Early last year, a group of friends from Brackenfell were challenged to look at an opportunity to serve in a neighbouring community as a way of being more outward orientated. They short-listed a few possibilities and chose to adopt the Masigcine Children’s Home in Mfuleni, which is a place of safety for about 28 abandoned and orphaned children.
They started doing volunteer work on Saturday mornings and soon Michael and Hilda de Beer became the co-ordinators of this community transformation project on behalf of the group. New life and purpose had been injected and excitement mounted as everyone looked forward to making a difference in the children’s home.
After an initial period of building relationship with the Board and Management of Masigcine as well as with the children and staff, they received such favour that they were given cart blanche to make changes to the home as they saw fit. They observed many areas of concern which included a lack of nutrition, home maintenance, hygiene, cleanliness, order, discipline, admin, staff morale, procedures, staff empowerment, training and fund raising. They suggested to the Board that 80% of the problems could be solved in one go by doing a home makeover.
After consultation and deliberation, the weekend of 21 – 23 September 2007 was earmarked. It was to be a weekend of total home makeover and transformation! The team accomplished in three days what would normally have taken weeks to complete. Hundreds of volunteers were recruited and showed up.