House of Wells (H.O.W), a Non-Profit Organisation registered in South Africa & the UK exists to restore hope and dignity, and release the potential, of children and youth particularly orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children.
House of Wells Enrichment Centres 2015 End-of-Year Newsletter (Jan 2016)
Dear Partners, HAPPY 2016!
This report is being sent with our hearts full of thanksgiving to God, for a very busy and challenging yet exceptionally fruitful 2015! It's also our 7th Anniversary!! In August 2015, we celebrated 7 years since establishing House of Wells in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. We had an Evening of Praise later in the year to mark the occasion. The journey has been quite tough (still is), but the lives of numerous children across South Africa & Zimbabwe that have been changed (and being changed) through House of Wells is well worth it!! Our appreciation to God is extended to the amazing, God-send Team that HE has blessed us with....dedicated, anointed and passionate people who give 110%. What a blessing!! We continue to see progress in the lives of the children and an increase in the number of those who regularly attend each Centre in Port Elizabeth (SA), Cape Town (SA) and in Kwekwe (Zimbabwe). To God alone we give all the glory.
2015 - THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR
TKFCare Partnership with H.O.W- We minister to approximately 800 young children and 180 teenagers in Port Elizabeth alone - 7 Centres for the younger ones and 5 for the teenagers, which would not have been possible without the help of our faithful Centre Leaders. However, the issue of high staff turnover has been a consistent concern for House of Wells over the years. The effect of this had been that when a new staff is then hired, it takes the kids a long while to trust them and as such, we are sometimes not as effective as we could have been if we did not lose the previous member of staff. You can therefore imagine how ecstatic and super-thrilled we were when The King's Family Care (TKFCare - the mission arm of The King's Family Centre UK) wrote to us early 2015, informing us that they will start to support H.O.W in various ways, which includes contributing towards staff salaries!! As a result, since May 2015 we have been able to increase some staff salaries. We greatly appreciate this kindness and generosity from TKFCare, which has helped to stabilise staff retention.
Progress- Spiritually, H.O.W kids are growing. It is visible in their excitement to hear bible stories and in their behaviour. They also come to the Centres with prayer requests which shows that their faith is being stirred. On one occasion, a girl approached the centre leader asking that her Aunt should be prayed for. The rest of the children surrounded her and prayed in agreement. The following day she ran to the leader with so much excitement and told her God has done a miracle in her Aunt's life. We are also getting positive reports from schools regarding the changes they have noticed in H.O.W kids. One of our Centre Leaders was led to pray for a boy who was usually disruptive in class and the children in the group also prayed for him. He was indeed radically changed to such an extent that a number of weeks later, when the scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:17 was being discussed, the entire group agreed that he is indeed an example of what that scripture meant, because they could see a transformation in him. All the glory and honour to our King!
Our Youth Group- House of Wells teenagers' meet in 5 townships in Port Elizabeth. We opened an additional Teenagers Centre in Bloemendal in 2015. We currently have about 165 teenagers on our register. In all Centres, the Teens take it upon themselves to recruit their friends to join the group. One Centre doubled in number in just one month! Our very first Valentine themed Youth event in February was quite exciting. We were able to emphasise what real love is - healthy, God-Centred love that has its source in Christ.
Welfare & Home Visits- The quality time we dedicate to any child we identify as vulnerable is always productive - getting to understand their circumstances and reaching out to their parents/guardians etc has been very effective. The action we take includes giving them groceries, helping to take the child to a clinic when they're ill and liaising with Social Services to assist the child's family with application for social grant. Every 3-4 months, we visit all H.O.W children at their homes. This always gives us the opportunity to get feedback from their parents/guardians. We also use that time to assess the living conditions of these children and to note if there are any seriously pressing need that H.O.W can help with, within financial resources. During a visit sometime this year, we met a mother who was severely ill with Tuberculosis and there was no food for the family to eat. We were able to arrange for some groceries to be delivered to them. Our staff member who delivered the food said they met her on her way to beg for food for her children. This was indeed very moving for us. This particular situation, and many more, would have gone unnoticed without a structure in place to regularly visit these children.
In November, after the usual session in our centre in Kleinskool, we visited the home of a 10 year old boy. On the way to his house, we noticed that he had not eaten any of the slices of bread that he was served at the Centre. When we got to his house, 3 of his younger siblings went straight for the bread in his hands and within seconds all the bread were gone. We watched him and his siblings devour the bread right in our presence. It dawned on us yet again the importance of the meal we serve the children in House of Wells. More often than not, the bread and soup we serve the children filter through to their family at home.
Community Relationship- We praise God for the relationship we have with the schools we use for our Enrichment Centres and how they value our Programme. Only two schools used to regularly invite us to lead their assemblies, that has now gone up to five. We've also noticed that some school teachers have instructed their children, who don't attend schools in the area where H.O.W is situated, to attend the H.O.W programme. Teachers regularly refer their "problem" children to H.O.W as they have in the past seen such kids transformed over time, through our activities and most importantly by the Word of God. Schools make it a point of contacting us, if there are issues in the community or the school, that require our assistance and prayer. Parents/Guardians write to us or visit our Centres to share their observations and experiences.
International Humanitarian of the YearAward for H.O.W- In May 2015, Kemi won the International Humanitarian of the Year award. The award was given by Women For Africa in the UK, in recognition of the work she does with children at House of Wells Southern Africa. The ‘Women For Africa Awards UK’ seeks to honour, celebrate and encourage a number of women from African countries, for their commitment, determination & passion for the work they do across the African continent. To be recognised for something that one is already passionate about and feel fulfilled doing, is like the cherry on the cake! The honour and glory is truly God's, our Faithful Abba Father! A big thank you to the organisers of Women for Africa, we're truly grateful!
"Hope For Their Future" Fundraising Breakfast- In the last 2 years, we and our trustees have embarked on various fundraising projects and activities in Port Elizabeth South Africa - to raise awareness of the work that House of Wells is doing, to highlight the plight of the children in our Centres and raise funds for specific projects. In 2015, the fundraising was for the top two issues on our heart - feeding and education. Feeding - funding the meal served at our Centres & the monthly food parcels we give to selected children. Education - funds for private/extra tuition in key subjects for our Teenagers, to help them achieve good grades that would enable them to get bursaries/scholarships for university. We believe it is possible for every child in House of Wells to receive good quality education, and more importantly, some of the children that we've noticed to be quite clever academically should be assisted in every way possible.
TKFC - School Shoes- Members of The King's Family Centre (TKFC) UK, have again been a blessing to House of Wells' children this year. This time, it was through an initiative they termed "operation provide a shoe", brand new school shoes were bought for 300 H.O.W children who were desperately in need of school shoes. TKFC Senior Pastor, Pastor Anthony Ashaye and the Church's Missions Director Mr T Omotayo were in P.E. in March 2015, to present the shoes to the children. They also gave out 700 goody bags containing various snacks, drinks, chocolates etc; to the children. All our staff were also given grocery vouchers.
Youth Conference - 170 Teenagers attended our first ever Youth Conference on the 21st March 2015. In the morning session, we had Senior Pastor of King's Family Church, Pastor Anthony Ashaye and Anthony Noble a Teacher, talented Artist and Potter, who uses his artistic gifts to glorify God by painting or forming beautiful clay pots in front of live audiences while at the same time teaching God's Word through his art. They both ministered to the Teenagers on the plan of God for their lives, that God has every intricate aspect of their lives planned even before they were born, a plan that guarantees a good future for them. The whole of the afternoon session was on Career Guidance, we had speakers from various professions including Accountancy, Medical, Legal, Engineering and Business. Our Teenagers learnt how they can achieve their dream career and which career path they should take based on their skills/what they enjoy doing. The day finished off with a Q&A session.
UK Trustee visited HOW- In June 2015, Mr Abraham Dosunmu, one of our Trustees from the UK visited us in South Africa for the first time. It was a pleasure to welcome him at all our Centres, especially on his birthday week. He visited all 7 younger kids' Centres and our Teenagers' Saturday Centres, which gave him a good experience of all H.O.W activities. At each Centre, he prayed for the children and spoke to them. He visited the homes of some children and had an opportunity to appreciate the circumstances under which they live. He also attended our Weekly staff training/prayer meeting.
Free eye screening for 724 children- House of Wells in South Africa was immensely blessed by the visit of PRECIOUS SIGHT FOUNDATION (PSF) UK, from 10th August to 19th August 2015. As a result of the initiative between PSF UK and PREFERRED PROVIDER NEGOTIATORS (PPN) South Africa, 724 children in our Centres had their sight tested. Out of those tested, over 160 children were referred for further screening and about 100 children were given glasses, supplied by PPN South Africa. Thanks to PSF and PPN for blessing our children. We pray that they will be mightily blessed. The PSF team worked ‘hands on’ in all our Centres, helping to serve meals and teaching at some Centres. Two orphans who live with their grandparents were visited by the PSF team, prayed for and blessed with a month's supply of groceries. Our staff members were also offered eye tests and treatment. School uniforms, shoes and clothes were bought for a selection of House of Wells' children by PSF. We pray that God will richly bless Mrs Biyi Adewumi and everyone at Precious Sight Foundation UK.
Centres update/Lessons (key points) - Our Centre activities range from bible-based life skills, drama lessons, dance classes, sports and games sessions, and nearer exam time we have tutorials in core subjects. The bible lessons are always age-related and presented in a way that engages the children, very practical and easy to understand. Many of the lessons we covered this year were based on the principles of Christian Living. The topic of one of our lessons was "Is there anything too hard for God" during which the children were encouraged to pray for seemingly impossible situations in their family. Weeks later we received testimonies - Two girls who prayed for their parents, who have been out of work for many many years, said they received offers of employment. One boy prayed for his brother who was critically ill in hospital, he testified that he fully recovered and was discharged from hospital. Another topic that stands out last year was on the story of Fanny Crosby who, despite being born blind, wrote 8000 hymns and gospel songs, poems and could play 4 musical instruments. Through this story the children learnt that God has a purpose for everyone regardless of their circumstances. It also triggered confidence and taught them to be thankful and grateful at all times. Attendance is wonderful in all our Centres and numbers increasing, we are thankful for this. However, in a Centre like Kleinskool where we have over 300 children, the increase has necessitated extra staff, in order to make the sessions effective.
VITAE LONDON- Mr William Adoasi, CEO of Vitae London visited H.O.W in November. From each watch they sell, Vitae London gives a percentage to buy school uniforms and shoes for House of Wells' children. Their logo is YOUR WATCH, THEIR FUTURE - each watch bought supports a child through education. The School pack includes school jumper, shirts/blouses, trouser/skirt, socks, school bag and school shoes. A big Thank You to Vitae for bringing smiles and joy to these children and their families! Please support them - www.vitaelondon.com.
Update from HOUSE OF WELLS Team in KWEKWE, ZIMBABWE The year 2015 was a blessed year for us at House of Wells Zimbabwe. We have 85 children and Youth that attend our Centres regularly on Fridays and Saturdays. Our Youth meet on Friday evenings and the younger kids on Saturday mornings. 12 girls who were urgently in need of school shoes were blessed with school shoes, which were sent from House of Wells South Africa. We also distributed some baby powders to mothers in Mbizo Township, in Kwekwe, who were very much in need of this. We also received bags of salts from Marina Sea Salt, in P.E. South Africa, which were given to all our children during our lessons on "SALT OF THE EARTH". Our Friday evening lessons addresses various issues that youth deal with on a regular basis. Zimbabwe at the moment is going through very tough times and equipping the youth with hands-on knowledge is very important. We have career guidance and business workshops for our youth, and encourage them to look into various self-sustaining small businesses that can help them and their families. On our Saturday mornings, we teach the younger kids using the same teaching manual as H.O.W South Africa. We do memory verses and play various games e.g. soccer and rugby.
Update from HOUSE OF WELLS Cape Town We continue to see the hand of God regarding what HE wants to do in the lives of children in Cape Town. We believe that as God has promised, the lives of our children in Cape Town will be transformed, hope will be restored to them (and their family), and every gift that God has placed in them will surely come alive as they come in contact with the transforming power of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Team's vision for the coming year is to discover various ways to impact Cape Town with the power of God.
Christmas 2015- This year in Port Elizabeth (PE), the Teenagers' banquet was held on 28 November and we had the party for the Under 13s on December 5th. The 2015 talent show and presentation winners went home with Medals, Trophies and lots of vouchers. There were also special prizes for our Male and Female Ambassadors of the year, those who displayed godly character, steadfastness & have excellent attendance all year round. To see the outcome of the event on the day was very touching considering everything that went into putting the parties together. It was a privilege being an extension of God's hands to these children. God’s love was demonstrated in action to those who may have been forgotten by society. We had two special guests at the party in PE, Ms Kemi Onakoya, one of our UK Trustees and Pastor Tunde Onakoya, Founder of Mindful of Youth Initiative. They were with us for almost 2 weeks and were very much involved with all that went into the planning and execution of the parties. House of Wells Cape Town's Christmas party was also held on 5th Dec. 70 children had fun on the day, enjoyed festive food, drinks, lots of entertainment and went home with Christmas presents. Over 100 children were hosted at this year's party in Zimbabwe. The children enjoyed themselves and each child received a Christmas hamper to take home. We truly give GOD ALL THE GLORY!!!
Funds for the parties were raised through an appeal on Facebook and quite a number of individuals and companies donated money, while some organisations offered their services and products to us at discounted rates. We are grateful to everyone who sponsored party bags and the Christmas meal for the children. Thank you all so much for your generosity, we couldn't have done it without your help. Many THANKS to LPS Estates UK for their financial contribution, to Boardwalk & Summerstrand Hotel (South Africa) for sponsoring the venues, Marina Sea Salt (South Africa), for 700 bags of salts, Kingfisher FM (South Africa), Boxer Superstore (South Africa)and other sponsors for making the day so SPECIAL!! Thank you all so much for your generosity. May God mightily bless you all and bring increase to your businesses.
THANK YOU..... To: City Chapel London, The King's Family Centre, RCCG Living Water Parish and The Liberty Church, for their assistance with the purchase of our flight tickets at various times during the year.
To: all House of Wells Partners, for your monthly, quarterly and occasional financial donations, many of you have been giving regularly since 2008.
To: ShopFit Group (SA), LPS Estates (UK), Systemxnet Limited (UK), Vision Excel Ltd (UK), Ambience and Harvest Christian Church (SA),for their immense and consistent financial support to various House of Wells projects.
It is our prayer that HE who never forgets our labour of love will continually reward you tremendously in Jesus’ mighty name, AMEN! Our eternal gratitude goes to every individual, organisation, business or church that has ever been of help to House of Wells as a ministry in the course of this journey of Faith. Not only financially, but contribution through their contacts, time, skills, prayer etc. We pray that God will richly bless you and pleasantly surprise you in multiple ways. May the Lord continue to multiply the seed you are sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness. May God grant you according to your heart’s desire.