COMMUNITY URGED TO SUPPORT FUNDRAISING EFFORTS
AN eleven strong team from Magheragall Presbyterian Church
are busy preparing for the trip of a lifetime to South Africa in
The team, all ladies, will be travelling to Pietermaritzberg
near Durban to provide support for a Missions Project in the
They will not only be offering financial
support, but more importantly they will be providing vital
manpower by helping in a number of projects, including teaching
at a local school.
There are five main projects the local team,
which includes teachers, nurses and social workers, will be
taking part in.
First, they will be working in community
care, with children and care workers affected by HIV/AIDS.
There is also a homeless shelter, which some
of the team will be volunteering at, helping to provide food,
shelter and human kindness to homeless men and women.
At the Pregnancy Crisis Centre, the team will
be providing care and support to women who have become pregnant
due to rape or domestic sexual abuse and at the baby hospice
they will have the often difficult role of working with and
caring for children who are HIV positive or have been orphaned
as a result of AIDS.
Finally some of the team, like team leader
Julie Anderson, will be putting their teaching skills to good
use at the Gateway School.
The team will also be getting down to some
hard labour by helping to build toilet blocks and classrooms at
the school, as well as refurbishing the existing classrooms.
Explaining more about the three-week visit at the end of
July, Julie said: "One of my friends I went to university with
has been working with Project Gateway for a few years and when
she is home I hear a lot about it.
"Gateway took over an old prison and
converted it into a building to run all their projects.
"They run the Duduza Home and Esther House
for women in distress, as well as a homeless shelter and a
community care project to help people in the community to deal
with HIV and reduce the risks of spreading the disease.
"They want manpower rather than money,"
continued Julie. "There are different projects running all the
time and we will be working in the baby hospice and volunteering
in the overnight shelter. "There is a nurse and a social worker
in our team who will help in the community care centre and there
are a couple of us who are teachers so we are going to help in
"There is also a building project to build
toilet blocks so we will all be helping with that." Having
spoken with her friend and seen photographs of the projects,
Julie is prepared for what they will face in South Africa, but
some of the rest of the team remain slightly nervous about the
"Everybody is looking forward to going. There
are a few nervous travellers and no-one really knows what to
expect at the other end."
The team have been busy fundraising and
everyone at the church has been rallying round to help with the
Having already held fireside quizzes and a
concert last summer, the fundraising drive is already going
well, however, the team hope to raise more money to take to
South Africa with them, as well as helping to finance their own
"We are holding an auction on Saturday, April
8 in Magheragall Presbyterian Church Hall," added Julie. "The
lots have been donated by people in the church and we are also
hoping local businesses will offer some items for auction.
Viewing will start from 1pm and the auction will start at 2pm.
"We are also holding a beetle drive in the
church hall on Saturday, March 4 at 7.30pm. The event will be
for all the family and supper will be served afterwards."
The team will spend three weeks in South
Africa during the summer, providing this much-needed help to a
very worthy project and they are keen to have the support of
everyone in the local community.
"If anyone would like more information about
the project, would like to offer sponsorship or could help in
anyway, we would be delighted to hear from them," concluded
If you would like more information about the
project or can help the team in anyway, please contact Julie on