Dr Peter Farrant of the Northern Education Trust reports that January and February 2022 have been a very busy time with all sorts of challenges in the schools and the community. As Covid slows down, there is a slow return to normal life. “The uptake of vaccine in the community has been good and, consequently, the severity of infections of Covid has declined.”
ACTS OF MERCY REPORT JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2022
Sister Grace worked in collaboration with local stakeholders to ensure necessary requirements and social support was provided for 43 people in need. The Department of Social Development referred some families to us as they had no supplies. Others were referred by local religious leaders who asked us to help those in dire need. On being contacted, each beneficiary goes to the supermarket to collect their food parcel.
Sister Grace liaises with church elders and reassess beneficiaries before providing support. “I come across challenges like loss of shelter due to rain, no food or essential supplies, and orphaned children left with no proper guardians to look after them.” Other issues have been violence-related due to misunderstandings, with youngsters involved in domestic theft, alcohol and substance abuse. “I noticed that many children who live with secondary guardians lacked proper care. Their social grants are being misused.”
- Insecurity in our community is on the rise, which has led to houses being broken into and belongings being stolen
- Increase in teenage pregnancies. Girls aged between 14 – 20 are expecting and drop out of school
- Social grants are mismanaged: funds intended for buying food are used for gambling and alcohol
- Youth with addictions have no access to rehabilitation due to lack of funds. As a result they still roam within the community, abusing drugs such as glue, smoking nyaope, and sharing injections. Those addicted are between the ages of 10 -20 years.
- Increase of prices for essential supplies and food stuffs including clothing.
- Inadequate food supplies from the Department of Social Development.
- I do face difficulties reaching out to many families due to damaged roads but am able to call or send someone to deliver messages and food.
WHAT WE ARE DOING:
Helping teenage school girls who fall pregnant
“TEENAGE MOMS HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH BLANKETS AND BABY EQUIPMENT. ALL ATTEND DIFFERENT SCHOOLS.”
“TEENAGE PREGNANCY IS HUGE PROBLEM IN OUR COMMUNITY. MANY OF THESE GIRLS DON’T WANT TO USE CONTRACEPTIVES REGARDLESS OF ALL THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EDUCATION OFFERED TO THEM.”
ONE MOZAMBICAN NATIONAL WAS UNAPPROACHABLE, AFFECTED BY MENTAL ILLNESS, UNTILL WE INTERVENED AND SENT HIM FOR MEDICAL HELP.
Sister Grace says, ‘I collect his medication from the clinic every month to ensure he doesn’t default treatment.’ He now seems to be doing well
“THIS MAN LIVES IN A SHACK WHICH WAS BLOWN AWAY BY WIND AND HEAVY RAIN. I PROVIDED FOOD AND A BLANKET BEFORE REFERRING HIM TO THE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT FOR ASSISTANCE WITH PROPER SHELTER.”
“I am thankful for the sanitary pads and clothes donated by Horizon guests, which I was able to distribute to those in need. The sanitary pads benefited school girls who received them with gratitude as they will not miss out classes due to menstrual issues.”
The Department of Social Development managed to provide food parcels to those with valid identification documents.
As we have moved to level 1 of lockdown restrictions, many people are back at work. Some are receiving the Social Relief Grants to enable them to provide food for their families.
“I will continue to reach out to those who are in great need and encourage those with income to spend it on basic needs instead of alcohol and gambling.”
Learners have access to daily meals from all surrounding school’s feeding schemes.
“I will continue regular meetings with the local Police Victim Support Unit, religious leaders and with social workers to ensure community members have access to services they need.”