Phakamisa is a ministry of Pinetown Methodist Church (South Africa) and exists to serve and uplift impoverished communities through the provision of training, resourcing and support.
Children, people affected by and infected with AIDS/HIV and the elderly are our main beneficiaries.
Phakamisa – A Hand Up
Phakamisa is ministry of Pinetown Methodist Church with Christ firmly at the centre as they strive to offer a hand up to communities in a 50km radius of Pinetown through their Educare (pre-school) and Caregiver (mainly elderly woman caring for orphaned children as a result of HIV/AIDS) programmes.
A thrice yearly newsletter aims to communicate how and where those differences are being made and seen, how lives are changed and always thankfulness for God’s provision and faithfulness and the outworking of His plan in the lives of all who have been touched by Phakamisa.
April 2013 Here are a few extracts from the April letter.
On 8th February – 31 Caregivers graduated with their Literacy Certificates. After one short year of learning an 86 year old can read the label on her medicine bottles for the first time ever; an 81 year old can sign her name as opposed to placing an X on documents. For these women who have lived their WHOLE lives unable to READ and WRITE it feels as if ‘The light has come on in the darkness’.
At the end of March, 95 Child-minders graduated after a completing a 6 month course in learning how to care for a stimulate 0-3 year old children. As Otlivia received her certificate, she whispered: ‘I could not even hold a crayon properly when I came here – but my trainer, my monitor and the girls at my table have helped me and NOW I am a REAL Child-minder. What will the parents say when they see my certificate on my classroom wall?’
Anyone for Gym? In response to feedback from the annual survey conducted with the participants, we have started, as the Caregivers say ’GYM’ or ‘Keep fit classes’. Probably more truthfully these are… ‘Stretch and Relax classes’. It is wishful thinking to imagine they have worked as effectively as Legina says they have. She declared in devotions that she no longer needs her walking stick because she does ‘Gym’.
Please visit the Phakamisa website to read the full letter and find out more about this amazing ministry.
Or download the PDF version here
If you are a group interested in hearing more about the work of Phakamisa through an interactive talk then please contact Ann Clark – e-Mail or Telephone – 07917 86760
Open Day for Phakamisa – Thank you for your support and fellowship last Saturday, we had an absolutely wonderful busy day serving coffee and cakes and soups for lunch. There was a real buzz to the day and it was a huge team effort with immeasurable help from Pat and my mum (Mary – 3 weeks post heart attack !) in all the baking and soup making and running of the kitchen together with Hattie, Di and Claire.
Phakamisa beadwork, Christmas decorations and jewellery, was on sale and £400 worth of items were sold. Together with beadwork sales and generous donations we achieved a total of £1100 – which is just fantastic and will continue to make a difference of the lives of people living in the impoverished communities Phakamisa serves.
Phakamisa for me is the Kingdom of God here and now, from the selflessness of Caregivers in giving of themselves to care for orphaned children, to Glenda and her staff committed to be the change they want to see in this world acting in faith and love, and for all those who support this ministry in the giving of their time, talents, donations, prayers and love. Thank you.
2011 has been another demanding year for Phakamisa as Glenda and her team have strived to meet the developing needs of the communities served. Last year Parenting Classes were offered as part of the Caregiver Workshops, led by Alexia Zuma (who also teaches sewing) and providing a popular and beneficial class.
The Phakamisa year ended for the ‘summer holidays’ mid December and re-opens for their new school year on January 25th.
In 2012 Literacy Classes will be part of the Caregiver Programme to enable caregivers to tackle problems encountered in their daily lives and communities which they currently struggle with due to a lack of literacy. A new website (to replace the current SA and UK sites) is currently being developed by Jamie Gill (talented website developing grandson of Pat and Keith Hirst) working closely with Glenda and myself, we hope to launch in February an engaging, informative, current and interactive site which will tell Phakamisa’s story and those of the people whose lives it touches.
Glenda visits the UK for 10 days in April visiting areas in the South, and Lincoln and is looking forward to connecting with donors and forming new relationships with churches and communities.
Phakamisa will return to the fantastic news that over the Christmas period the BMC family raised an amazing £1,080 ( £169 in gift aid = a total of £1,224.) which will help immensly with the funding of the work of the project. Please know that your gifts are greatly valued and continue to make a huge difference to the lives of adults and children that Phakamisa reaches in so many and varied ways. Zamele Zuma, a Phakamisa Caregiver writes, ‘Phakamisa helped me, to be able to pray, their support helps a lot, I am learning skills & so now can plant vegetables which will help feed my children. Thank you for giving to Phakamisa and helping me.’
Thank you for helping to change lives.
Ntombifuthi Dlamini, (not her real name) was a very loving, enthusiastic Caregiver living in a rural area near Hillcrest. Her husband died of HIV AIDS and she was raising her own family of 3- one of whom had matriculated, but is unemployed; one who is re-writing his final year of school and a 13 year old daughter, Zandile. Her sister died recently, so Ntombifuthi took charge of her young family – a 2 year old girl and a 3 year old boy.
Ntombifuthi was unemployed, but earned money by selling vegetables from her group’s communal garden. It was not very lucrative as most people in her rural community grew their own vegetables, but she had no skill to enter the job market. Being aware of her attempts to survive, neighbours would sometimes purchase her vegetables, even though they were growing their own.
Two years ago, Zandile, (then aged 11) started having difficulty walking- tripping over things and being clumsy. The local clinic said it was stress from her father having passed away. It became progressively worse, until in January this year, Ntombifuthi had to carry Zandile on her back to school each day -a 2 kilometre walk! A few months later, the teachers said she should no longer come to school, as it was too difficult for them to manage her, for her legs had become so thin and wobbly she could no longer stand- even if she were supported. She had only attended local clinics as there was no money in the family to transport her to a hospital. At that stage, Phakamisa learnt of the situation and took her to a specialist hospital where she was given permission to apply for a disability grant. Medical tests were conducted and she was diagnosed with HIV AIDS and started treatment; as did Ntombifuthi.
Ntombifuthi’s Caregiver Group met and decided to club together to give her a TV or a radio so that Zandile would have something to do, as she lay in bed all day long. When investigated, however, they realized that their idea was too costly for them to afford, so one of the Caregivers GAVE her own TV set to Ntombifuthi and Zandile.
In the interim, Ntombifuthi’s son, who was repeating his final year at school, was told not to return, as his school shoes had broken and it is compulsory to wear school shoes to school. His friend next door agreed to share his shoes with him, until replacement shoes could be found. So they attended school on alternate days.
Ntombifuthi became ill and three weeks later, she died. Her Caregiver Group were devastated to hear of her death and immediately arranged to go and pray at her home. They also arranged that each one would take responsibility for Zandile on a different day of the week. This is a LONG term arrangement…….. and to add to it all……the borrowed TV set had broken.
Meanwhile… The day before we heard of Ntombifuthi’s death, someone brought a TV set and a video machine to Phakamisa- just in case someone could use it!? What timing! As we heard of the tragic death of Ntombifuthi, and Zandile’s plight, we were able to give not only a TV set, but also a video machine to the little family.
A different story: A local audiology team voluntarily visited Phakamisa to test the hearing of those who cannot hear properly. Initially 18 people were tested and a further 37 are waiting for the next testing days. If anyone has a discarded hearing aid, please, in a random act of kindness, give it to us. It will be re-programmed for people who previously have had no access to assisted –hearing, and will give them a whole new life.
Acts and Random Acts of kindness:
My dear Friends,
Once again I have been challenged both by people Phakamisa seeks to serve and by others who simply want to help to make the world a better place. I thank them and promise to perform acts or random acts of kindness more faithfully. Do you?
Striving to be kinder and more loving,
Phakamisa Newsletters: June 2012