Stories of hope and inspiration

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, 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 ...

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