Masiphumelele, “we shall succeed” in Xhosa, is home to 30 000 people being the last estimate.  It is suggested that the number could be more.  It is an area that has faced many difficulties from flooding to fires raging across the shacks with many people loosing the few possessions they have.  Masi has a large number of unemployed adults and young school leavers, which leads to many social issues, the number one being malnourishment especially in the children.

 Masi schools are on the Peninsula Feeding Scheme which provides scholars with a meal a day.  This, in most cases, is the only meal the children will have.  Some children have another meal on their way home when they go to the Catholic Welfare and Developments Soup Kitchen.  All Nations provides food parcels for many vulnerable children to ensure they get another meal in the day.  If they do have another meal it would most likely be mealie meal.  Other organizations also provide sandwiches to Ukhanyo Primary. These are dropped off and distributed to the children during their school break. The Methodist Church, the Matthew Project provide sandwiches on a weekly basis and the Constantia Catholic Church provides sandwiches every quarter.

 In spite of these efforts, many children go to school hungry and as we all know you cannot teach a hungry child.  Work For Love is a NPO which operates in Masiphumele and one our many projects is nutrition.   One of our ideas for this year is to get a few schools willing to adopt Ukhanyo Primary and Masiphumelele High School and once a week to collect fresh fruit, which is lacking in the children’s diet, as well as fresh vegetables which we could collect and drop off at the two schools. So, if any school is willing to contribute to this programme, please contact us.

We are also looking for volunteers to assist in Masiphumelele, whether it is working with children, painting the educare centre, handing out sandwiches or just doing some office work.  Even if it is for one hour it is still greatly appreciated.  I would love to have enough volunteers to assist with the sandwich distribution at the primary school as I believe it one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.  And of course interacting with the children is just a lovely bonus.  If you would love to become a part of what is happening in Masiphumele we ask that you complete our volunteer registration form, come in for an interview and pay a R100 admin fee and we then place you where you would best be suited.  It is in giving of ourselves that we touch the Divinity which resides in each of us.

The beauty of working in Masiphumelele is that the many organisations come together and share information and brain storm about the mountain of needs for the area.  For example, the Desmond Tutu Foundation provides wonderful support for people living with HIV and their research is always ongoing together with the continual education for the prevention of HIV.  Living Hope also does an enormous amount of clinical work.  It is such a pleasure working in a supportive community of volunteers and to know that we are all going in the same direction There are many organisation operating in Masi all doing exceptional work and they definitely make working and living in Masi a real pleasure.  If you would like to be part by volunteering or to make a donation please contact me so we can make an even bigger impact.

Work For Love – Growing The Community

Shirley Watchow

Office number – 021 785 4431

Cell number – 078 611 9476

www.workforlove.co.za