ADMINISTRATION: Management, governance and staff
Sister Ethel Normoyle is the Founder and Director of the Care Centre with a staff of a Manager and team working in the various operating units. Volunteers from the local community, and at times from abroad, 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 provides 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.
The Missionvale Care Centre Trust has been approved as a Public Benefit Organisation for purposes of Section 18A(1)(a) of the Act, and donations to the organization will be tax deductible in the hands of the donor in terms of and subject to the limitations prescribed in Section 18 A of the Act.
PRIMARY SCHOOL: Missionvale Care Centre Academy
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. 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.
Missionvale Care Centre Academy is an independent community school that believes in teaching whole life education as a vehicle for community transformation and upliftment. While the main focus is on children, the school also focuses on equipping parents / guardians as well as youth and adult basic education.
We teach the 3 H’s which are:
HEART (Character and moral values)
HANDS (Skills, physical education, music, arts and culture)
We believe that teaching these will result in well-balanced productive citizens who will make positive contributions in the community.
The school runs from Junior Grade R – Grade 7 and accommodates 300 learners.
Extra Mural Activities: Chess, Choir, Music, Ballroom Dancing, Sport
In the afternoons our school becomes an Adult Basic Education & Training (ABET) Facility. This gives an opportunity to individuals who did not have the chance to complete their schooling as children, to obtain their matric and become more employable.
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.
ADULT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Just as we strive to give children the basic 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.
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 tend to their seasonal vegetables which may include corn, carrots, cabbage, spinach, onions and tomatoes. Many of the gardeners take their harvest home to their family while others produce enough donate to our Nutrition Unit. 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.
In addition to our communal garden on the Centre’s premises, we have started vegetable gardens in the township. This is no easy task as there are many challenges in Missionvale: there are only 16 taps providing water for the entire community, the salt content in the ground is three times as saline as seawater and due to roaming farm animals, all vegetable gardens have to be fenced in.
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 market days held at the Centre. 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.
Missionvale Township is home to many of the sickest of the sick in South Africa. It is where Aids is the scourge that does not lessen. It is where the statistics for HIV infections, unemployment, malnutrition, poverty, and sickness are beyond belief.
The objective of the Medical Unit is to serve the patients in Missionvale by providing direct access to the services of a volunteer doctor and our registered nurse. Integrated into the Medical Unit is our pharmacy. From here we dispense medication to our patients under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist.
Once a week our Nursing Sister runs a Women’s Clinic.
We also have physiotherapists volunteering every Thursday.
The clinic is always grateful to have medical volunteers to assist as the need in Missionvale is huge.
EYE CLINIC: A volunteer optometrist visits the Care Centre once a week providing optical examinations and helping to provide the people with glasses when necessary. Giving a person the ability to see again is an amazing gift.
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. They are divided into 5 groups:
- Health Promotion: Door-to-door campaigns on the prevention of disease and facilitate HIV Support Groups.
- Home Based Care: Caring for people too ill to come to the Centre
- Orphaned & Vulnerable Children: support for child-headed households and caring for children living in abject circumstances.
- Environmental |Team: Cleaning the environment and educating people on the importance of caring for the earth
- Agricultural Team: Assisting families with food security by planting vegetable gardens
NUTRITION & WELLNESS UNIT
In Africa today, Nutrition is Medicine. This unit serves 400—1000 people per day with bread and soup, in exchange for recyclable items. 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 and TB Epidemic which has decimated this community.
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 gently worn 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.
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.