CELEBRATING A VALUED LIFE

With joy a group from Mercy House went to wish Father Jeremias a happy birthday on 27 October.  In the photo above we see Yuri wishing Father, whilst Father is holding the book which we gave him as our birthday gift: “Left to Tell,” a story of how a young woman survived the genocide in Rwanda. Well, we are grateful to God that Father Jeremias was born, born even for Mercy House!


SIGNS OF HOPE

In June we tried to fulfil a dream by assisting Papi to open an internet cafe. A donor helped him with some finance and then, thanks to responses to appeals, we were able to set him up with computers, printers, furnishing and much more. As with any new business, it took a while to get it off the ground, but things are now starting to look up and Papi is optimistic about the future.  

“PAPINET” has indeed become a reality, as the photos show. Dreams do come true… 




Our much-loved ZENG has just completed his matric at Dominican Convent School where he has produced art which is outstanding. 


In Grade 10 he won a national award for a video clip that he produced.  Some of his work, including the match-stick video, can be seen below.  


Dreams are coming true for him, because he has been accepted at VEGA, one of the top colleges for Graphic Design in the country, to study for a diploma there next year.  A sincere thank you to his sponsors.
Felix has just completed his 4-year degree in biomedical technology at the University of Johannesburg.  This will enable him to get work in the field of medical research in the future.  Each year of his study he has been given the Top Student award, scoring only in the 80% and 90% range for all his work – his amazingly hard work has got him there.  Well done Felix and good luck.  See photo below


Rafik has just completed his Master’s Degree in Education at the University of the Witwatersrand. His thesis has been the study of the introduction of Ipad learning in schools. 
Desire has been able, through the kind support of a lady in Spain, to do a course as an electrician. Currently he is looking for work which we hope and trust he will be able to get in the New Year (please help us if you have any contacts).  Desire is seen is the photo below



Festus has been doing his first year of training as a Netcare nurse.  Our scholars, Dioscor, Moise, Gregory, Norbert, Emmanuel. BK. Princess, Ildovert, Grace, Velderine plus Zeng’s 4 brothers and sisters, continue with their studies in school. Jusuf (left below) and Yuri (below right) will continue at Pre-School next year.


We are very proud of our Donatien, who came to us as an orphan from Burundi, in 2003, when he was still at school. He subsequently did the 5 year Netcare nursing training and is now in charge of the neurology ward at Linksfield Hospital. At the same time he is studying part-time to convert his diploma into a nursing degree. Well done Dona, and congratulations on your achievement which you certainly have earned and deserve. 



Robert was orphaned in the civil war in Burundi in the nineties and came to Mercy House in 1997.  We put him into school – see photo of the first 4 young people we put into school in 1998, Robert being second from the right.  After having worked for some years after his matric, he now wants to take up the challenge of studying to be a chemical engineer. To this end, someone has kindly offered to assist him with sufficient finance to do this by distance learning through Unisa, which he will be starting in January 2015. We wish him everything of the best in the pursuit of his dream.


THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROJECT

In 2013 a much-needed project was started, teaching English to refugees.   It was put on hold in January 2014, due to a shortage of funds, but was restarted in May, thanks to the Johannesburg Catholic Refugee Office, St Richards Parish in the UK, and an organization in Europe. This project is hugely successful, with really good attendance. By the end of 2014, 5 courses will have been run this year, and we will continue from mid-January next year. The photos below show some of the students writing their exam on 11 November and one of our Mercy House residents, Burundian Richard,  getting his certificate from his teacher at the end of the beginners’ course. 
The above-mentioned achievements are part of what keeps us who work at Mercy House busy.  There is in addition the heavy load of assisting refugees with their papers.  Here we owe a big debt of gratitude to our supportive attorney, Mr Neels Coertse, and our co-worker, Emmanuel, who dedicate a huge amount of time, without any remuneration, to this difficult field of our work. May God reward you.

MEETING THE HOLY FATHER

This was the privilege of our former Mercy House leader, Eddie, who came to us in 2005. We were able to assist him to qualify as an engineer and he now works as an engineer for a large company in Pretoria.  In October this year he joined a pilgrimage trip to Schoenstatt, Germany and Rome. He is seen in the photo below at the audience with our Holy Father, an experience which he will certainly never forget. 

FATHER JOHN CONVERSET

Now working for the United Nations in the United States has not forgotten Mercy House. Thanks to his faithful and thoughtful caring, he was able to access funding for us to extend our solar heating and cover some education expenses for next year. To him and his anonymous donors, a big thank you.

AMY AND KASIA REVISIT

Amy from USA and Kasia from Poland came as volunteers to Mercy House in 2001, Amy stayed for one year and Kasia stayed for four years.  They did amazing work at Mercy House and have kept in touch with us ever since they left.  In July 2014 they revisited us and were able to meet refugees whom they had known 13 years ago, for example, Shadadi was only 8 when they were with us – he is now 21 and has graduated from medical school.  The photo above shows them when they started with us in 2001 on the occasion of the visit of Judy and Gerald McGregor who now spearhead the group at St Richards in the UK that raises money for our Mercy work

SHOWING THE WAY

Our co-worker, David McCallum, continues to give his weekly scripture evenings at Mercy House, enabling our young people to get to know the scriptures. Dave is also mentoring Newton through a one-year course on website design. 

SAD NEWS


It is with sadness that we announce the passing of our four-year-old Nesta on the 19th of August, a great shock to everyone.  He contracted meningitis which caused him to go into a coma from which he never recovered.  To his parents, our deepest sympathy.  He is very much missed around Mercy House and is seen in the photo above on the left with his companion and best friend, Yuri, on the right, taken after Sunday Mass shortly before he died.