MASISIZANE FIGHTING UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY
By: Samkelisiwe Majola
“Poverty is a major contribution to sickness and death, as it result in overabundance of children that are left without parent. This burden becomes the responsibility of the
Organization and individuals who are making provisions available for these children,” Sicelo Bophela, who runs the Masisizane Service Centre said.
Masisizane Service Centre is a hub of activities at Inanda Mission in KwaZulu-Natal.
It was established in 1995 by a group of women in the community, who had a common interest to help the sick and the elders living amongst them.
The organization has activities such as sewing, gardening, candle making, beadwork, Adult Basic Education and Training (A.B.E.T), sport and self-defence classes. They recently started
a soup kitchen to help poor families.
“I was attending at Masisizane six years ago and they helped me a lot because I learnt how to sew clothes. I now have food on my table because of them. I make a lot of money from
sewing clothes and selling them, and it helps to provide for my family,” said Balungile
Ngcongo, a former member of the organization.
The organization helps the community by taking care of the sick people, the elderly, disabled and orphans. They teach life skills, physical activities and offer love, care and support.
“Since I don’t have a proper job, I decided to join Masisizane.
I have learnt a lot of activities, and I’m benefiting from the organization. I make bead work, candles and this time the money is flowing since there is a load shedding. Candles are in demand (because) people come and buy them,” said Danisile Blose, a member of the organization.
Masizane is in partnership with Foodbank which provides them with food on a weekly basis.
The food packages differs, depending on the provisions that Foodbank has available.
Sometimes it’s dry goods, staple items, or fresh bread. Depending on the rains.
Sfiso Bhengu said that they are able to supplement the Foodbank goods with greens from their own garden. There is never enough because people in the area have learnt that
Masisizane provides food and we cannot turn a hungry person away.
More and more people from the surrounding areas and even the local clinic and hospital are assisted by Masisizane.
Masisizane currently feeds around two hundred and twenty people on weekdays.
Proper cooked meals are also provided to caregivers who take it to those who are home-bound and cannot get to the Centre. People in the community also buy fresh vegetables from them.
Bophela added that it is not about handouts. “We provide these skills so people can help themselves and believe in working together to create a better world,” said Bophela