Siyabathanda Children’s Home
United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA)
Noodsberg Congregational Church, South Africa
April 2009 will mark fifteen years since the end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela. South Africa still faces major obstacles to be financially stable after so many years of apartheid. The country deals with high unemployment, overwhelming poverty, and lack of economic empowerment among disadvantaged groups. Women and children are greatly affected.
Additionally, the devastating HIV/AIDS pandemic is yet another hurdle causing South Africa to fall even deeper into crisis. This greatly impacts the quality of ministry and missions the UCCSA churches can provide to the people in their communities. The effort to restore, renew, and revitalize South Africa will require creative ideas, economic alternatives, and program development. The church is being called to respond to the needs of the South African people in new ways.
One of these responses has been the creation of Siyabathanda: a community-based organization in Kwazulu-NatalProvince, that has grown into an orphanage for about 40 children, many of whom have lost parents to AIDS. Siyabathanda’s children are supplied with food, clothing, and shelter and are taught life skills through activities that facilitate their healthy growth as individuals. Founded over ten years ago by the Noodsberg Congregational Church of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), an important Global Ministries church partner, the organization seeks to “improve the quality of life of AIDS orphans and local children.”
Due to an increase in need, there is a new dormitory for children. In 2007 and early 2008, Siyabathanda Children’s Home was able to add posts to install fencing and installed door and window burglar alarms. The children who are staying at the home are now safer, as is the limited infrastructure of Siyabathanda. These improvements were made possible by the contributions of donors through Global Ministries. The Board of the Siyabathanda Children’s Home wishes to thank contributors.
The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), founded in 1967, has a strong established partnership with Global Ministries. There are 272 congregations with 235,900 members in the South Africa Synod.