Read a new report from the Bridgman Development Centre in South Africa.
The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), founded in 1967, has a strong established partnership with Global Ministries. One of the South Africa Synod’s UCCSA congregations is in Zola Soweto and that is where the UCCSA Bridgman Development Centre is located. The Centre opened in 1975 and today continues to support students from this community which is victimized by poverty, violence, discrimination, and despair.
Bridgman Development Centre is pleased to have a new Director, Wellington Sibanda. Mr. Sibanda has been a youth pastor and is currently a ministerial candidate. Mr. Sibanda is committed to the desire for the children to “feel at home and have fun.” The Bridgman Development Centre program is expanding and now is serving several generations.
The After-School Program for ages seven through 12 continues with skill development, character development, and other programs like the Girls Against the Spread of AIDS and the newly-established Boys Against the Spread of AIDS. There is a small library and computer lab to supplement the Bible studies, daily devotions, help with homework, snacks, and scheduled responsibilities (chores) in which the 50 or so children regularly participate.
In the evenings the Centre hosts karate and boxing classes for youth. During the work-day, the Crèche (child care) operates from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. caring for about 50 children aged six months to five years. They have a routine that includes Bible study, crafts, naps, lunch, and snacks.
In addition, a newer group of people served includes the “Grannies.” These are about 25 women who meet for physical exercise and health education, and then stay to help with cleaning and cooking for the children’s activities.
A delegation from Global Ministries led by Area Executive Reverend Sandra Gourdet and including the two Co-Executives, Reverend Julia Brown Karimu and Reverend Dr. Jim Moos, and Disciple Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Cherilyn Williams, were very encouraged with the strategies to increase community involvement in the Bridgman Centre programs as well as their ongoing service to children. They also witnessed that the Bridgman Development Centre puts special gifts to Global Ministries to very good use in their work, and are in need of continuing and new contributions in support of their programs.