This year we have been able to continue assisting our young refugees in the field of education. We are assisting as many as 18 school children. In addition, we are helping 9 tertiary students, with courses in the fields of IT, Supply Chain Management, Financial Management, Health Science, Home Nursing, Art and Crafts, Photography etc.
All this is only made possible by our very supportive and magnanimous donors. These include our Mercy Team at St Richards Church and Victoria Milne in the UK, our Comboni Father John Converset and his assistant, Jo, the Riversdale Foundation in the USA, together with local supporters: the Holy Family Sisters, the Holy Rosary Sisters, Judy Dumbushena, Marlene Ogawa, Erica Van Der Byl, Mr and Mrs Ogbers, Collette Hinton, Shanelle Beharie, Kathleen and Deon Van Eeden, the American International School, Holy Family College, Dr Emmanuel Taban and several others who do not want to be mentioned.
Thank you so much to each one of you. We are doing something epic together. Linked together in the chain of Mercy which builds a better future and heals the world!
Moise a few months after he had arrived from Rwanda in 2009, with Comboni Father John at the Schoenstatt shrine.
We were a halfway through our Christmas celebration on Christmas day when very sad news came through. Our beloved Moise (who came to us at age 9 and is now 20!) was found lying near Mercy House in a sea of blood, having been attacked by thugs, with wrists and throat cut and was slowly bleeding to death. It must have been around midday that friends found him and immediately came to Mercy House to ask for help. As God would have it, our Sudanese Felix, who lived in Mercy House for 5 years whilst he was studying Medical Research and is now working for the Health Department, arrived in his car, at exactly the same time. Eddie, Felix and Colby sped to the scene. They moved Moise under extremely difficult circumstances and got Moise into the Emergency section of the Johannesburg General Hospital where his life was saved.
Moise and Charlie
We thank the staff of the hospital who looked after Moise for about 2 weeks. If it had not been for Felix, Eddie and Colby, Moise would certainly not be alive today. And again, it was the amazing co-incidence of Felix arriving in his car at the exact same moment that the news reached us, that saved Moises’s life. Co-incidence or Divine Providence? We salute you, Eddie, Colby and Felix –
YOU REALLY ARE HEROES. And well done Moise, for coming through this dreadful experience bravely and without bitterness. Good news is that on 17 February, Moise was well enough to return to his IT studies at Richfield College in Braamfontein.
The photos show Moise, when he came to Mercy House on his 9th birthday in 2009, from an orphanage in Rwanda, and another of Moise in 2019 with Charlie our dog, and lastly, Moise celebrating his birthday, on 9th January 2020 in the hospital ward.
(from left to right) Diana, Dr Taban’s wife, Dr Emmanuel Taban and Andrew Croft
On Sunday 24th of November 2019, Mercy House was visited by Dr Emmanuel Taban and Andrew Croft. This was a very special occasion. Emmanuel’s story was published on our website in mid-2019. Having been abducted by extremists as a teenager in his homeland, Sudan, and forced into a Muslim indoctrination camp, having escaped and fled to South Africa, having made it through matric here and subsequently completing a degree in medicine, having now achieved two specialisations, one can only admire this amazing young man.
Exactly because his story is so remarkable, he decided to write a biography, and has obtained the services of highly-renowned British writer, Andrew Croft, to publish it for him. Andrew wanted to come to South Africa to see the circumstances and places Emmanuel refers to in his book about his time in South Africa. Mercy House was, of course, one of them! We were greatly privileged to have this famous visitor and look forward to reading the book. It will be launched by Exclusive Books.
The photo shows Dr Emmanuel and Andrew on their visit to us. Thank you Emmanuel and Andrew for coming!
(from left to right) Koketso, Mrs Jael, Diana and Tshegofatso
On Tuesday, 5th November, Koketso Manaka and Tshegofatso Mphake, two matric boys from prestigious St John’s school in Houghton, arrived with their mentor, Mrs Jael Phaswana, with a combi full of good quality unwanted clothing for our Mercy work. It was all the boys’ idea and they worked hard to collect this donation from their peers. It was a touching experience to find two such public-spirited young men (see photo) and to see also the enthusiasm of their mentor, Jael.
Fido and Raphael
She later revisited us with beautiful gifts for our two youngest residents who both had birthdays in November – the photo shows how delighted they were.
Jael came back again on Saturday 15 February 2020 with more clothing and cleaning materials.
Thank you so much to Jael and her students. May you all be blessed for helping those less fortunate than yourselves. No doubt we all experience that “there is far more joy in giving than in receiving!”
Dibaba and his father, 2003
Dibaba’s family moved into Mercy House in the year 2001. They stayed with us for about 5 years. When the family moved, Dibaba remained at Mercy House right until they resettled to Canada in December 2013. We were able to get a bursary for Dibaba to do his schooling up to matric at the excellent Dominican Convent School, where he was in leading sports teams and also chosen to be deputy head boy. Indeed, it was a privilege and pleasure always to have Dibaba with us: an amazing young man. Now in Canada, people can study on a repayable loan at university and he is in his 5th year of Bio-Chemistry, to qualify soon. He has married a charming young Canadian girl, Jodi, seen with him in the photo. It meant the world to us that Dibaba took the trouble to come all the way from Canada to get in touch with his roots and show his young wife where he had lived and moved. Mercy House was of course delighted. We had a special luncheon to welcome them and invited all his former friends, quite a few of whom are already married with children. See photos attached. Thank you so much for coming, Dibaba and please come again.
Dibaba and Jodi
(from left to right) Eddie, Diana, Dibaba and Jodi
On Friday 13th December, AISJ Paige and her husband, Emmanuel, arrived with loads of gifts for our Christmas celebration, piles of stationery for our scholars and even a pair of school shoes for each child. These had all been donated by the students at the American International School (AISJ).
Paige had put trees around her school (see photo), with the name of a child on a leaf plus the size of the school shoes that child would need. The scholars picked a leaf, then took responsibility to buy a pair of school shoes for the relevant child.
We are immensely grateful to AISJ scholars and parents and especially to Paige and her husband, Emmanuel, whose dedication and enthusiasm for our Mercy work is simply stunning. Thank you so much Paige, Emmanuel and all at the American International School. May your generosity be well rewarded.