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Joyce’s Story

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Joyce’s Story

By Rolan Gulston 

Fifty-four year old Joyce Mukuya of Mariannridge has gained a new lease on life since becoming involved with CAST late last year. As a member of the Apostolic Church, Joyce recalls a frightening encounter with ‘Madlozi’, a spirit believed in Traditional Zulu African culture to be a sign or calling to become a sangoma. Joyce turned to her pastor who, together with members of her church, prayed over her for protection. Shortly after this, Joyce dreamt of her late mother, calling her to pray and continue going to church.

As a widow, and mother of three children, two of whom are unemployed with children of their own, Joyce has suffered financial struggles since her ex-husband’s passing caused by a stroke at the age of 58. Joyce has also had health problems of her own. She spent three weeks in hospital after suffering a mild stroke. She currently lives with ongoing heart problems and battles with arthritis. A few years prior, she was involved in treating a young boy in her area who was stabbed several times, and, in doing so, contracted HIV. Joyce did not receive any form of counselling after this incident. The social grant she receives from the government has been her main source of income.

For four years, her family lived without electricity due to unpaid electricity bills, and had to go through the task of collecting water and carrying it to their home. Through the generosity of a member of her community, their bill of R4900 was settled, and electricity restored.

Her daughter, Candy, aged 22, mother of 2 toddlers, earns some money from hair styling, cooking and sewing. Her son, Ian, 39 has experience with electrical work, vehicle mechanics and security services, but his problem with drug abuse has thwarted his opportunities for employment. Joyce has two other children, a daughter living in Shongweni and a son in Cape Town who do not offer any means of support.

Joyce heard about the Relief Services that CAST administers in the Mariannridge community, and got in touch with the Community Co-ordinator, Ralph Williams. She now receives a monthly food parcel and is able to earn additional income through door-to-door sales of clothing supplied by CAST. Her daughter, Candy has also found a new avenue to earn money from her talent for sewing through CAST’s Business Development programme, which has sold her handmade goods locally to visiting mission teams from the USA. Both Joyce and Candy are also a part of the Savings Club, a new branch of the Business Development Programme which aims to develop the practise of saving and investing in business ideas.

Since recommitting her life to Christ this year, and becoming involved with CAST, Joyce has managed to overcome a long-time drinking problem and now has renewed hope for the future. Going forward, she would greatly appreciate help with getting a new sewing machine to increase her family’s earning potential.

If you would like to donate a sewing machine towards Joyce’s family, please contact Sandy at: sandy@cast.org.za or 031 266 8830

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Holiday Fun

Holiday Fun

“Crowned: Created to be Different”

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Over the past two weeks CAST has partnered with Westville Baptist and four other churches to host annual holiday clubs in Addington, KwaDabeka, Phoenix and Appelsbosch. This year’s theme was Crowned! Children learned that our Heavenly Father is King over everything, and since we are His children, that makes us royalty.

Children also looked at various kings and queens of the Bible, learning to live like royalty who depend on God means that His kingdom will belong to us!

Thanks to your support, CAST and our partner churches:

  • Provided a safe place for over 780 children during the holidays, who heard the Gospel and received individual attention from caring volunteers.
  • Introduced 104 children to Jesus for the first time.
  • Hosted a parent evening for parents & guardians at Addington Primary School.

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Mama Khombisile

CAST Savings Club Story: Mama Khombisile

Mama Khombisile

Mama Khombisile is incredibly passionate about wonder bags!  She joined CAST’s Chesterville Savings Club with the intention of putting aside R50 ($3.84) a month to purchase materials for the wonder bags.

As she explains, “This is a big opportunity to open my own business.”

At the moment, Mama Khombisile supports herself by selling bottles and cans to be recycled.  She also receives a CAST food parcel to supplement her diet.

Her granddaughter lives with relatives in Inanda, and is in Grade 10. Gogol Khombisile would like to use some of her savings for her granddaughter’s school uniform and further education.

More recently Mama Khombisile became the treasurer of CAST’s Chesterville Savings Club.

Mama Khombisile is one of the many local community members who benefits from CAST’s development programmes and is working hard to achieve her future goals. To make a contribution towards CAST’s various programmes, such as Relief Services (food parcels & clothing) or Business Development, contact CAST at: 031 266 8830 or laura@cast.org.za

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CAST Health Education: Diabetes Awareness

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CAST distributes 300 food parcels to those living below the poverty line. These food parcels are handed out in 7 communities. A recent survey of the poverty levels of food parcel recipients showed that 89% earn an income of less than R 1 500 for the whole family per month. It also showed that 77% of the food recipients’ diet does not include the correct food groups, resulting in the rise of obesity and malnutrition.

77% of food parcel recipients have a family member suffering from diabetes or hypertension. Due to these findings, CAST has taken steps to partner with a member from Westville Baptist, Jenny Russel, from Diabetes South Africa. Jenny shared recent statistics which revealed that, in KwaZulu-Natal alone, there are 1.3 million diagnosed diabetics in state health facilities. Every day, 6 amputations are carried out in hospitals, which could have been prevented if people were eating correctly or diagnosed and treated early.

During the next ministry day when we hand out food parcels, a health education talk about diabetes will be given to all the food parcel recipients who will also have their blood pressure taken and be screened for diabetes. We will be able to refer those to the local clinic who are needing treatment and ongoing care.

To screen each food parcel recipient, it will cost CAST R20 per person. This simple test could change a person’s life. If you would like to donate R20 towards supporting a food parcel recipient to be screened for diabetes and hypertension, please contact Sandy Reid at sandy@cast.org.za or on 031 266 8830.

This Sunday is also CAST Food Parcel Sunday. A R200 donation will provide a food parcel for a family of four for two weeks.

CAST is a registered non-profit: 085-077 NPO. Donations are deductible in term of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act.                      

Bank Details:  CAST Trust, Nedbank, Westville Mall/138 026, No: 101 7717 672

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CAST Savings Club Story: Thuleleni Madlala

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A talented beadworker and aspiring entrepreneur in Chesterville, Thuleleni, recently discovered the importance of saving.  During the past month, CAST’s Business Development Department has launched several Saving Clubs for local entrepreneurs in the communities where CAST partners.  The goal is to encourage community members to set aside a bit of money each month for a specific goal they want to achieve with their family.

For Thuleleni, the Savings Club is an opportunity to budget and save for her children’s school uniforms and stationery next year.  Looking ahead, Thuleleni would like to open her own fast-food restaurant and continue to grow her beadwork business.  To achieve this, she is planning to save R100 ($8) a month.

Thuleleni currently supports her family through making handcrafts and jewellery, as well as selling empty buckets, cans, tins and bottles to a recycling company in Durban.  Twice a month, she pays for two seats on the taxi from Chesterville to Durban, one for her and one for the bottles.  Through recycling, Thuleleni is able to make R350-400 ($27-31) per month, in addition to the income from selling her handcrafts and beadwork.

Thuleleni is also a part of CAST’s Sinkithemba Support Group in Chesterville.  She lives with her two children and husband, and has two other children who live in Matatiele, whom she only gets to visit twice a year.  Three years ago, Thuleleni’s husband lost his job after the company he worked for collapsed.  The situation became even more challenging when her husband started to take up practise as a traditional healer, or sangoma.

Thuleleni loves Jesus, and enjoys attending church.  When she first joined Sinkithemba, she was able to benefit from CAST’s food parcel programme.  She continues to participate in the support group in order to grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

CAST seeks to empower individuals like Thuleleni through programmes that provide holistic support.  We believe that long-lasting development happens through relationships that are centred on mutual respect and understanding.  Every day CAST’s volunteers, staff and partner churches work together to make a difference in the Kingdom of God by reaching out to our neighbours with practical compassion.

If you would like to mentor an aspiring entrepreneur like Thuleleni, contact CAST’s Business Development HOD, Janet Okoye, at: janet@cast.org.za or 031 266 8830

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Siyanqoba: Girls’ Camp 2017

Siyanqoba Girls’ Camp 2017: “We are more than conquerors”

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This year, CAST will be hosting its second girls’ camp. Building on the success of the first camp, we hope to help the girls gain an understanding of resilience. The purpose of the camp is to equip girls with practical skills to build their physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual or cognitive resilience in the face of adversity. The camp also offers the girls a safe space for authentic engagement that will allow them to have fun, be brave, and feel safe enough to be vulnerable.

Here’s what you need to know about the camp:

When: 30 June – 02 July 2017

Where: Camp Noah (Richmond)

Who: 60 young girls (ages 13-18) selected from the CAST youth programmes run in local communities

Cost: The girls will raise R200 individually & CAST will sponsor R350 for each girl

How you can get involved:

  • Sponsor a girl to attend camp (R350 or $27).  You can donate via EFT or online at: https://www.givengain.com/cause/4933/campaigns/17462/
  • Donate materials: gift packets, A5 note books, bibles, pens.
  • Donate food items: popcorn, Marie biscuits, marshmallows, hot chocolate, hot dog rolls, chicken viennas, margarine, tomato sauce, sweets, juice, salt & Aromat.
  • Donate other items: board games, puzzles.

For more information contact Thandi Gova at: thandi@cast.org.za or 072 037 0884

CAST is a registered non-profit: 085-077 NPO. Donations are deductible in term of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act.

Bank Details:  CAST Trust, Nedbank, Westville Mall/138 026, No: 101 7717 672

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Ntombikhona’s Story

IMG_0302Every month, Ntombikhona walks over six kilometres to attend CAST’s Ministry Day in KwaDabeka and collect her CAST food parcel.

She first heard about CAST when she was trying to enroll her daughter at Sithokozile High School in KwaDabeka.  At the time, she had three other children in school and could not afford to pay her daughter’s school fees. Through CAST’s social worker, Ntombikhona was able to receive a school fee exemption for her daughter.                                              

CAST also sponsored her daughter’s school uniform and shoes.  As a result, her daughter was able to finish Matric.  Ntombikhona’s dream is for her children to pursue their education and for them to have a relationship with God.

Ntombikhona is also an avid netball player and volunteered to help Sibongile (a fellow food parcel recipient) coach the CAST’s girls’ netball team in KwaDabeka after doing the Poverty Stoplight Survey.

For R200 ($15), you can sponsor a food parcel to a local family in need.  CAST’s Relief Services are intended as a first step towards empowering these households and it is our aim to only have them on the food parcel programme for one year.  This is made possible by offering a holistic solution within CAST where families can be supported by the local church through other CAST development programmes.

For more information about how to donate and get involved, please contact Sandy Reid at:  031 266 8830 or sandy@cast.org.za