Tuesday, 05 May 2020

Hope and happiness to some of South Africa’s most destitute communities in the Eastern Cape province

Written by
Sr Martha & Sr Breda (Marist Mercy Care)

Since the beginning of the lockdown, our poverty-stricken communities have suffered more than ever before. Marist Mercy Care’s The Place of Mercy and Hope (PBO and NPO) located in a rural town in Addo, Eastern Cape, South Africa took the initiative to provide food parcels and essentials to the surrounding formal and informal settlements. 

Over one-thousand (1 000) parcels have been distributed to the vulnerable of which can feed a family of four for five days, that means we have provided forty two thousand (42 000) meals.

The heart of our project are two very special ladies, both over the age of 65, who have worked in these impoverished communities for fourteen years. They brave the virus wearing correct attire and go out to distribute the essential items with the help of the South African Police Department ensuring social distancing is maintained at all times. 

Sr Breda Ryan and Sr Martha O’Connor (both from Ireland) chose to remain in South Africa during the lockdown to continue their mission helping the poor and vulnerable. 

In just over fourteen years, these phenomenal woman have done the impossible in this dusty dry rural area. 

They have established Early Childhood Development Centres for vulnerable children, provided guidance to primary and high schools in the area, built and provided computer literacy programs, established a health clinic, mobilised a group of home-based carers to care for the extremely sick in the communities and provide food to hundreds of people weekly. 

Sr Breda and Martha have accomplished what many may think is impossible educating and providing support to thousands of poor children and adults. However, all that has been placed on hold and focus is ensuring death by starvation does not exceed death by COVID-19.  

Our Organisation has the largest footprint in the Sundays River Valley reaching over six formal and informal settlements. Helping the poor that have been forgotten. 

We are writing this article not so that our Organisation is compared to all those others that are doing good but to shine a spotlight on two incredible Nuns (who are not even South African) who are sacrificing themselves for our poor. 

Below is a video recently put together by our volunteers to spread the word of the good that is happening in this area.

In this video are University students from all walks of life across South Africa (former Head Students student’s of the five South African Marist Schools) that are part of this project in one way or another. 

Link to YouTube:  https://youtu.be/pUga3Z75imk 

We are on Facebook and Instagram @MaristMercyCare and Our website is www.placeofmercyandhope.com

If we can provide further information or pictures of the good that is happening please do not hesitate to contact: 

Jason Grieve CA(SA) – Financial Director

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Lyle Robson – Youth Director

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COVID-19 Marist Mercy Care Special Appeal Video