It’s the end of another year. Where does the time go? If you’re anything like me, perhaps you’re asking yourself: “Did I accomplish anything meaningful this year?”
Let me assure you that, as a faithful supporter of the ministry of Seed of Hope South Africa, you most definitely accomplished great things for God over these last twelve months. With your help, we have been able to build healthy, hopeful and happy futures for the people of Bhekulwandle.
BUILDING HEALTHY FUTURES
For the thousands of residents in this small township just south of Durban, the Seed of Hope Centre has become a beacon of hope, help and healing in the community. From general medical evaluation weekends to personal HIV/AIDS testing, the people of this rural community know that the Centre is a safe place where they can go to get accurate and helpful medical information and support.
- Thanks to you, the medical facilities at the Seed of Hope Centre underwent a critical renovation giving them much more space to conduct private consultations with clients and offer educational seminars in a clean, bright setting.
- Local staff were empowered to deliver the LifeWise HIV/AIDS informational seminar in their native Zulu language. The two-day session entitled Tholulwazi (meaning “Gain Knowledge”) was very well-received by all those in attendance.
- Local and international medical professionals conducted on-site clinics offering vision tests (and free glasses to those in need) as well as general medical check-ups for people in the community.
- With friendships built and trust gained, children and adults have both benefitted from attending HIV support group meetings each week at the Centre. The shame and stigma of HIV is being erased with accurate information and access to anti-retroviral medications (ARVs).
BUILDING HOPEFUL FUTURES
Teaching women to sew or training people in sustainable farming techniques is just the beginning of a hopeful future. As they start to provide for themselves and their families, their mindset moves from one of despair and loss to that of optimism and opportunity. With prayer and spiritual support, the staff and volunteers at Seed of Hope invest heavily into the lives of the people of Bhekulwandle. The return on this investment is seen daily in the smiles shared and confidence gained. And it’s all possible thanks to your kind donations.
- Farming God’s Way training offered to community members twice in the past year. Sample garden on Seed of Hope property yields record results.
- Sewing Class graduates ten more students. Women have now started their own co-operative to make and sell goods in the community to support themselves and their families. To see an inspiring video about the impact the sewing program has had on the women of Bhekulwandle, visit www.theseedofhope.org.
- The Seed of Hope sewing class has started participating in the I (Heart) Market – a once a month opportunity to showcase and sell the incredible crafts and handiwork made at the Centre.
- The sewing room also underwent a transformation this year thanks to the generosity of donors like you. Large cutting tables with storage and proper work stations for the sewing machines, along with abundant lighting and easy to clean laminate flooring has created a creative and comfortable space for all the women in the sewing room.
BUILDING HAPPY FUTURES
Kids are at the heart of the Centre. Daily, Simunye Time and After School Programs offer children and young people in the township a place to be safe, loved and nurtured in their faith in God. The halls of the centre ring with the sounds of singing and laughing as the Children’s Workers lead them in their lessons and activities. For older teens, the Live Out Loud program is offered to those who are deemed by the local high school to possess leadership potential. A two-year commitment, students are mentored in the ways of the faith and given practical leadership tools with which to serve their community.
- Live Out Loud students are preparing to compete in a triathlon in the first quarter of 2013. With South African rugby legend, Stefan Terblanche alongside them as coach and cheerleader, they will no doubt succeed in their efforts to use this experience to raise local support for the work and ministry of Seed of Hope.
- Unbeknownst to Centre staff, students from the Live Out Loud class have been taking the lessons learned at the Seed of Hope and teaching them to their classmates at the High School.
- With faithful leadership from Musa, the After School kids enjoyed many special outings to add to their learning experiences at school. Most recently, they enjoyed a visit to the Kwazulu-Natal Shark Conservation Board.
- Simunye kids enjoyed a wonderful Christmas party thanks to your kind financial support. With games, presents, food and popsicles, they celebrated the end of another year of learning, laughter and love at the Seed of Hope.
Thanks to you, lives are being touched and changed on a daily basis in Bhekulwandle. We are so grateful for your generous support throughout the year.