to Global Giving is going directly towards helping these people.  That because of you their suffering is made a little lighter.  And most importantly, because of you they have some hope!

We are starting to recognise the names on the disbursement lists we receive – some of you we have never met, some are old and treasured friends.  It is very important to us that you know how special you are to us, and how much we appreciate everything you do for us.  Every day, Sister Ethel lights a candle in her prayer room and dedicates time to giving thanks for having you in our lives.  You are all very close to her heart and to the hearts of the people in Missionvale.  Thank you.

May 24, 2013

Report on Missionvale Nutrition Programme May 2013

Children in Missionvale township
Children in Missionvale township

Dear friends

Another three months have passed and your generous contributions have ensured that our Nutrition and Wellness Unit could continue providing essential food items to families desperately in need.

It never ceases to amaze us how much impact the nutrition makes on the community.  In many instances the food becomes a great incentive for attending skills development / educational programmes!  This has a tremendous positive effect on the community as they are learning skills that will empower them going into the future, and many of our HIV patients that used to be very weak, are starting to gain strength!  This is so important as the effects of HIV have hit our area harshly.  There is a definite increase in the number of child headed households and granny headed households in Missionvale.  As a result, the children are not in school and so the cycle of poverty continues.

We are so grateful to you for contributing towards providing nutrition for these families and giving them a chance in life! Once you meet a person at the point of their need, you can grow the star in each one.  Because of YOUR help, we have many stars shining in Missonvale!  

With gratitude and love from Sister Ethel and all of us in Missionvale

Our lovely ladies in the kitchen, Julia & Jossita
Our lovely ladies in the kitchen, Julia & Jossita
Feb 25, 2013

Report on Missionvale Nutrition Programme Feb 2013

Dear all

It is with deep gratitude that I write to you to thank you all for your incredible support to our project "Nutrition for 500 families in South Africa".  Fundraising for food always remains our biggest challenge and it is only with the support from people like you, that we are able to continue this basic, but VITAL, service.

From December 2012 to date, we have been able to purchase 532 food parcels with the funds received through Global Giving alone!  We could never find the words to thank you enough for making this miracle possible.

At Missionvale Care Centre we have a holistic approach and offer services including Nutrition, Education, Skills Development and Health Services.  On our premises we have a small primary school (204 pupils) and this morning, our school principal, Russel Viljoen, shared something that illustrates the impact of the nutrition so well.  One of our Grade 4 pupils is HIV positive.  At the end of last year, he really started to struggle with his physical health due to the strong medication that he had to take. (We suspect that either the medication was given incorrectly or not at all which brought about his situation). Of course, in this time the school went on their 6 week summer break. Our principal was very concerned when he returned mid-January and looked really weak and sickly. He could hardly walk properly and had lost a lot of weight. It is now one month exactly since he has come back to school and the transformation in his health and physical stature is astounding and can only be ascribed to the healthy and regular meals that he receives at school. Russel said that he now watches with gratitude and amazement as the boy plays rugby on the grass patch with the other boys. He is strong and healthy and most importantly, HAPPY!

Through your contributions, you are the ones making successes like these possible!  

With love and gratitude from all of us in Missionvale,

Linda van Oudheusden

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