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MES celebrates 35 years amid a hybrid global webinar

The initial vision for MES was born in 1986 when the Johannesburg East Dutch Reformed Church started with an outreach programme that handed out food parcels to the homeless and unemployed community of Hillbrow. MES facilitates professional services to vulnerable or at risk individuals, families and communities. The  core services are implemented in each of four branches, depending on the need of the community and available  resources.

Gauteng government recognise the value added by MES to the inner city and homeless community during COVID-19 lockdown

JOHANNNESBURG; 15 September, 2020 – In response to the further easing of lockdown regulations, homeless shelters are facing the dilemma of how to sustainably exit beneficiaries who have been housed in the overnight shelters for the past six months. The MEC of Gauteng Department of Social Development (DSD), MMC of City of Johannesburg (COJ) and their delegation visited Mould Empower Serve (MES) yesterday (14th September 2020), where they expressed their gratitude for the good work MES does and discussed the way forward regarding the challenges facing the metropolitan cities in the province.

National lockdown and its impact on the homeless

JOHANNNESBURG – In the fight against the Coronavirus Covid-19 thousands of homeless and vulnerable people in the city are faced with a great safety dilemma – where to self-isolate in order to avoid the spread of the virus. Inner city NPO Mould Empower Serve (MES), which operates in Hillbrow, Cape Town, Kempton Park and Port Elizabeth, has stepped in to help the marginalised people of these inner cities during this critical time. Since the official announcement by president Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa declaring a national lockdown, MES has kept its shelter operations and food distribution points open to help the high numbers of vulnerable people who came to their doorstep for assistance.

MES celebrates 35 years of changing hearts of South African inner cities

JOHANNESBURG; 6 May, 2021 – This year, Mould Empower Serve (MES) celebrates 35 years of changing the hearts of South Africa’s inner-city communities, bringing hope and driving sustainable impact to the communities they serve. In celebration, MES will host a global webinar on 1 June 2021 from 15:00 SAST (South Africa Standard Time). The webinar will provide an online platform to share the wider MES story with a global audience.

Ikusasa makes education a possibility for the vulnerable

The Ikusasa Foundation is a group of individuals from the Netherlands who have been supporting MES for the past few years. Every year they personally come to South Africa to donate stationery to underprivileged school children from Soweto and Hillbrow in Johannesburg. Even though COVID-19 travel restrictions meant that they were unable to deliver the donations personally, Ikusasa ensured that their valuable donations were still delivered in time for the new school year. The Ikusasa Foundation donated uniform vouchers, stationery and lunch packs to over 152 learners through the MES Social Work Support (SWS) programme for the 2021 academic year. The donations received in January this year were given to at least 80 school children in Hillbrow and 72 children from Mofolo Park in Soweto. The donation will add incredible value to ensure these learners have a successful academic year. Our Social Support Services include a holistic approach through assessment workshops for the After School Programme (ASP) parents and learners. Using our new Monitoring & Evaluation tool  Poverty Stoplight, social workers are able to conduct needs assessments to determine effective distribution of food parcels. Moreover, they also host workshops with the learners about social issues and how to respond to bullying or abuse. MES continues to appreciate the Ikusasa Foundation whose contribution supports us in serving inner-city children. Thank you so much for changing lives of our valued clients and their families

Valentine’s pick me up for shelter beneficiaries

On 14 February 2021, MES Johannesburg celebrated Valentine’s day with shelter clients at our Impilo Shelter. The day celebrated love and shared words of encouragement to support clients going through challenging times. MES understands the importance of spiritual enrichment and motivational talks as it exposes clients to stories of people who overcame serious difficulties in life in order to reach their potential. Pastor Chris, a well-respected member of our community, led the conversation on the day and was supported by Bhili and his wife who shared their personal journey. Bhili and Pastor Chris met while Bhili was in prison and have since been on a spiritual journey together. Bhili has since been released from prison, and along with his wife, they share a story of love and encouragement. The couple shared their story at the MES Ekhaya Shelter for the first time at the end of 2020 and their story did wonders in lifting the morale and mental wellbeing of clients. The Impilo Shelter clients and the shelter caretakers was spoiled with catering provided by donors in our community – delivious cupcakes from the Pennington family from Parkview Community and tea, coffee and biscuits from theParkkruin Familie Kerk congregation members and Oaklands Conference centre. The event was aimed at bringing back a positive morale and dignity to our beneficiaries. We are very thankful to Pastor Chris and his beautiful wife Lolo for sharing love and hope with our Impilo Shelter beneficiaries.

City of Cape Town’s Lion Club turned Centre of Hope in Durbanville

One would think that December resembles ending off, rest and winding down...well, not for us! December meant the opening and renovating of our new Centre of Hope in Durbanville.  In our world, December meant starting things, working hard, and winding up! After two years of prayer for a place within Durbanville, the City of Cape Town granted us the use of the old Lions Club which became a reality during the festive season. By the grace and goodness of God, we received an empty building with one desk, filled with potential and hope. We jumped in and started sourcing everything we needed to operate, reaching out to churches, schools, local businesses and community members. Our Durbanville community was simply amazing. Our GROW teams grew every day, we prepared meals, shared stories and had so much fun! On Christmas day, we served a fully cooked lunch with gammon, roast potatoes, fresh salads and much more. Tables were decorated to the brim and many of our clients enjoyed their first Christmas lunch at a beautifully set table with a filling lunch. We could not bear the thought of closing our Centre of Hope so continued serving our clients over the festive days. The new year started off with a bang! We implemented daily workshops, the Meal Voucher system, and started teaching values and speaking about dreams. Our GROW team also had their first Brightstar training sessions where life skills were taught, and hope was restored. Our aim with the Centre of Hope is to get businesses, churches and communities to take hands. We are currently engaging with the City of Cape Town, neighbourhood watches, churches, schools and businesses to create a network where positive change can be brought to Durbanville. It is amazing to see how willing and open people are to get involved. Our renovations are ongoing and we thank you for partnering with us in our dream to restore that which the Lord has placed in the lives of those around us. Your support makes our work and the change that you witness in the lives of our people possible. We look forward to what lies ahead in 2021. Cape Town After School Programme (ASP) kicks-off for the new academic year Our After School Program (or ASP) has restarted for the 2021 school year. Here we support parents by providing a safe place where their children can be given a balanced meal, educational support, and fun activities to keep them occupied away from the busy inner city. Our goal is to not only look after these children, but also instill in them the love of God and teach them biblical values, while also supporting them in any way they need whether it be emotional, spiritual or educational. Building relationship with residents through community dinner Our Durbanville Centre of Hope, in partnership with local churches and small businesses, has started a community dinner initiative where individuals from all walks of life can sit around the same table to share a meal. ...

Give Responsibility

MES Cape Town is calling on corporate donors and individual volunteers to support the Give Responsibly campaign, which discourages residents in the Western Cape province, from handing out money and goods to the homeless living in the streets. As our campaign objective and part of our role to empower and uplift the destitute, we urge the community to refer homeless people at non-profit (NPO) organisations, such as MES. While there is over 14 000 homeless people in Cape Town at cost of R700m spent a year,  according to  The Cost of Homelessness Study in Cape Town, there’s seemingly been short-term solutions to the problem which are not only expensive but fail to help people get off the streets. When and how to Give Responsibly? We encourage the public to “Take cash out of the system” by buying food and shelter vouchers and refer people in need to charity  organisations such as MES, who will assist them through a high-level of social support services which the street people need. Why should the public not give hand outs: Giving money to children on the streets encourages them to leave home and stay out of school, promote substance abuse and keeps them away from organisations that are there to help them. Giving food and clothing also does not help, it is sold or exchanged. Giving money or support directly to street people demotivates them to search for professional social services which can change their lives. SHELTERS IN THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN  MES Safe Space, 1 AJ West street, Bellville 021 945 8028. Elim Night Shelter, 47 Third Ave, Elsies River 021 591 2824. Happy Valley Shelter, Off Palace Hill Road, Simon’s Town 021 786 5087. The Haven Night Shelter, Moira Henderson, 107 Chapel Street, Woodstock 021 461 2533. The Haven Night Shelter, Napier, 2 Napier street, Green Point 021 421 6219. The Haven Night Shelter, C/o 10th Ave & Metaal Street, Retreat 021 715 0817. Loaves & Fishes Shelter, 1 Chatham Road, Mowbray 021 448 5900. The Haven Shelter District Six, 20 Selkirk street 021 465 1310 The Haven Shelter Wynberg, 16 Piers Road, Wynberg 021 762 8243. The Haven Kraaifontein, 21 Van der Ross Street, Eikendal 021 987 1967. What is Responsible Giving?   Sponsor a meal or shelter voucher. Sponsor a Job Rehabilitation shift. Donate good quality clothing, food products, toiletries and cleaning material to organisations who offer services to street people. Sponsor a grocery gift card voucher for food. Donate your time by volunteering. Sign a debit order form for a programme of your choice. Give time and respect to street the homeless. Referring them to charity. Using a resource list of your area. Know your ‘hood’ (neighbourhood) - get to know the organizations in your area. “Give a hand up, not a handout” Click here - Give Responsibly Click here - Read Cost of Homelessness Study in Cape Town

Help MES reunite Gogo with family and empower the skills acquired

Help MES reunite Gogo with family and empower the skills acquired MES is appealing to prospective donors and individual volunteers to assist in reuniting our granny, who has been part of a Knitting and Crocheting Project by the ladies living at our Impilo shelter since Covid-19 level-5 lockdown in Jeppestown, Johannesburg.  The knitting project has evolved to represent an opportunity for personal growth while developing valuable entrepreneurship skills. To get involved, please contact Tarryn on 011 725 6531 or email tarryn@mes.org.za or donatejhb@mes.org.za. Click here - Donate to MES Johannesburg

MES Kempton Park Charity Golf Day raise thousands in rands for After School Programme (ASP)

MES Kempton Park has successfully hosted its annual Charity Golf Day to help sustain and improve its After School Programme (ASP) for the less fornunate pupils in the inner city. Friday, the 27th of November 2020, saw a hive of activity at the ERPM Golf Club in Boksburg as Friends of MES and individual volunteers participated in the golf day. “It is a privilege to have finally hosted this event, as it had been postponed due to COVID-19 regulations. What is even more exciting is that this year our Kempton Park branch celebrates its 10th anniversary, so to be able to connect with our donors and supporters in this way was very special,” says MES Kempton Park branch manager, Helena van Blerk. The MES Kempton Park branch was opened on 1 August 2010, after a group of concerned members of the community came together to address the increasing problem of homelessness and poverty in the inner city. “The impact that the branch has made so far is evident in the number of lives changed and the real stories that continue to be told by the people who have found help and a home at MES Kempton Park,” adds Leona Pienaar, CEO of MES. The  range of programmes offered by the branch has grown from the initial overnight shelter and food relief programme to include an after school programme (ASP) for the inner-city leaners, a job and life rehabilitation programme for adults, and a variety of spiritual enrichment initiatives. “I would like to encourage everyone in Kempton Park to get involved; whether it is playing or sponsoring a hole or sponsoring a prize or sharing this invite far and wide! Your contribution will make a definite impact as proceeds will go towards the development of our new ASP facility,” adds van Blerk. MES has recently acquired its premises, and have set plans to expand the ASP as an urgent priority. This expansion will mean the children will have a bigger space for their playground, their own ablution facilities and a place they can call their own.

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