Samaritan Care Centre
The Samaritan Care Centre is a hospice for the terminally ill, predominately those infected with HIV/AIDS. It is located in Buffalo Flats, just outside the city centre of East London, which is one of the larger cities in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The Eastern Cape is known to be one of the poorest areas of South Africa. Unemployment is critically high, education is poor, and there are many social issues that need to be addressed. East London’s population is approximately 750,000, including surrounding villages and townships.
The Samaritan Care Centre cares for those who are infected and affected with HIV/AIDS, and also is bridging cultural barriers between the colored, black, and white communities. HIV/AIDS has no face, no color, and no culture and; therefore, everyone is needed to help find a way forward, a cure, and ways to help one another. The volunteers and those that are cared for are black, colored, and white. This indeed is a ministry of healing and also of reconciliation.
Three very committed Christian individuals brought the Samaritan Care Centre to life in August of 2003. These three people saw the need and had the vision and faith to bring this hospice into life. They started only with this vision. For several years, they rented a small part of a building where they could care for eight inpatient clients. In 2007, they renovated and moved into their own building which has capacity for 15 inpatient clients. In addition, they provide home-based care for up to about 100 outpatient clients. Referrals for the clients come from local hospitals, clinics, and private doctors. The Centre has received everything from the kitchen stove, beds, a computer, and food — all donated by people in the community. There are approximately 15 volunteers who, working in shifts, provide care 24 hours a day to the terminally ill.
The Samaritan Care Centre is an ecumenical project of all the churches in the Buffalo Flats area and the volunteers come from these various churches, including those related to Global Ministries partner church, the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA-South Africa Synod). Currently there are two local United Congregational Churches of Southern Africa (UCCSA) involved with the Samaritan Care Centre: Dunn Asher Memorial and Parkridge Congregational. These congregations provide financial and volunteer support. The churches’ ministers are part of the “Ministers Fraternal” that carries out pastoral visits and leads devotions at the Centre. These ministers also are on call in case of emergencies. Another UCCSA member is the Centre’s treasurer.
Samaritan Care Centre has finished all the renovations to the building. They also now have two veggie tunnels producing spinach, lettuce, and green peppers. The tunnels help provide food for the inpatient unit as well as for outpatients. Dreams for expanded services in the future include:
- A facility for AIDS orphans
- After school study centre for school children
- A daycare facility
- Doctor’s office
- Office for the Department of Health and Labor to assist community members in obtaining grants and other needed services
Support this Ministry
To make a gift for this ministry online or by check use the online donation page.
- 100% of your gift will be directed to Samaritan Care Centre
- You will receive updates on the work in this area as they become available
- Share in the vision of God’s abundant life for all people
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