The Story of “Father’s House”
My Father’s House is a community development project managed by Jan Buchanan from Queensland. Worcester is surrounded by high mountains, snow-clad in winter and fruit growing is the main industry. With large numbers of wineries, there is a high incidence of alcoholism and foetal alcohol syndrome, as well as a high rate of drug addiction, particularly methamphetamine.
No Walk in the Park!
Avian Park is a disadvantaged suburb created under the apartheid system for the “coloured,” mixed-race community of over 8000 people. The standard of education is low and unemployment is at 60% – or more in winter. There is a high rate of teenage pregnancy, and most families are a single parent. Child abuse, gangsterism, rape and molestation are prevalent. HIV/AIDS, TB and malnutrition are also problems.
More than 2000 people still live in squatter shacks without running water or electricity. About 2000 have been rehoused within the past 5 years, but many lack understanding of work ethics, hygiene, nutrition or budgeting.
Problems Waiting for Solutions
My Father’s House is in the middle of this calamitous situation, seeking to create a safe, secure environment for vulnerable teenagers. They need good, nutritious food and good teaching on how to keep healthy by avoiding HIV/AIDS, TB and teenage pregnancy. Some need mentoring and help with homework to achieve better educational outcomes while new and capable leaders need to be trained.
Much has been achieved:
- Soup kitchens are providing nutritious lunches and fruit (since January 2011);
- Parenting classes run by FAMSA (local Non-Profit Org) that have been making a difference in families (since September 2012);
- Local youth have been trained through YWAM University of the Nations – 6 were trained from 2010 to 2014 and two have completed half of a degree.
And much is still happening:
- Three counsellors have received counselling skills since October 2014, and they have been placed in local primary and high schools;
- The placement of 2 trainee associate social workers as youth leaders;
- Soccer and life-skills training for the youth group began in January 2015;
- Since February 2015 a number are learning jewellery-making, and there is tuition in musical instruments.
A house has been rented for a full-time staff member, a 3×9 metre shed erected in the back yard and a youth meeting room is to be constructed and a fence around the property. All this is to train teenagers to plan, organize and lead activities in the centre and to provide space for homework classes.
One urgent need is the construction of a residential home for staff and teenagers, which is projected for June 2016.
Our initial goal is to help 100 teenagers, but this number will increase to over 300 as time goes by. Please partner with us in rescuing these teenagers by clicking on one of the donate buttons on this page.