News

National news and branch news, MES newsletters

Spend your 67 minutes with MES on Mandela Day

You are invited to join us for Mandela Day on 18 July Mandela Day is an annual global celebration that takes place on 18 July to honour the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. As Mandela Day approaches, a profound opportunity exists to make a difference. MES would like to invite you to come and spend your 67 minutes with us in honour of Mandela's 67 years of sacrifice to better the lives of others. Every minute counts, whether lending a helping hand at a local shelter, delivering donations, or engaging in meaningful conversations. Even the smallest gesture of kindness can significantly impact someone's life. We welcome anyone interested in getting involved and helping us serve our vulnerable inner-city communities. Our Johannesburg, Kempton Park, Cape Town, and Gqeberha branches will celebrate Mandela Day on 18 July 2024. Different activities will take place at our various branches. To find out more, book your slot, or explore ways to Change the heart of the city with MES during Mandela month, please contact us at: Johannesburg: suzan@mes.org.za Kempton Park: luwanda@mes.org.za Cape Town: cptfundraising@mes.org.za Gqeberha: ronny@mes.org.za Please note that donations may be dropped off at different locations between 08:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday, from 15 to 19 July. To make alternative arrangements, please contact your nearest branch. Click here for more information and branch needs lists

Spread hope and warmth with MES this winter season!

WinterHope, 01 – 30 June 2024 – Extended until the end of July! Join us in our mission to spread hope and warmth this winter season. Your act of kindness could be the light that someone needs in these cold and dark times. What is the WinterHope initiative? WinterHope is a collective initiative that is a beacon of warmth and support dedicated to aiding our most vulnerable communities during the chilling winter months. Our mission revolves around gathering essential items such as warm clothing, blankets, and nourishing food supplies to instil HOPE in those who face challenges in caring for themselves and their loved ones during this season. WinterHope has evolved into a formidable partnership of compassion and generosity for over twenty years. Our collaborative efforts span the nation and are orchestrated by prominent organisations, including MES (serving Johannesburg, Kempton Park, Gqeberha, and Cape Town), PEN (based in Pretoria), Towers of Hope (operating in Bloemfontein), and His Hands (located in Durban). If our mission resonates with you, we invite you to join us in making a difference. Your support will empower us to continue spreading warmth and hope to those in need. Together, we can make a meaningful impact this winter season. CLICK HERE TO GET INVOLVED We appreciate everyone's support in 2023. Follow our WinterHope journey! Regular updates will be shared below. In the news! Sharing the WinterHope message with media. THIS INITIATIVE IS MANAGED BY: AND SUPPORTED BY:

A new Safe Space for the homeless in Durbanville

MEDIA RELEASE MES announces the opening of MES Durbanville Safe Space for the homeless DURBANVILLE, CAPE TOWN, 2 APRIL 2024: MES (Mould Empower Serve) is proud to announce the opening of the Durbanville Safe Space, a robust further initiative set to positively impact the lives of homeless individuals, extending the service of the NGO to the people in need across the northern suburbs of Cape Town. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, 3 April 2024, from 14:00 to 16:30 at the Durbanville Safe Space at 2 New Street, Durbanville, located next to the Durbanville taxi rank in the heart of the Durbanville CBD. "The newly renovated building, the Durbanville Safe Space, represents a joint effort between MES and the City of Cape Town to restore dignity, safety, and essential services to Durbanville's homeless community," states Leona Pienaar, CEO at MES. "It is strategically located within the bustling city centre and a testimony to the power of partnership and public welfare." Cape Town Metro Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis will officiate the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Other dignitaries in attendance will be Alderman Theresa Uys, Mayoral Committee Member; Carin Viljoen, Manager of Corporate Services at City of Cape Town; Megan Pangeni, Head: Street People Programme at the Department of Social Development and ECD; Ruan Beneke, Councillor for Ward 105, as well as key partners and MES staff who have tirelessly worked to realise this project. This initiative directly responds to increasing homelessness in Durbanville and aims to offer more than just shelter. At the MES Durbanville Homeless Support Centre in Queen Street, MES has served 6577 meals for the past year. The centre assisted 40 people with ID applications and assessed 157 beneficiaries, while 151 change readiness workshops were hosted for 1524 attendees, preparing them to make a meaningful contribution to society. "There are no similar centres in the immediate area. Recent homelessness studies have highlighted the overwhelming need in the Western Cape and Cape Town. The Durbanville Safe Space will be a flagship for furthering successful rehabilitation programs," says Pienaar. The growing concern regarding the number of homeless people living in Durbanville - without access to alternative accommodation nearby - was the main driver to obtaining the urgent lease for our Safe Space. MES chose not to wait for a tender to be drafted, budgeted and advertised. If Durbanville's Safe Space had to follow the normal Tender and Supply Chain Management route, MES would likely only have been able to open a safe space in this area in 2027. MES is immensely thankful that the capital upgrades have been completed and the Occupational Certificates have been obtained. The next obstacle for MES will be to secure operational funding to ensure the space runs effectively. The monthly operating costs are projected at R130,000. MES is actively pursuing financial backing from public donations, businesses, churches, foundations, and the City of Cape Town's Winter Readiness programme to maintain the facility's crucial services. The MES Durbanville Safe Space is designed to aid in reintegrating those committed to positive change, supporting 40 beneficiaries monthly through a multi-phased programme that reinforces ...

A special Easter MESsage from our CEO

Dear Friends of MES, “1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the [c]still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23: 1-4 In the literal sense of the scripture in Psalm 23, a shepherd's tools represent protection, guidance, and discipline. Sometimes, a shepherd breaks the leg of a sheep if it keeps straying off. Then, the shepherd carries the sheep on his shoulder and talks to the sheep so that it can learn to trust the shepherd’s voice. In the metaphorical sense, where the Shepherd is our Heavenly Father, breaking a leg can symbolise moments of trial or difficulty in our lives. Yet, even in these moments, the voice of the Shepherd remains constant. He whispers comfort and assurance, reminding us of His presence and promise never to leave nor forsake us. Knowing the voice of the Shepherd and recognising the significance of His rod and staff is crucial for those who follow Him. The rod and staff serve distinct yet complementary purposes. The rod, a sturdy wooden tool, symbolises the shepherd's authority and protection. It fends off predators and keeps the flock safe from harm. Likewise, in our spiritual journey, the rod represents God's protective hand over His people, guarding them from the dangers that lurk in the darkness of the world. The staff, a long-crooked stick with a hook at one end, serves as a tool for guidance and correction. The shepherd uses it to gently guide wayward sheep back onto the right path and to rescue them from precarious situations. Similarly, God's staff represents His gentle guidance and correction in our lives, steering us away from harmful paths and leading us towards righteousness. When we know the voice of the Shepherd and understand the significance of His rod and staff, we can find strength and hope even amid our darkest moments. We can trust that He will lead us safely through the valleys, mend our brokenness, and restore our souls. It is my prayer that during Easter, we will hear the voice of our Shepherd as we celebrate the gift of life made possible through His crucifixion and resurrection. We will find time to lay down our burdens and lean closer to the Vine so that we can continue to bear fruits! I wish you enough! Leona Pienaar CEO of MES Leona Pienaar, CEO of MES

Get your cycle gear ready and join MES at 947 Ride Joburg

Calling on all cyclists to activate your heart for change! Virgin Active 947 Ride Joburg returns to Joburg’s streets on 17 November 2024. This day is a call to action for individuals, communities, and organisations to raise funds towards bursaries to cover tuition fees and study materials for our 14 MES Joshuas. MES invites you to support our team and raise funds for the MES Joshua Youth Servant Leadership programme. How you can get involved with MES and Virgin Active 947 Ride Joburg Dedicate your ride to MES when registering for the Ride for a Purpose initiative on the 947 Ride Joburg website. Our promo code is SEM-657. Click here to redeem our promo code. Raise R2500 for your entry fee and your MES shirt. Contribute or sponsor a MES Joshuas entry fee. Ride alongside and engage with our Joshua team on 17 November 2024. Join us at the MES water point on race day to motivate riders and celebrate the day in MES spirit! Interested to get involved? Contact Brigitte Potgieter at MES Johannesburg on 011 725 6531 or email her at engage@mes.org.za REDEEM THE PROMO CODE SEM-657 HERE Why support the MES "Ride for a Purpose" initiative? Funds raised will support the Joshuas with university registration, tuition fees, and study materials. You can request an 18A Tax Certificate for your generous donation. Your involvement will go a long way in enabling our Joshuas to continue supporting the youth and inner-city communities in Johannesburg. For further assistance on how you can raise funds or pledge your support for our Youth Servant Leaders, please contact us at 011 725 6531 or email brigitte@mes.org.za More about our Joshuas The MES Joshuas is a servant leadership gap-year programme for 14 selected matriculants with leadership potential. These youths play a vital role in the MES learners programmes, where they become mentors and tutors for the younger children in the After School Programmes (ASPs), in sports, arts, and the MES Dance 4 A Purpose projects. At the end of the leadership year, MES supports them in finding suitable training, study bursaries or employment. Most Joshuas remain MES supporters, and some have become strong champions for MES' work. Your donation and/or promotion of this MES flagship programme will empower these aspiring leaders to obtain the education they desire and make a lasting impact in their communities. Follow the Joshua's 947 Ride Joburg journey Regular updates will be shared in the gallery below.

The 7th annual National Homeless Network Conference

On 19 February 2024, MES participated in the National Homeless Dialogues, organised by the National Homeless Network at The Manger in Kempton Park. The National Homeless Network is a collaborative movement, uniting diverse organisations from multiple cities across South Africa. The event gathered approximately 80 attendees from various backgrounds, including NGO representatives, academics, researchers, pastors, government officials, and individuals with personal experiences of homelessness. During the event, a key topic of conversation was the National Policy on homelessness. By the close of the Conference, delegates left with a few core principles: Homelessness is complex and needs a complex response from the state, civil society, and business. A citywide database is crucial in capturing standardised baseline surveys and impact data. Collective Impact Approach models - like the Joint Operations Committees in Cape Town - are the only way to reduce homelessness. One plan and one developmental language. Ending homelessness is an intentional process, and its impact needs to be measured – we need to: prevent it; make it a rare occurrence (we need to know when new people end up on the street and why); make it brief (when people are homeless) and non-recurring (those that exit must do so sustainably and not return to the streets); a variety of solutions for accommodation and services (day and night services) for each area. Together, we CAN reduce homelessness in South Africa! Click here to read the National Homeless Network media statement.

BeMore with MES this Tax season

MES and 18A Tax Benefit There is still time to make a meaningful impact and qualify for this year's tax assessment deduction! As a registered Public Benefit Organisation, MES can provide you with an 18A receipt or certificate. By partnering with us you will qualify for a tax deduction on your tax return for bona-fide donations in cash or in kind. If you have already made your contribution and haven't received your 18A receipt, please note we will distribute all 18A certificates in March after the end of the financial year. You can also liaise directly with your nearest branch. Johannesburg: Brigitte Potgieter – brigitte@mes.org.za Cape Town: Clarina Hanekom – prcapetown@mes.org.za Kempton Park: Luwanda Conco – luwanda@mes.org.za Gqeberha: Ronny Naude – ronny@mes.org.za Thank you for your loyal support and for Changing the Heart of the City! 18A tax benefits and B-BBEE partnership opportunities

Activate your Heart this Festive Season

Packaged Love 2023 It is almost Christmas, so the season of giving and caring is approaching. Every year we package our love and present these gifts on Christmas day to those near and dear to us. Packaged Love is an annual campaign that brings awareness on how to love our beneficiaries by making giving and serving opportunities available to the public. You can be part of MES's annual Packaged Love campaign! This year we are doing a national Packaged Love drive, consisting of items that all four branches need to start 2024 off with. We also have branch-specific serving and giving opportunities where individuals, church groups, and corporates can get involved at our Christmas events. CLICK HERE TO CHANGE A HEART IN YOUR CITY How to get involved We have Branch-specific serving and giving opportunities where individuals, church groups, and corporates can give back this Christmas. We have a list of shopping bag items available to make it fun and easy to add to your basket while you shop. Please see below for our national needs list for items to add to your shopping list. Add any of the following items to your shopping cart this Festive Season and donate to any of our four branches: Unwanted Christmas gifts Mi-Change voucher packs Jik Handy Andy Dishwashing soap Dishcloth Sponge scourers Washing powder Toilet paper Toothbrush Socks Body soap Roll on Vaseline Long life milk Coffee Sugar Cooking oil Biscuits Lolly pops Popcorn kernels Powdered drink sachets A4 paper A4 Plastic sleeves A4 Exercise books A4 Hardcover books Pritt Pens Permanent markers Prestik Johannesburg Needs List Kempton Park Needs List Gqebera Needs List Cape Town Needs List

Help survivors of Marshalltown fire

A fire broke out in the early hours of Thursday morning, 31 August 2023 at a five-storey building in Marshalltown, Johannesburg. Over 70 people died in the fatal incident, including 12 children, leaving more than 50 others injured. The building that burned down, was a home to more than 200 people, many of whom are now left homeless. MES is accommodating 70 survivors from the Marshalltown fire tragedy. We are motivated to restore dignity through Moulding, Serving and Empowering humanity. Please assist us with donations of food, toiletry packs and clothes. Donations can be delivered to 353 Main Street, Jeppestown. Your support can make a significant difference in helping those affected by this tragic incident. A little goes a long way! Monetary Donations: ABSA Bank MES General Acc no: 3240140208 Branch code: 632005 Swift: ABSAZAJJ Contact us for more information

Ride for a Purpose with MES and 947 Ride Joburg

Calling on all cyclists to activate your heart for change! Virgin Active 947 Ride Joburg returns to Joburg’s streets on 19 November 2023. This day is a call to action for individuals, communities, and organisations to raise funds towards bursaries to cover tuition fees and study materials for our 14 MES Joshuas. MES invites you to support our team and raise funds for the MES Joshua Youth Servant Leadership programme. But hurry, entries close on 18 October! How you can get involved with MES and Virgin Active 947 Ride Joburg Dedicate your ride to MES when you register for the Ride for a Purpose initiative on the 947 Ride Joburg website. Our code is: MES-509 or click here to redeem our promo code. Ride with our Joshua team on 19 November and you could qualify for an earlier start time. Help sponsor a MES branded race kit and race gear for our Joshuas. Join us at the MES water point on race day to motivate riders and celebrate the day in MES spirit! Donate a minimum of R2,500 as a personal donation or sponsorship from friends and family. Interested to get involved? Contact Brigitte Potgieter at MES Johannesburg on 011 725 6531 or email her at engage@mes.org.za REDEEM THE PROMO CODE MES-509 HERE Why support the MES "Ride for a Purpose" initiative? Funds raised will support the Joshuas with university registration, tuition fees, and study materials. You get an earlier start time. You could qualify for an 18A Tax Receipt – ask us how. Your involvement will go a long way to enable our Joshuas to continue supporting the youth and inner-city communities in Johannesburg. #ActivateYourHeart for change – Ride for a Purpose with MES at 947 Ride Joburg on 19 November! More about our Joshuas The Joshuas are an in-service programme comprised of 14 young matriculants who have taken a gap year to become servant leaders in their community. They play a key role within the Learners and Preschool focus groups, where they become mentors and tutors in the After School Programmes (ASPs). "Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle" is one of MES's core messages for 2023. We aim to raise funds for bursaries to cover tuition fees and stationery for the 14 Joshuas. We invite you to help us raise funds and awareness so that these young leaders can obtain higher education. Follow the Joshua's 947 Ride Joburg journey Regular updates will be shared in the gallery below.

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