In 2017, E3 partners directly supported over 39,000 people and impacted the lives of over 187,700 others in DR Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, the Kingdom of eSwatini, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Here are just a few of the achievements in 2017…
- 13,471 meals provided to men, women and children who walk long distances to access their HIV treatment at clinics in Lesotho
- Supported 4,168 orphaned and vulnerable children through psychosocial support, skills development and Life Skills workshops to help them cope with their situation and look to the future with hope
- 973 children were supported with school necessities, such as uniform, shoes and books through the Back to School programme
- 343 people were empowered through microfinance projects and 3,168 through Self-help Groups in Malawi, South Africa and the Kingdom of eSwatini so they can escape extreme poverty and provide for their families
- Enabled 6,908 people to attend an HIV workshop, access an HIV test and counselling, or have easy access to HIV medication in Malawi and South Africa.
“I was stranded … I had an idea but no means of getting started”
Pastor Chishiba Mukwamba leads Kafue Union Baptist Church in a shantytown called Ipusukilo in Zambia.
Most people living there do not have jobs. The crime rate is extremely high. Like all very poor communities, people face a daily struggle to survive and it is impossible to give money to support the church pastor. Many pastors have to find work alongside their ministry. That is challenging enough for a church leader in the West, but in this context where the needs of church members are so great, it is even harder. Pastor Chishiba’s church has more than 110 committed members, for whom he provides pastoral, spiritual and practical care.
Thanks to the Kitwe Pastor’s Economic Strengthening Project funded by E3, Pastor Mukwamba’s microfinance loan enabled him to buy and breed chickens to generate income. This has made a remarkable difference to his family life and ministry.
“My income has increased from selling the eggs. It is easier for me to pay school fees for my own two children and the other three in my care. I can see that as the project grows, things will become easier and easier for my family. I am very thankful to E3 for helping me find a way to earn a living. I was stranded before I received the funds to start this project. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but was so stuck on how I could start because I didn’t have any money. May the Lord cause this organisation to grow more and more so that many of God’s servants will be empowered as well.”
You came to our rescue … our income poverty has gone!
Pelagie Rutazana and her husband came to Durban, South Africa as refugees from a war-torn community in Rwanda.
They both managed to get low-paid work as car security guards and she studied a Diploma in Catering at the same time. But training does not always mean that you can find better paid work and they were still struggling to support their 6 children. It was impossible to meet their needs.
Then Pelagie and her family found hope and a way to build a stable future. She joined the Microfinance programme run by Paran Christian Ministries and E3 Initiative. She received training in setting up and running a successful business. With her loan of ZAR 30,000 (£1,400) she bought a small grocery shop in central Durban City. Pelagie has now paid back more than 75% of her loan and their income poverty has gone.
“Thank you E3 Initiative for coming to our rescue as a family … you have really helped us. We now can eat well, pay for our kid’s schooling and pay our rent. My husband was able to get a driving licence and is a taxi driver. Through our shop we are also helping many refugees in Durban.”
More than a school uniform
The KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa has the highest number of orphaned children in the whole of South Africa.
A recent survey by the Department of Education revealed that 187,225 school-going children have lost both parents and that 92,973 have lost one of their parents in KwaZulu-Natal. In 2015, E3 funded spiritual and psychosocial support, homework clubs and life skills training, which helped more than 4,500 children.
In Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, E3 supported 566 children with school uniform, shoes, bags and meals at school. Most of the children live with their siblings and are the heads of their households. Without E3’s support, they would never have the chance to go to school and complete their education. It is not just about uniform and shoes, but about helping their dreams for the future to become a reality. It is also overwhelming to them that people whom they have never met are showing love to them by giving to Back to School.
Meet Nobuthle Mkhize from Umsilinga Primary School. She is an orphaned child who has lost both parents. Nobuthle wants to be a doctor after her schooling and is currently in Grade 4.
Anele Mthembu goes to Nobanda Primary School. He wants to be a policeman when he completes his schooling. He was so happy to replace his broken worn-out shoes with new shiny ones!
“I think she may be an angel”
Andy Fearon, E3 trustee, meets our partners in South Africa and sees the difference our work is making there.
After visiting E3 partner projects in South Africa, Andy Fearon, E3 trustee, wanted to encourage you about how vital your support for E3 is…
“Wow, what a complete privilege it is to be here. You know it’s very hard to put into words all that we see and experience. I’m still very new to South Africa and yet it feels like we have life-long friends here. South Africa is a country of extremes. Extreme wealth and crushing poverty, complete despair and utter joy, doors bolted shut and others wide open. So far we have met some incredible people doing a lot with a little.
“We met the Principal of Mdutshini Primary School on Monday. She is school Principal, mother, father, pastor, carer, provider and counsellor to the children in her care. In fact I think she may be an angel. We have connected this school with a school in Cumbria so we brought out football kits and letters from the school.
“I then asked her if she knew of a little boy who would be in need of two t-shirts and a pair of shorts that my son Noah had sent over. She knew straight away who it was for. A few minutes later Mpendulo came in, a small precious boy who has three brothers and sisters and their mother has just disappeared into thin air. She told us he still wanders around with his head down, alone and not sure what has happened. I can feel his pain as I write this now.
“I’m not saying a t-shirt fixed him, in fact it didn’t even raise a smile. But there are now people, systems and connections in place for more to happen. Mpendulo can receive the help he needs.
“Spending time with Sinatra (E3 CEO), watching him interact with people and projects fills my heart with joy. We honour him for all that he does.
“I have a renewed passion and drive to continue to raise funds and help in whatever way we can. Friends, be assured that what you give through donations and prayer is making a huge difference. Thank you.”
Microfinance enables Mercy to study at University
Mercy, a refugee from Rwanda, is rebuilding her life thanks to the microfinance programme at Paran Christian Ministries in Durban, South Africa.
Meet Mercy Sahabo, a refugee from Rwanda. She witnessed the murder of her close relatives during the Genocide and fled as a little girl, together with her friend, to South Africa. Spiritual and economic support from E3 partner, Paran Christian Ministries in Durban, has enabled her to rebuild her life.
Following E3’s Church and Community Transformation training in January 2014, Mercy started a microfinance savings group called “Ebenezer” (meaning “The Lord has helped us thus far”) with seven other refugee women. They save R100 each week (£6.25) from small businesses, like sweet stalls. When their savings reached R10000 (£625) E3 matched that amount. They are allowed to access a loan from the savings and then repay the loan at a fair interest rate. Mercy has accessed several loans, which have enabled her to pay application and registration fees for a nursing diploma course at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Now a proud nursing student, she shares: “My life which was taken away from me as a result of genocide in my country has been given back to me through my church and E3 after many years of suffering”.
Mercy is one of thousands of refugees who have been directly impacted by E3-initiated microfinance projects in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
The Gospel shared in word and action
Mountaineers for Christ in Lesotho are providing hot meals and spiritual support to HIV-positive people at clinics in Mokhotlong.
E3 partner, Mountaineers for Christ (MFC), prepares nearly 13,000 hot meals each year for people on HIV treatment at five clinics. Many of them have walked a long way to access their medication and the meal gives them strength to walk home again. Mokhotlong Hospital noticed MFC’s work and gave them a kitchen to use. As people gather for a meal, MFC pastors share the gospel message.
Beauty Morapo lives on the outskirts of Mokhotlong village and has been living with HIV since 2007. She says: “I look forward to the meal at the clinic, but also to the prayers offered by the pastors. I have come to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I am happy with Jesus, I fear nothing now and I love people from Mountaineers for Christ for their love and kindness to us who are not well because of HIV and AIDS”. Beauty is just one of many men and women who have a life-changing story to tell of the spiritual and social support they receive through E3-funded projects.
Mountaineers for Christ also supports orphaned children at Harvesters Primary School through the Back to School programme. Most live with grandparents who are incredibly grateful to E3 for enabling their grandchildren to go to school. Mr Mukwena, who cares for his three orphaned grandsons, presented the need for a Boarding Home at the School at a community meeting. He is a widower and is disabled. He explained the difficulties of supporting them with homework. The boarding home, funded by E3, will enable 40 orphaned and vulnerable children to live at school during the week. They will no longer walk long distances to and from school and will be assured of three nutritious meals a day, as well as getting help with their homework. The community firmly believes that this project is vital to give children the opportunity of completing school and realising their career dreams.
Rays of Hope in Zambia
For Mavis Mambwe who looks after her eight orphaned grandchildren, the Back to School programme has brought new hope for a good future for her grandchildren.
When E3 visited Mavis Mambwe she tearfully shared her story. Mavis has lost her four children and their spouses and is sole carer of her eight grandchildren. In 2013, all her grandchildren stayed at home and were not attending school because she couldn’t afford the necessary uniforms, fees and books.
Mavuto, her eldest grandson, heard about the support available from E3 partner, Centre for Christian Missions. She is so grateful to the Lord that two of her grandchildren – Mavuto (wearing a white shirt and black tie in the photo) and Ruth (at school when the photo was taken) – are now going to Samaritan Primary School thanks to E3’s Back to School programme.
During E3’s last visit to Mavis’s home she had these words to share: “I am tired … really tired of looking after eight children! I am a widow. I spend sleepless nights worrying about what will happen to them when I die. But I am now so happy that Mavuto and Ruth are going to school. I hope they can complete their schooling, get good jobs and care for their siblings. I used to feel so hopeless, but now I am finding new hope for a good future for my grandchildren”. Mavis has asked Centre for Christian Missions to consider helping her other grandchildren. So many grandparents in Southern Africa are caring for their grandchildren because of the impact of HIV and AIDS. E3’s Back to School programme is bringing hope to these families.