Thank you for being part of an international village of mothers that reaches out to take care of each other and of each others’ children. It is truly awe-inspiring to be a part of it.
So far, we have raised just over $11,000 to go toward building a community center in Maubane–to keep precious children safe while their mothers are working long hours in the city, far away.
We are amazed by you. Thank you for your generosity and goodness. Especially when so many of you have your own heartaches and struggles that are so difficult to bear. We are truly humbled by you.
We still have more money to raise if we want to finish the community center in South Africa, so remember, small donations–even $5–can make a big difference. You can donate here.
I know that this is true because I saw the power of small donations, small actions when I was in Africa. I saw the impact of individuals who have big faith.
This is Pastor Norman. He is at the heart of this work. He himself grew up in poverty, so he knows what these children are going through, and he knows what their parents are going through. He believes that things can be different for them.
Several years ago, he began to dream of building a safe place for the Maubane community to gather and unify, and he even got permission from the tribal leader to use a dusty plot of land, but there was no money to build a school, garden, or church. This is a community of tin shacks that doesn’t have consistent access to food or water. There is no electricity or indoor plumbing, and the needs can be very desperate.
This is a community that has been ravaged by the AIDS epidemic, and when orphaned and vulnerable children show up at his services, Norman finds out about their extended family situations and their needs, and if he can’t find anyone to care for them, he brings them into his home, and raises them as his own. He has helped to raise 22 children.
One of the young men whom he took into his home is named Terry. Norman noticed right away that Terry has natural leadership abilities, and he mentored him, loved him, and taught him to reach out to others and make a difference. Today, Terry and Norman work side-by-side in their dream to build a community center at Maubane. They call it a “transformation center” because they truly believe that it will transform their community. And it already has.
Since 2013, the Maubane Rivoningo Transformation Centre, run by this remarkable father and his adoptive son, has given the people of Maubane hope, by giving them reasons to gather.
Hundreds of children gather before school to receive a meal of vitamin-fortified porridge–and for many, it is the only meal they will eat that day. Take Action Ministry helped them secure a grant for the porridge and helped them receive funding for a simple kitchen made out of a shipping container. It is a miracle to see this life-saving operation in action!
There is a beautiful spirit of unity at Maubane. During my time there, I noticed many teenagers with their arms around each other, as well as older kids with toddlers on their hips or helping them along, hand-in-hand.
A man named William who has cerebral palsy comes to the community center each day, just to sit there and be a part of what is going on, because he feels loved and welcome. If he can’t find anyone to push him there, he pushes himself with his twisted feet, from about a mile away. The teenage boys at the center take care of him and include him in everything that they are doing. It made my heart nearly burst to witness their compassion for William. I love that the teenagers in this community are being mentored to show kindness and tenderness for those who are different from them.
My heart broke that their mothers can’t spend more time with them. They have to leave their children early in the morning and come home from work after dark. Sometimes they can’t even come home that often because they can’t afford to take the bus fare from their wages–so they might only come home on the weekends.
These mothers are doing all that they can to support their families and care for them. They want what is best for them, and I’m sure that having the community center is a huge relief and blessing for them.
Truly, the Maubane Riviningo Transformation Centre has become a place of hope where there was once only a dusty field. And it sprang from the vision of one inspired, faithful, heroic man who believed that God can work miracles by gathering people together.
And now, my friends, we have become part of their miracle. By gathering together as a community of mothers, we are helping their miracle to continue.
This past week, we have been fundraising for the next step in their miraculous transformation: to finish their community center building, which will house their Preschool and their After School Care program.
As soon as they have a building that meets government regulations, they will qualify for funding for Early Childhood Development. They will be able to increase their preschool enrollment to help more families, run the program without outside donations, and train their teachers in best practices for vulnerable children.
This is their current preschool program at Maubane, housed in the outdoor pavilion:
It was designed by an architect who specializes in rural development, so it is very practical for this community and its resources. As you can see, it is well underway, and as soon as they get the funding to finish the roof, plumbing, and interior, they will finish it and start using it!
They need $35,000 to finish this building. So far we have raised $11,000, which is so amazing and beautiful and miraculous. We are going to spread the word far and wide today and reach out to several other big mom-blog communities–and we will see what happens. Because miracles can happen.
Whatever we raise will be received with so much gratitude and rejoicing–and it will be used to finish the next phase of this building. But, oh, wouldn’t it be incredible if we could help them finish this school? If Maubane could begin to receive the funding that they need to expand their services to vulnerable children and families?
Will you help us spread the word? And if you are able and if your heart is feeling called, will you make a donation to benefit this community?
Pastor Norman and the people of Maubane have proven themselves faithful–they have worked so hard to transform their community. I know that if we can help them get this building finished, they will treasure it and work so hard to make it a thriving, caring environment for these amazing, beautiful children.
Moms, what you do every day for your children matters. The fact that you are there to tuck them in for bed or to feed them breakfast, it matters.
The little things matter.
Little actions, little donations–matter.
Let’s make a difference to these families in Africa. Click this link right now to see how you can help!
Pastor Norman taught me that big things are possible–anything is possible–with hope, faith, and the gathering together of good people.
Thank you, truly, for being part of our village. At Power of Moms, we believe so strongly in community. We believe so strongly in family. We are honored to work to strengthen both–all over the world. Thank you for being part of this mission with us.
QUESTION: Which part(s) of this story of the community in Maubane touched you the most? Please tell us in the comments!!
CHALLENGE: Do something to build a community today–whether it’s the community in South Africa or your community closer to home, or both!
Photos by Shultz Photo School: Helping parents take better photos of their kids