On 14 January 2016 all our school children went back to school.  In one way or another and to different degrees, Mercy House supports around 20 young people with their studies. There are those at school plus the tertiary students of Mercy House: Felix doing his Masters Degree in medical research, a student is doing nursing, Zeng is doing a degree in Graphic Design, Angelo is doing a course in civil engineering, Robert is doing a degree in Chemical engineering, 2 of our newcomers are doing the English for Refugees course and so on. Education is always our main focus, since our aim is to get our young people onto their feet in life.  We thank those benefactors who help us in this field, so generously.  Every- one can help Mercy House in some way, and some people choose to support our education programme.


From mid- September 2015 the unbelievable happened, we actually managed to vacate our house completely. Our young people thought it great fun to move out to our play center at the bottom of our garden and camp there while the interior of the house was being totally revamped over a period of 6 weeks.  It all happened under the guidance of our co-worker Michael Jacobus. The change has been simply stunning.  We never imagined that our house could look so beautiful.  The photos give some idea of the transformation. The most stunning of all is the revamped kitchen. The whole event proved to bring an injection of joy and pride into our community, and we thank our benefactors, those who made this possible, very much indeed for this great gift, and Michael for seeing it through.


With Father Jeremias no longer with us, Comboni Father Mariano came to offer Holy Mass for us on 16 December. It is so important that we, as a community, pray together and it was, as always, a beautiful occasion. We thank Father Mariano for this very much. He is seen in the photos which were taken on the occasion.


Every year, led by Gus Wilcox, the SVDP of Bez Valley gives our young people a braai to celebrate their end of the year holiday.  It is always a huge success and we thank them very sincerely for this generosity, which gives a great deal of joy to all.


On 13 December we held our farewell luncheon for Clare, our young volunteer from Italy. Our Mercy House women had the brilliant idea of making a farewell gift for her themselves, in the form of  a dress, bag, ear rings and bracelet, made of exactly the same material, as can be seen in the photos.  Clare was delighted. We really enjoyed having her, she was a great asset to our work and hope that she will come back. Whatever, we wish her everything of the best for her future, may God bless her, as she certainly deserves.


And what a beautiful celebration it was. The joy, as always, was tangible, with around 60 refugees – of all ages – there altogether. Thanks to the generosity of our friend Anna of Ocean Basket, we had a delicious lunch, followed by a nativity play of quality, prepared and produced by two of our young men, Ivan and Zeng.

Next, some of our young Rwandan ladies entertained us with Rwandan cultural dancing – see photo.  This was followed by the arrival of Father Xmas (a seven- year-old boy) and his adult assistant, Desire.  Everyone got a gift, selected and prepared for them personally. They were delighted with the “Xmas boxes” which are supplied every year for them by the Rosebank Union Church, to whom we certainly owe a great debt of gratitude.  Christmas 2015 was a day which will be remembered by all.  Our thanks to everyone who contributed in some way to the joy of the feast.