During the COVID-19 lockdown period, the staff at MES Impilo Shelter realised that the shelter clients had immense creative talent. Through donations of wool, beads and sewing material the women started to produce various items. On Friday, 28th August 2020, MES Johannesburg hosted a women’s day event for the shelter women, with aims to tap into what women can do to help themselves in identifying skills for survival. MES Johannesburg is proud to announce that what had stemmed from their efforts are beautiful bespoke items that were on display and for sale at the Rosebank Sunday Rooftop Market on the 1st of November. This space allowed the women to showcase their items on a much bigger platform to a wider possible customer base. Lockdown has affected many livelihoods, especially those without proper employment. The way forward is to develop entrepreneurs from among our shelter clients who use their creative skills to produce and sell items. This will help them earn an income to cover some of their basic needs. We are pleading to the general public to come support our ladies beautiful handcrafted items. These items are more than just a product. They are hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation, frustration and moments of pure joy – they are made with love and passion with an intrinsic story of hope.
MES and GoldYouth Peer education – absorb over 70 youth to become positive role models and agents of community change
MES Johannesburg and Gold Youth have partnered in a programme that teaches young people the importance of positively influencing people around your community. This peer education initiative started on the 11th of November in the MES assessment centre in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. Gold Youth’s primary focus is to test and scale the methodology of youth peer education where positive peer pressure is structured to bring about sustained community change through an “each-one-reach-one” approach within the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, After School Programmes (ASP), Training Centre and through MES recycling project. ‘’We believe that young people are capable of transforming their own communities through the skill Gold and MES offers. We took about 70 young people to join this peer education programme. Our goal is to give them the platform to be heroes in their communities,” said MES Johannesburg Programme Manager, Bonolo Masigo. Peer education is an approach to health promotion, where community members are supported to promote health-enhancing change among their peers. The aim of this programme is help teach or share health information, values and behaviour in educating others who may share similar backgrounds or life experience.
MES Port Elizabeth expresses gratitude to Compucut Signs company for a new sign board at its shelter building in the Eastern Cape province. According to new branch manager, Ronny Naude, who is also one of the company’s Managing Directors this will bring relief to image of MES as far as branding is concerned. “We have freely decided to start charity at home, using our company resources to invest in MES. We are really grateful to be part of MES and helping our most vulnerable communities,” said Naude. MES PE accommodated nearly 60 homeless adults, including 44 men and 12 women. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot more has been lost and MES PE has appealed to the general public and corporate donors to assist with funding in order to expand on other services. “The services rendered to our client groups include a holistic approach of prevention, intake and intervention leading to a sustainable exit for each individual,” stated Naude. Presently, MES PE focusses on adults, older persons, social support services and enterprise projects.
Since the national lockdown was announced by President Ramaphosa, many businesses, entrepreneurs and organisations have severely suffered the consequences. It is for this reason that MES Port Elizabeth acknowledges the struggle that many businesses and individuals are facing amid the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic. So thankful and appreciative for all donations made to our shelter during this strenuous time. Indeed, all of the contributions made have allowed the branch to provide daily meals, toiletries, masks, sanitisers and clothing for the winter season. In this light, MES PE takes this opportunity to honour those individuals for opening their hearts to our community and offering help where it was needed. The race is far from done and every effort is needed to ensure that our residents are given the best possible help. Every contribution makes a world of difference and that is exactly what every donation has meant to the most vulnerable and homeless. It is through such unflinching solidarity and faith that MES and partners fight together to overcome the dilemma of homelessness.
MES say goodbye to former branch manager and welcomes new leadership after years of selfless service
“I think the most valuable thing I learnt was that every person has a story, and that every person’s story is important. I must have patience with people and try to understand their story. There are no quick fixes in life. The Lord uses his children to Mould and Empower people while Serving!” writes MES Port Elizabeth Branch Manager, Theresa Jaquire, in her goodbye message to Friends of MES. Jaquire joined MES Port Elizabeth in April 2013 as an Administration Officer. Over the past seven years she was involved with finances, stats, the Winter Hope and Mandela Day campaigns, fundraising activities and visiting of churches. After attending a function at the Dutch Reformed Church in 2010, where MES had a presentation, she said: “I had a small wish – a wish that I could get involved with the work of MES. I moved to Port Elizabeth two years later and got involved with the Dutch Reformed Church Lorraine and the MES PE soup kitchen in New Brighton.” In 2018, Jaquire was then elevated to the position of acting Branch Manager for four months and she had since been acting until end of June upon her resignation. Meanwhile, MES has recently welcomed new Branch Manager, Ronny Naude, who comes with commendable experience in drug rehabilitation particularly for young men. Naude has a clear vision for the shelter rooted in creating an environment for growth and prosperity. We thank Theresa for her great heart of service and all she has done to positively impact the lives of the homeless and vulnerable community in PE and its surrounds.
On the 1st of October 2020, MES Cape Town re-opened its doors for the After School Services at Madulammoho’s Social Housing estates in Belhar and Scottsdene. The programme has been received with arms wide open by parents and children across the inner city. Denise Hoffman, the current project coordinator started the after school services off with a bang, knew the children had a very challenging year and wanted to do something very special during the school holidays. Denise and her team organised a fun day to the beach. On Saturday, 31st October 2020, 42 students were bussed off from the Madulammoho Estates, located in Belhar and Scottsdene, to Milnerton. During the day the children learnt how to surf and had other fun activities such as dancing, soccer and sand castle building. The children had a wonderful day out and this fun day will surely not be forgotten soon. We want to thank our partners and sponsors who made this day possible! Christian Surfers, Xpression Dance School, Jabulani Ministries, EXEO Capital, Madulammoho Housing
Thursday, the 12th of November 2020, MES Cape Town paid its last respect to the passing of a legend in community development, Jacque Pietersen. Indeed, Pietersen has been described as a hero, change-maker, a giver and leader who has lived the MES values. Jacque, born 8 January 1975, joined MES as chef in 2009. He later on became an outreach worker and then a Bright Star Trainer. He was key to the development of the GROW Programme since 2011. In 2015 he was employed by the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District, who works closely with MES. For the past year VRCID seconded Jacques to work for MES GROW again. His smile and big heart will be missed by his wife and five children, his colleagues and especially the homeless community whom he has selflessly served. MES and VRCID lost a legend on Saturday, 7 November 2020. Rest in Peace Jacque, you will live in our hearts forever. We will continue your legacy: Success is for those who choose hope! MES Cape Town would like to thank all our partners, corporate donors, churches and individual volunteers for such an unflinching support and love for Pietersen and MES in general.
JOHANNESBURG; 30 November 2020 – The Rosebank Sunday Rooftop Market has graciously offered Mould Empower Serve (MES) Impilo Shelter space to sell products from their COVID-19 knitting project on Sunday, 1 November. Founded during COVID-19 level-5 lockdown by a group of shelter ladies, the knitting project has evolved to represent an opportunity for personal growth while developing valuable entrepreneurship skills. MES would like to urge the Johannesburg community to come out and support the ladies this Sunday,1 November at the Rosebank Rooftop Market.
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.
In commemoration of Women’s Month, MES Johannesburg has committed itself to acknowledge and empower the women housed at our Impilo shelter through a Tea Party that resulted in business booming. Friday, 28th of August 2020, became a hive of activity and excitement at the shelter as all our ladies took part in different activities organised by our volunteers, including Hillsong Africa Foundation, Embark Foundation, Mosaïek, Parkview, Johannesburg and Jenny Currie of Baby2mom Egg Donation who came to impart and teach some skills in MES Johannesburg’s Knitting and Crochetting Project for beneficiaries at Impilo shelter for women. Under the theme of #Shematters initiated by University of Johannesburg, the objective of such event has been literally to make the most vulnerable women found in the inner city feel special and, also to emphasise that they too are important and matter in a society. Of the other skills that were imparted during course of the event, include sewing, beading and cup-cake decoration. Apart from charting a way for women in being financially independent, most definitely, this will help the ladies to take what they learnt and turn it into lifelong skills to assist them to better their lives. MES also appreciate the support received from ABSA South Africa for the generous donation of blankets to our shelter ladies. To the team – thank you so much for blessing us with a delicious nutritious lunch! On behalf of the ladies in our shelters – Thank you to everyone for spending time with us, giving of your skills and talents and for the generous gifts you brought. Please, follow our website to donate wool and get involved in the Knitting and Crochetting Project 2020 :https://mes.org.za/mes-johannesburg-2/.