0

Early Literacy Volunteers Needed

20160728-word-works-addington-6-of-32Over the past four years CAST has partnered with an NPO called Wordworks to implement their foundation phase programme called the Early Literacy Programme (ELP).

The ELP is an intervention programme for underprivileged children in the foundation phase (Grade R through 2).  The Literacy Programme provides support for children who are lacking in early language and literacy skills.  Currently CAST is running the programme at Addington Primary School in the South Beach area to help Grade 1 learners develop their reading and writing skills.

Tutors/Volunteers are needed to work with pairs of children for a couple of hours each week. We currently run the programme every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11:30am. No previous experience is needed, just a love of children and a bit of patience! CAST will provide you with initial training and ongoing support and advice.

If you would like to get involved, contact Joseph at 031 267 1716 or joseph@cast.org.za. Contact us and you can even visit on a Tuesday/Thursday to see us in action.

Join the movement beyond charity and help us make a difference in the lives of young children!

0

Leading By Example

 

thandeka

This month as we celebrate the role of women in our lives, as wives, mothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters, let us not forget the role all women can play as mentors in the lives of young girls around us.

Back when CAST first started working in KwaDabeka, one such relationship made a huge impact in the life of a young girl.

Thandeka was a teenager in KwaDabeka, surrounded by few positive female role models she could look up to.  More often than not, women warned her to avoid making the same mistakes they had made as young girls – a negative message of “don’t do this”.

However, one of CAST’s social workers at the time reached out to Thandeka.  The social worker took the time to build a trusting and caring mentoring relationship with her.

As Thandeka explains, “Most of who I am is because of the work she [her mentor] did with CAST.”

Now as a leader in her community, Thandeka takes the time to mentor young girls in KwaDabeka.  She believes in the power of leading by example.

Recently she attended CAST’s first ever girls’ camp, and was excited to see girls exposed to other opportunities.  She believes that when girls have something that occupies their time, gives them purpose and keeps them accountable, such as CAST’s Youth Development Programme, then real change happens.  It is only through these long-term caring relationships that girls can overcome obstacles such as peer pressure.

This month as we take time to celebrate women, let’s lead by example.  You too can make an impact in the life of a young person.  If you would like to mentor an individual in one of the communities where CAST works, please contact Dale Nunes at: dale@cast.org.za

0

A Garden for All

Life@Home Take It Home - CAST Garden (5 of 7)

Last Sunday, the children of Promise Land got their hands dirty!  Recently, CAST started up a community garden for those in need.  With the drought and rising prices of food, many people who are living on the streets or battling to find employment come to CAST’s Westville offices asking for assistance.  The community garden is a great opportunity for those in need to come tend the garden, and take some veggies home in return.

But CAST needed some helpful hands to weed and plant the garden.  The kids of Promise Land were happy to volunteer, and spent Sunday learning about how God uses even the smallest members of the Kingdom of God to take care of God’s Creation and to help our neighbours.

If you would like to help out with the CAST garden and support this great initiative, contact Amy Benn at: amy@cast.org.za

0

Why Not?

DSC_0363.jpgWhen Timothy Mohlala, CAST’s KwaDabeka Community Coordinator, recruited volunteers at KwaDabeka Baptist Church to help out with CAST’s programmes, Senkie’s first response was, “Why not?”  Originally from Johannesburg, Senkie moved to KwaDabeka with a friend and was quick to join KwaDabeka Baptist Church and get involved.  He now also studies Business Management at Ilanga College.

Senkie believes in the power of giving back to others.  As he explains, “It is possible to change someone’s life.  Helping is very needed.  It’s about being there for people, and not just yourself.”

Even though Senkie is not an original KwaDabeka resident, he is still passionate about developing the community.  He believes there is much to be done that can change the lives of individuals and families in the community.

One way Senkie gives back is through volunteering with CAST’s food parcel programme in KwaDabeka.  Once a month, CAST and KwaDabeka Baptist Church host a Ministry Day to encourage food parcel recipients through prayer and fellowship.  Food parcels are also passed out to recipients during this event.

Senkie is motivated to volunteer because of his faith.  Before he came to KwaDabeka, he was unsure what to believe.  However through his spiritual growth at KwaDabeka Baptist Church, he was motivated to reach out in his community and show others the love of Christ.

If you also have a heart for making a difference in your community, volunteering with CAST is a great way to utilise your God-given talents and abilities for the Kingdom of God.  If you especially enjoy being on the ground and interacting with people, why not volunteer with CAST’s food parcel programme?  Once a month, Ministry Days are hosted in each of our partner communities, and provide an amazing opportunity to meet people in the community who are impacted by CAST’s programmes and the local church.  For more information, please contact Dale at: dale@cast.org.za

0

Acting Justly, Loving Mercy, & Walking Humbly with our God

As this year comes to an end, the team here at CAST would like to thank our donors and volunteers for supporting Church Alliance for Social Transformation throughout 2015. God has used CAST to bring His Kingdom through mobilsing and aligning the local church to reach out with practical compassion, to empower, transform, and redeem lost and hurting communities.

Our theme verse, Micah 6:8, has been the focus of 2015 for CAST: to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. As we reflect on the year, we would to share five CAST highlights from 2015:

IMG_6456

1. Addington Camp & boysIIMen Camp: CAST’s annual youth camps were a great opportunity for children in our programmes to experience Christ in an environment outside their community. From a largely refugee community, 57 children attended Addington camp in Anerley and were introduced to Jesus. During boysIIMen Camp, 58 young men attended camp and 25 accepted Christ.

IMG_6598

2. Holiday Clubs: This year CAST partnered with local churches to put on holiday clubs in Addington, KwaDabeka, and the rural communities. Thanks to the hard work of Joseph Bode, many volunteers from our partner churches, and even an American team from Texas, CAST was able to provide a safe place for kids to learn more about Jesus during the school holidays.

10603678_710312835724096_2582686596354465966_n

3. Lovebox Drive: This year CAST hosted our third annual lovebox drive. Over 400 children in CAST communities received a lovebox for Christmas and attended Christmas parties in their communities.

qUhWcm9GSdHWHd9NZUk8GqefaMutrwbUsXdduDyf7rY,DN7PjJiFXxp8ECf-t8v-LKWYrvMmWBMqWIkvSxYuOa0

4. Xenophobia Response: In April, the refugee community in Durban experienced xenophobic violence. CAST in partnership with Westville Baptist Church and several other local churches and organisations responsed to this violence by providing relief to those families and individuals affected. Westville Baptist Church’s Youth Centre turned into a temporary warehouse overnight for the many food, household, hygiene and children’s items donated. CAST has continued to work with the affected families and individuals by partnering with UNHCR to provide housing packages as well as support through counselling, dialogues, and data capturing.

DSC_0363

5. Our 5 Core Programmes: Although they are the understated backbone of our organisation, CAST’s Poverty Relief, Counselling, Youth Development, Educational Assistance, and Business Development Programmes provide the vehicle for community transformation to happen. On a daily basis, so many inviduals and families are impacted by the programmes that CAST offers in partnership with local churches. From food parcels given to families in desperate need all the way to entrepreneurs trying out their new business ideas in Lions’ Den, God is using CAST in a powerful way to grow the Kingdom of God.

Thanks to both our donors and volunteers, CAST has been able to continue our existing programmes while also expanding the reach of those programmes to transform individuals, families, and communities. During the year we had amazing opportunities to reach out and move beyond just charity to truly live out God’s call in Micah 6:8. Whether you acted justly by fighting against injustice for refugees through CAST’s relief effots, or loved mercy by mentoring a young teenager in CAST’s Youth Development Programme, we have all walked this road of serving and humbling trusting our Saviour together in 2015. CAST would like to wish all our donors and volunteers a very peaceful Christmas as we remember our Saviour’s birth.

0

Rebecca

11221963_10153563252891189_7251350228155666740_n

11218710_10153563283701189_9199537202539717016_n

During these school holidays, CAST has been blessed with an amazing volunteer from the States. Although if you chat with Rebecca you might think she is South African because of her accent!

Originally from Westville, Rebecca moved to the States when she was 6 years old and grew up in Texas.  Currently she is studying International Relations at Boston University and hopes to graduate in the upcoming year.

Her journey to CAST began with a search for an internship as one of her degree requirements.  Because Rebecca is completing her Bachelor’s degree in 3 years instead of the typical 4 years required in the States, the search for an internship was incredibly competitive with other students who were already in their fourth year of study.  Rebecca also had the added weight of deciding between a career in the NGO or corporate world.

However, through a family friend in South Africa, Rebecca heard about CAST and was able to join the team for her summer holidays to fulfill her internship requirement.  While she has been doing a bit of everything – from chopping flyers to helping out with holiday club – her favorite part of the internship has been her work with the Youth Development Programme in KwaDabeka.

As Rebecca explained, “It’s amazing to see the difference in kids who have been with CAST for 6 or 8 years.”

She describes it as the “ripple effect” – transformation starts with one person reaching out, and in the end results with a whole community being impacted.

During her first week of internship, George Mwaura, CAST’s Youth Development Manager, asked Rebecca if she could lead a Bible study for the girls basketball team. The first few weeks Rebecca spent just building relationships with the girls.  She then had the idea to have the girls write “Letters to God” where they asked God one serious question, and one funny question.  This opened up the floor for the girls to discuss important spiritual issues.

From an academic side, Rebecca has tried to figure out what the girls need to achieve their goals.  Most of the girls on the team want to attend university but need assistance in applying for bursaries.

Please keep Rebecca in prayer as she finishes her internship with CAST at the end of this month.  Also, CAST is looking for a female basketball coach to continue working with the girls team.  If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please contact George Mwaura at george@cast.org.za for more information.

0

Winter Warmth

Last week, CAST had a chance to partner with a life group from Westville Baptist Church to reach out with practical compassion in Lamontville.

It all started last year, when the same life group from Westville Baptist saw some kids playing without jerseys on a cold evening.  Their group had the idea to collect jerseys for those who needed them most during the colder winter months.  Although the vision was present, the group ran out of time to complete the project.

This year was different.  When Westville Baptist began 40 Days of Community, the same life group decided it was time to reach out.  Winter Warmth Jersey Drive started out as a simple Facebook page and grew into a campaign to make the greater Durban area a warmer place.

WWJD

The life group partnered with another life group to collect more than 500 jerseys.  Each individual in the group collected by advertising on Facebook, putting posters up at work, and even going door to door asking for jerseys.

IMG-20140701-WA000

The only problem was that they didn’t know where to take the jerseys.  With so many communities that could benefit, the life groups wanted to make sure the jerseys went to individuals who needed them the most.  They also wanted to spend some time in the community where the jerseys would be distributed instead of just dropping them off.

So the life group leader contacted Murry Pieterse, CAST’s Volunteer Coordinator.  She was able to connect them with Lamontville Baptist Church, one of CAST’s local community churches.  The life groups decided to present the jerseys at Lamontville Baptist’s Sunday morning church service so they could see what the community was all about.

10548077_552954701493982_1290239432152419974_o

At the service, the life group was amazed by the friendliness of the church members.  Every life group member was hugged, greeted, and warmly welcomed into worship and prayer.  When it came time to explain the Winter Warmth Jersey Drive, the church was blessed with the jerseys to distribute to the most needy in Lamontville.

10448412_552955804827205_5846725250106547419_o

10514339_552955731493879_4639981390785214814_o

Winter Warmth Jersey Drive is one of the many ways CAST is mobilising local churches such as Lamontville Baptist Church to reach out with practical compassion to transform local communities.  CAST believes that true transformation happens when ordinary people are finding solutions together.

Next year the same life group from Westville Baptist would like to continue the Winter Warmth Jersey Drive in local communities where CAST works.  If you are interested in getting involved, please watch the Winter Warmth Jersey Drive page for more updates.