ADMINISTRATION: Management, governance and staff
Sister Ethel Normoyle is the Founder and Director of the Care Centre with a staff of a Manager and small team working in the various operating units. On a daily basis there is a large group of volunteers from the local community who assist with various daily tasks and projects at the Centre.
The Missionvale Care Centre Trust, made up of volunteer Trustees from the Nelson Mandela Metropole business community, provides financial support and governance for the Care Centre. The Trust is registered in terms of South African Law as a Public Benefit Organization and as a Non Profit Organization.
CHILD SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Our after-school program helps provide children a fun, safe and enriching alternative to life on the streets after school with the goal to strengthen their ability to face the harsh reality that has been dealt to them. In addition to educational and sports activities the children receive a sandwich and juice. This part of the program is so important because many of these children will not be given a proper meal until the next day when they come to the Centre again.
Poverty can hide the dignity of a person, and when you don’t have proper clothing to wear, your image is tarnished.
The clothing warehouse stores shelves of neatly arranged donated clothing which we distribute to families on a regular basis. Any donated clothes are cleaned, sorted, matched, labeled and stacked according to gender and size. For accuracy in size and accountability, each family has a clothing card which requests their particular need.
The Community Gardens provide a wonderful opportunity for people of Missionvale to learn a new skill while producing a variety of vegetables. The gardeners are provided with their own garden plot, seeds, fertilizer, and the necessary tools and water to maintain the garden. They are tend to their seasonal vegetables which may include corn, carrots, cabbage, spinach, onions, tomatoes and much more. Many of the gardeners take their harvest home to their family while others produce enough to also sell to their friends and neighbours. This helps transition some of the people away from the daily food program of bread and soup powder and create more of a self-sufficient environment for them.
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY HALL
In 1999, the people asked Sr Ethel to “build a house for God and they would get better.” This was made possible in 2004 and it is there we celebrate spiritual liturgical upliftment.
The Community Hall is a wonderful gathering place for the people and it is in it that they celebrate the special occasions of life i.e. weddings, funerals, training and uplifting programmes.
The ladies of the Crafters Unit work very hard every day on a variety of projects including curtains, placemats, hand bags, aprons, pillows and more. These items are then sold at the Missionvale Care Centre as well as at Art in the Park the last Sunday of each month. As the women are taught the basics of sewing and become more adept at these skills they have an increased chance of becoming employed by businesses throughout the Port Elizabeth area. Once the crafters have been in the program for a while and have obtained the necessary skills, they are encouraged to look for work outside the Care Centre. If possible, the Centre helps them with start up equipment and costs if they are interested in starting their own small business. This is a great way to promote entrepreneurship among the people.
ADULT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Just as we strive to give children the basic foundational skills they’ll need to lift themselves out of this poverty, we also provide adult education and skills development programs including vegetable gardens and crafts unit. We have had great successes with these programmes and the skills gained in these areas have equipped hundreds of people with the tools they need to provide for their families.
A volunteer optometrist visits the Care Centre once a week providing optical examinations and helping to provide the people with glasses when necessary. The Centre is always looking for old eye glasses that can be recycled for use here. Giving a person the ability to see again is an amazing gift.
GENERAL PRACTITIONER'S UNIT
State of the art healthcare is provided in partnership with the municipal clinic.
Our GP Unit provides volunteer doctors, consulting rooms and ancillary infrastructure, equipment, a practice sister and nurse assistants, practice administration staff, a pharmacy, medication, and health supplements.
COMMUNITY HEALTH PRACTITIONERS
Those too ill to come to the Centre are cared for through our Community Health Practitioners. These dedicated ladies are sent for training in Home Based Care and have become role models in the community. They walk the dusty streets of Missionvale every day providing for the needs of the disadvantaged.
NUTRITION & WELLNESS UNIT
In Africa today, Nutrition is Medicine. This unit serves 400—1000 people per day with bread and soup. In addition it caters for families in dire need with a weekly food parcel and provides nutrition to patients from the clinic who would not be able to take their medication without the food. The Nutrition Unit integrates into our holistic approach in treating and alleviating the HIV Epidemic which has decimated this community.
We believe that education is the only ticket out of poverty and community transformation. Our school incorporates the principles of an Academy into its curriculum and focuses beyond the academic phase by preparing the child for the world outside Missionvale shack land. This fosters a confident and inspired child via vocational training in small workshop environments, supervised sports, and exposure to the arts through drama and music.
A link to the school's own website is found here: www.mccademy.co.za.