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Gqeberha (PE) completes water tank project

MES Gqeberha beats Day Zero with help from Gift of the Givers The countdown for Nelson Mandela Bay taps to run dry has ended for the MES Gqeberha branch in the Eastern Cape province. This follows a swift intervention by Gift of the Givers, responding to our call for sponsorship into the whole project - from drilling a water borehole - to installation of a running water system, connecting more than four (4) of the 5 000 litres of water tanks, donated in our building. "Our vulnerable and homeless clients will now breathe a sigh of relief after days of hardship in the province. We are grateful to have Gift of the Givers come on board and rescue the situation," said MES Gqeberha Branch Manager, Ronny Naude. In addition, private donors and the Robert Niven Trust also significantly contributed to the water tanks and infrastructure development. Situated at 1 Hiles Street in Korsten, MES Gqeberha accommodates more than 100 homeless clients in our Safe Spaces and shelter. The centre offers a restoration programme, counselling through our social workers, as well as a community soup outreach to those still living on the street. MES Gqeberha sells second-hand clothing at our Thrift shop, which can only benefit from your pre-loved clothing, to help us build an exciting shopping experience for our customers.

Liezel lands a permanent job

Liezel Moses is a 26-year-old mother, who arrived at our drop-in centre in Parow on the 18th of January 2022, looking for a job opportunity. She helps to support her family, including her parents, while caring for her own children, since none of them are employed.    After losing her partner of eight years in a car accident, she has been making her way toward healing and finding peace, step by step.   Liezel was referred to, our job rehabilitation program, GROW, and was then given the opportunity to partake in the PEP program, because of her tenacity.  Last Friday, Liezel received the wonderful news about landing her permanent job with the VRCID, our valued stakeholders.   Her new permanent employment contract started on Monday, 13 June 2022.  "We’re so proud of Liezel and the progress that she’s making.” - Anelle Erasmus, MES Marketing Manager 

MES social workers safeguard the rights of children

The Mould Empower Serve Social Work Services (SWSs) says they will do their utmost best as their responsibility to protect children from any acts of violence, exploitation, and abuse which may render them becoming homeless. The organisation made the remarks on Thursday, the 2nd of June, during the commemoration of Child Protection Week held at Laerskool Primary in Claremont, south of Johannesburg. Under the national theme “Let us Protect Children during COVID-19 and Beyond” led by Department of Social Development (DSD), Child Protection Week is marked annually between 29 May till 05 June, to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and Children's Act No. 38 of 2005. As for MES Johannesburg’s Social Worker, Bongani Nxumalo, has encouraged an audience of more than two hundred Grade 6 and 7 Laerskool Primary learners to say no to the use of drugs, as well as, engaging in sexual activities at a young age. Nxumalo stressed the need for collective enforcement in rooting out so-called “blessers”, the adults who are involved in sexual activities with children in exchange for money or material items. “It is the duty of the learners to enjoy their childhood, and not allow obstacles such as drugs, and abuse to determine their future. Blessers are messing up with the future which is in the hands of children,” said Nxumalo. With the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour held recently and hosted by South African government in Durban between 15 and 20 May, Nxumalo condemned with strongest possible terms practices of child labour that are still prevalent in Africa involving 160 million children. Meanwhile, Captain Thomas De Bruyn, of Sophiatown Police Station in Johannesburg invigorated the pupils to report to their teachers any acts of bullying and selling of drugs which may be taking place in the school. While encouraging the learners to take their schoolwork as seriously as their future, the captain maintained that children should be regarded as angels and not criminals. “Do not think you’re too young not to get arrested. We have a juvenile prison designed specifically for young people like you, who may fail to be disciplined and involve themselves in illegal activities,” beamed Captain De Bruyn. The Child Protection Day commemoration featured Mosala Kelefetswe, a 34-year-old retired drug addict who gave testimony to learners about his past miserable life of drugs and criminal activities. Kelefetswe confessed to the audience that while he became homeless because of indulgence in drugs, he and his friends would steal and rob people in the inner city of Johannesburg. Interestingly, through the help of MES in 2013, Kelefetswe was rehabilitated through South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA), where he’s now a changed heart. Kelefetswe is now a Social Auxiliary Work student at the Joburg Child Welfare and is expected to graduate in July 2022. “Firstly, I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and saviour. There are different activities one can ...

MES, my saving grace

MES, my saving grace Like many others, Mpendulo Mahlalela (26) left his hometown and moved to Gauteng in search of employment opportunities. Mpendulo grew up in Jeppes Reef, Mpumalanga. He was raised by his Grandmother and completed his matric in 2015. After his Grandmother passed away, Mpendulo realised that he didn’t have anyone to lean on for financial support. He decided to go in search of a job somewhere else as he wasn’t having any luck in his hometown. Mpendulo arrived in Germiston at the end of 2021 with hopes of finding employment and a better life. But he was alone with no one to call or anywhere to go. After spending a week looking for work and living on the streets of Germiston, Mpendulo decided to leave and try his luck in Kempton Park. Mpendulo spent three days living next to a taxi rank in Kempton Park. This was where he met someone who told him about MES Kempton Park. He immediately made his way to us in search of shelter. Mpendulo has been with us since and he is determined to build a better life for himself. He has just joined the GROW job rehabilitation team. He shared that: “MES Kempton Park has given me more than I was looking for. Firstly, I am grateful for the humble service that I have received from the staff. I was welcomed without judgment and with patience and persistence my Social Worker continues to work with me through my various challenges”. “While working at GROW, my hope has been restored because I know that I have something to look forward to the following day, instead of sitting around aimlessly.” Mpendulo arrived in Germiston at the end of 2021 with hopes of finding employment and a better life.

Young heart changed and turned around for the better

A young heart changed and turned around for the better Rochihauno Ford (26) has been a participant in our GROW programme since April 2021. Unemployed, Ford approached us in search of help and received job rehabilitation support through GROW. Throughout his journey within the programme, Ford showed great potential, he was always on time and eager to learn. His stepfather, unfortunately, passed away last year, leaving him and his 2 siblings without financial support. Rochihauno enjoyed a special bond with his stepfather who was always there for him. His passing not only put the family in a financially vulnerable situation but has also taken a massive emotional toll on them. Rochihauno returned to the centre, put in extra effort, worked harder than before and soon became a GROW team leader. MES has been a place of spiritual and emotional support for him and has arranged for counselling to help him through the healing process. We are humbled by Ford’s personal journey and inspired by his resilience. He was awarded a place within the Public Employment Programme (PEP) as a team supervisor. Today, his good work ethic and positive attitude have landed him a permanent position at the VRCID cleaning department. Rochihauno Ford (26) has been a participant in our GROW programme since April 2021.

Meet Senzo, a MES outreach worker from Cape Town

Meet Senzo, a MES outreach worker from Cape Town "It humbles me, each day I meet people who have degrees and who wanted to be something in life, it happened to them."  - Senzo Madida, 21 Outreach Worker for MES Cape Town. Outreach with MES entails going out on the street to find out where homeless people sleep, and to build relationships with them. The goal is to network and inform them about the services that we have to offer. "I go out and see where they are living and see why they are there", says Senzo, a MES Outreach Worker in Durbanville, who sees roughly 45-50 homeless people each week. According to Senzo, building relationships with those in need is key to getting them to trust you enough to accept help. To achieve this, Senzo works closely with officials at the City of Cape Town. As soon as they inform Senzo about new tents being pitched by the homeless, he accompanies them to where the need is, offering services and support to the homeless. "Most importantly, I build trust. We need to go on the street and tell those in need what we can do to help them. They need to be able to trust us enough to let us help them. Usually, we judge people without understanding what led someone into that situation", says Senzo. "Usually, the first thing that people need is an identity document, so that they can get a job. That's one of the first things that I assist them with", he continued. According to Senzo, anecdotally, almost all of the people who are on the streets in his area are from other parts of the country. Usually, they came to Cape Town in search of better opportunities. However, they don’t have any friends or family here, which leaves them with no support structure. In doing outreach, Senzo tells, you also come across those who were transferred to a prison in Cape Town from other parts of the country. Upon release, they're either too ashamed to return home, or their families flat-out reject them. Their chances of getting a job are exceedingly low because employers don't take kindly to criminal records. In his experience, Senzo has seen a cycle emerge among those released onto the street after having been in prison: "They live on the street for two weeks before being introduced to drugs, after that, the likelihood of them getting off the streets is very low indeed", Senzo elaborated. "There are also those who want to go back to prison because, after a month on the streets, they find that life was better in prison, so they commit other offences to go back", he added. For most people, getting off the street is very difficult. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication from both the outreach and social worker, and the homeless person in question, to make it happen. Senzo went on to share what the most profound impact that ...

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.

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