As you step into the informal settlement of Mooiplaas, you’ll see poverty first-hand as many people are living without running water, electricity or access to job opportunities. Currently, 16,000 people call this community home. Even though it is located just 30 minutes outside of South Africa’s glittering capital of Pretoria, you can’t find Mooiplaas on a map. Because it is considered a “squatter camp” there are no formal schools, clinics or hospitals and families face many challenges day-to-day.
Teams serving in Mooiplaas serve alongside Ditshego, a Christian primary school, to meet real needs in the community. The school provides meals, education and legal documentation to children who need it—almost 300 a day. Your team will have the opportunity to serve alongside the staff through after-school programs, homework help, work projects, and assisting at a mobile clinic. As your team walks the dusty streets, you’ll be greeted with smiles and kind hellos, giving you the chance to look past the poor living conditions and connect with the real people who call Mooiplaas home.
2. Inner-City Pretoria
In the greater Pretoria area there exists a ministry that dreams of igniting change, healing communities, and nurturing togetherness among people in the inner-city. This ministry, PEN, is working to help build loving supportive relationships with children, youth, parents, the elderly, and people dealing with homelessness, prostitution, and drug addiction.
While serving with PEN, teams will get the opportunity to partner alongside local staff who are working in the community. Their ministry is divided up into multiple programs: Christian Community and Discipleship, Health and Emotional Well-Being, Community Support & Citizens Rights, Enterprise Coaching & Skills Development, Mission Support, Education and Access to Technology, Supportive Housing, and Creative Arts, Music, and Recreation.
Just outside of Pretoria lies a whole community of people, called Vastfontein, who are focused on community transformation, discipleship, and giving education to children who may not otherwise receive it. Surrounded by multiple townships and squatter camps, Vastfontein offers a safe place to be and hear the word of God through their every action in the classrooms, through feeding programs, and each of their employees.
Vastfontein is a people-first environment that focuses on uplifting students all the way into adulthood. Many children and adults who interact with Vastfontein through employment or school, avoid the fate of ending up as a statistic to homelessness, drugs, or alcohol. Instead, they are able to overcome their circumstances because of the teachers and people committed to walking alongside them in transformation.