Hands At Work

Updates — January to March 2017

Hands at Work in Africa (UK) in partnership with  St. John’s, Heath Hayes

Report on Msengeni Community, Swaziland Msengeni
Children currently supported: 100
January welcomes the start of a new school year in Swaziland. Uniforms are mandatory for school attendance. In fact, without them, children are not allowed to write examinations. In Msengeni, new uniforms were purchased for 20 children, allowing them to attend school and receive an education.
During the rainy season, malaria, bilharzia and other illnesses are more common in the community. Last month, fourteen children were taken to the clinic to be treated. They are now doing well.

“In such a remote place as the community of Msengeni, many people live in extremely vulnerable conditions. Children, parents and grandparents know hunger, thirst and a lack of resources because in Msengeni work is difficult to find. In this community lives nine-year-old Dogma*. His parents died when he was very young. Dogma and his younger sister were left orphaned and alone. Their grandparents, living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet, took in Dogma but could not offer his sister a place to stay. She had to move into another home, which left Dogma missing her dearly. Both Dogma’s grandmother and grandfather work hard to provide for themselves and Dogma, but their labours rarely amount to enough. His grandfather leaves early every morning to chop and sell firewood, and does not return home until late in the day. His grandmother also leaves early – at 5:00am every day – to sell maize meal. This meant that Dogma was left on his own during the day; a great vulnerability.
Thankfully, however, hope burst into this broken and lonely boy’s life. Dumsile, a loving Care Worker, found Dogma and invited him to come to the Care Point in the community. It is through Care Workers like Dumsile that Msengeni is being transformed through Christ’s love. At the Care Point, Dogma began receiving a hot, nutritious meal every day, relieving some of the burden from his grandparents. They have the confidence that Dogma is being cared for and has a safe place to be during the day. Dogma is also supported with education and is currently in grade 3 at school. Though Dogma must walk 3 kilometres to school every morning, he loves to learn and dreams of becoming a teacher when he is older. In February, Dogma was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He spent a month in the hospital, and during that time, Dumsile visited him often. His grandmother did not have enough money to pay for the long drive to visit him, but when the local chief heard of her plight, he generously gave her money to visit Dogma. Now home from the hospital, Dogma visits the clinic twice a month to monitor his health, alongside faithful Dumsile”.    (*name has been changed).

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OUR REGIONAL TEAM

The visit to hands at Work in Africa.

 

 

A group of churches are now forming a regional team to visit Hands at Work in Africa:

 

St John’s, Heath Hayes,

St Anne’s, Chasetown,

St Mary’s, Wheaton Aston,

Holy Trinity, Heath Town,

All Saints, Streetly.

 

Our team member is Yvonne Twigger. It is good that she will be another voice to continue the advocacy of Sheila and George Green who have made working visits since 2004.

 

The care workers and children of the marginalized communities helped by Hands are greatly encouraged and uplifted by meeting people from far away who are standing with them, and praying for them in their struggles. They had felt abandoned. The repeated visits by Hands give Hope, which is more valuable than money.

 

The expected outcomes are, firstly to develop a relational partnership between our church community and the Community Based Organizations in Africa that will transform both.

Secondly, we hope that, on return, the team’s churches will continue to work together to help Hands at Work UK develop more effective engagement of small churches.

 

‘No longer will the poor be nameless – no more humiliation for the humble.’  Psalm 9:18, MSG