Sedgefield’s biggest charity organisation has hit the landmark of ten years, and the positive impact this wonderful enterprise has had (and continues to have) on the community surely proves that they have got the recipe right.

Their celebration of this decade of service takes place this Friday – 23 September – from 9.30 onwards (see advert on page 10) and they would love the community to come and take part.

The seed of Masithandane was first planted in 1992, when Celia and Otto Kossar arrived in Sedgefield with their young family and set up a non-profit ministry “Grace Fellowship Sedgefield” in order to “minister to the poor as a witness to the rich”. The next 14 years were spent prayerfully gathering the right people, ascertaining what and where the most help was needed, and gaining the trust and friendship of the community.

‘Masithandane’  (which means ‘Let us love One Another’ in IsiXhosa) was registered as a non-profit organisation in 2006 and its mission was and still is “To serve the community where it is needed the most, especially those infected by or affected by HIV/AIDS and TB.”

In 2007, Masithandane, as the hands and feet of the ministry of Grace Fellowship had five staff members and ten volunteers who delivered services to 365 beneficiaries a year.

Masithandane has in the last decade grown into a large organisation with a multimillion Rand budget, 30 salaried staff members, 120 plus volunteers and is supported by government, non-government, church and private funds.
It boasts a whole array of projects and programmes that have impacted on the lives of thousands of beneficiaries.

Services are provided mainly in the greater Sedgefield area including the peri-urban and rural areas, but special projects such as drought-relief and targeted feeding, in collaboration with government, have reached communities as far away as Beaufort West, Riversdale, Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay.

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The general approach to programmes is holistic and integrated so that families, children and the elderly are cared for and supported physically, psycho-socially, emotionally and spiritually.

To be a bit more specific, the Home and Community Based Care Programme, managed by Sister Barbara Pitt with a team of nine Community Health Workers provided Home-based Care as well as Wellness Centre Services (at Masithandane) to over 700 patients, as well as Emergency First Aid and Welfare services to over 800 clients last year. More than 1500 visits per month to the Wellness Centre were recorded.
The Community Food Security Programme provides meals to adults and children on a daily basis, fresh produce parcels on a weekly basis and food parcels on a monthly basis.
The Sedgefield Mosaic Community Art Tourism Project is an Income generation programme which has rejuvenated the Sedgefield CBD and outlying areas with mosaics, creating a base for Art Tourism.
Through this project crafters get technical skills training, product development skills and then further mentoring and training in the carrying out of commissions.
The Literacy Programme at the Sedgefield Primêre Skool is run by an English volunteer group which works with Grade 3 learners and an Afrikaans group which focuses on Grade 1 learners.
Ikhaya Lemfundo (Place of learning) provides Early Childhood Development for 27 learners
Bursaries are provided to assist learners with transport to enable them to get to school, hostel fees, books, uniforms and toiletries.
There is also the CHERISH Programme, through which Ginny Viner and her team of volunteers have, over the year, gained the trust and affection of the children in this very special support group with its varied programme. They meet once a week.
Masithandane is also involved in and often organises special events, days and festivals such as Youth Day, World AIDS Day, National TB Day, the Slow Festival and the Eden Kite Festival.

Masithandane takes its governance role very seriously. The Management Board oversees all programmes and projects. The Board meets monthly and all members are allocated portfolios. All aspects of performance are monitored on a regular basis through monthly reports submitted to the Board. All funding is accounted for separately and the annual financial statements are audited.

Masithandane welcomes assistance from its many volunteers who assist with driving and transport, children’s programmes, food parcels, gardening, counselling, governance and prayer for the organisation on an ongoing basis

As well as celebrating its 10th birthday on Friday 23 September 2016, Masithandane will be officially opening and blessing their new Care and Respite Centre – House under Grace/ Huis uit Genade.

The 10 year journey has been paved with many blessings. Masithandane thanks God and all the funders and friends, who have contributed in cash or kind, prayed and worked with and for the members of our impoverished communities to date. We thank you all most sincerely on behalf of those who have benefited. We really do appreciate all the help and support that we receive.
For more information please call 044-3431616 Fax 0865146989 or e-mail
If you would like to make a donation the bank details are:
ABSA – Account Name Masithandane – Account No. 4067253575 – Branch/Code 632500 – Reference Your name and contact number.