Period poverty is a prevalent issue in the Masoyi community, where girls lack access to menstrual products. This often leads to them missing school and their education suffers. Supported by Masoyi Trust (UK), in particular a ladies group run by our supporters, eMasoyi have been able to distribute sanitary products to young orphaned and vulnerable girls around the different Masoyi communities.
Lunchtime feeding programmes
Masoyi Home Based Care has three lunchtime feeding programme centres; these are Mahushu K 2 centre, Swalala K 3 centre and Phola centre. In the current reporting period the three feeding centres have provided lunch to 726 orphaned and vulnerable children. This vital support not only addresses the children’s immediate need of hunger but improves concentration at school and helps them to get a better education.
“On 3rd of December, there was an event to commemorate World AIDS day, and also to launch the Starfish* wellness wagon (mobile clinic) [aimed at children living far from a health clinic.]. To remember World AIDS day, we had children reciting poems on HIV/AIDS, and a nurse from one of our local clinics led us during the candle lighting ceremony.
“A representative from the Starfish Foundation* expressed excitement at the support the wagon is receiving from the Department of Health. A speaker from the Department also applauded the wagon for assisting the Department with its work. Sister Lubambo explained the services they provide on the wagon such as checking children’s teeth, ears and urine and HIV testing.
“We also had speakers who represented the community, department of education and pastors; lastly the Starfish wellness wagon nurses distributed sanitary towels to children at the event.”
On 6th of December there was a Christmas party for orphans and vulnerable children. At the event, children who passed their schools grades were congratulated and the others were encouraged not to give up. While schools are closed the children were reminded to continue with good hygiene, bathing at least once a day.
We also had care givers from all the areas of eMasoyi reiterating to all the children how to get in touch with them if they have any kind of problems. During the event, children performed items of dance and poetry, received sanitary towels and gifts, and enjoyed cake and a meal. The party was planned for 105 children but it ended hosting 153 children successfully.
eMasoyi plans to have a party in early December for 300 children from their child-headed households. There are potentially another 300 children who could be invited. As ever, funding such a large-scale event is challenging (!), particularly as it is hoped that each child can receive a gift.
The party will be held at K2 (‘Our home’), site of the main offices, meeting room, Early Development Centre and vegetable garden. Imagine 3-600 children partying in that space! Wouldn’t you want to be there? Join with us and pray that it can actually happen.
When Dale, Nicky and Matthew were in Masoyi in May, they arrived with some money given to them to use as seemed best. This is a report on how much of it was used:
“School uniforms were purchased and distributed to five beneficiaries, four girls and one boy, who are all orphaned and vulnerable children from different areas within the community. The children that were fortunate enough to receive the school uniform were specially selected from many other needy children, but the reason why these few were selected is that these children don’t receive social grants because they don’t have birth certificates – a result of families problems. The care workers were requested to carefully select the five from the many needy, orphaned and vulnerable in the community. The beneficiaries were very happy to receive their uniform and they could not wait to wear proper uniform to school like all other children, something they haven’t done in such a long time. Items that were bought and distributed to the beneficiaries included shoes, skirts, trousers, shirts, jerseys and socks.”
The Bul. Family consists of five members, a mother and her four children. They live in a four-room house, and the house is in very bad shape. The two eldest siblings managed to pass their grade 12, but they are currently sitting at home because they do not have money to go to university to further their studies. The other two are still at school, with one doing grade 12 and the other doing grade 2.
Sip. Bul. collecting a food parcel
Their mother is critically ill; she is on treatment [ARV’s] and they are struggling with food and other basic household needs. Only one child receives the child support grant which is around R430.00 per month, which isn’t enough for the five family members. Their mother was their only bread winner after the passing of their father, but since the mother is sick, their situation has worsened.
We placed them on the Masoyi Trust food parcel programme because the food that they buy with the R430.00 does not last until month end. We are hoping that the two eldest sisters will be able to find some work so that they can take care of their mother and their younger siblings.
“On the 27th of March we visited a family at Numbi Trust, and found an 87-year old gogo [granny] and her 7-year old granddaughter. The grandmother is taking treatment for hypertension, and they live in an RDP house (Reconstruction Development Program) built by the government. The child’s mom was raped by her biological dad when she was only 9 years old and fell pregnant. She was traumatized by the ordeal, and told no one until she fell pregnant. After she gave birth she abandoned her baby and left the family.
“Apparently a member of the family died inside in the house, and that traumatized the granddaughter, who now refuses to sleep in the house or come near it. A social worker was called in to take the young girl for counselling.”
“On the 26th of March, at Jerusalem Trust, we met a young boy who had relocated from another province to live in Mpumalanga to live with his unemployed aunt. He is taking HIV and Spinal cord treatment. Where he used to live, he had been forced to drink traditional medicine, but he has now been referred to the clinic and given the treatments. It has been a few months since he has been adhering to the treatment, and he is now recovering very well.
Jabulele and the boy
New school uniform
Jabulele and the boy New school uniform
“When he came from the Western Province, he did not bring any of his previous school documentation, which made it nearly impossible for the local schools to register him. Because Masoyi HBC has a very healthy working relationship with local schools and other stakeholders, Project workers and a social worker went to one of the high schools, and he was registered and given books. The school principal and other teachers were notified about the boys’ condition and the school management agreed to look after him.”