HfAM Background and Development
It is important to note that this is a ministry which arises out of the 'township' experience of Africa's black majority, who suffered greatly under the former Apartheid regime.
Indeed, HFAM's headquarters are at Siyabuswa, a sprawling township north-east of Pretoria. Here, during the Apartheid era, thousands of Ndebele people were dumped in an arid and desolate spot to clear them from the cities. Siyabuswa itself means "We are ruled"!
From the apparently-unpromising ground of the townships, has come a ministry which is changing the lives of hundreds of people across large areas of southern Africa. Hope for Africa began through the pioneering evangelism of the late Richard Makunyane, a former career-criminal who came to Christ in prison. His meetings saw many people turn to Christ, and several new churches planted.
In 1998, under the leadership of Bishop Hendrick Mahlangu, many of the Hope for Africa churches adopted a bold new vision for reaching our within South Africa and further afield. Their resolve was soon tested by the terrible plight of the flood victims in Mozambique. There, HFAM was able to make a considerable contribution to the needed relief aid, and help in the rebuilding of homes, the redevelopment of agriculture and in other ways.
Many in the NGO community were amazed to find a black-led South African organisation taking such active steps. The Mozambiquan government gave much help to this remarkable new organisation.
Today, the continuing work in Mozambique is still part of the wider HFAM 'family' but is largely self-governing. Helping projects to start and succeed, then handing over to local leadership is very much part of the HFAM model.
HFAM has also been involved in famine relief in Malawi, and is engaged with evangelism, church development and economic development projects in Lesotho, Swaziland, and very recently in Angola - a 'child' of their involvement in Mozambique.
In Zimbabwe, HFAM led a large-scale food-aid project, providing food to those whose livelihoods had disappeared in the economic catastrophe which has hit that country. Food was distributed through local churches to those most needy in the communities.
Whilst food-aid continues where needed, the project has also moved on to restarting agriculture buy helping families to have land, seed, implements, fertiliser where needed, and other such resources. Part of their abundant harvest is then returned to the scheme to help others.
In the current third phase, micro-loans are being offered to families to help them back into agriculture and financial responsibility.
Much of the agricultural development has been aided by white South African farmers and agriculturalists who have been willing to work alongside and under the leadership of Bishop Mahlangu and his team. In the local context this is a remarkable development.
Bishop Mahlangu also serves on the Board of Amos Agrimin, focussing on the empowerment of the agricultural community in the region. HFAM have used Amos's minimum-tillage system of agriculture in Zimbabwe and elsewhere, and have seen yields increase up to 600% above those previously recorded.
In South Africa, HFAM plants new churches which serve to meet the spiritual and physical needs of needy communities.
HFAM pioneered a very successful AIDS-prevention education programme and a home-care programme for sufferers from AIDS.
The AYOWA youth programme provides a channel for young people to step away from the increasingly violent racial and social divides which are building in South Africa and to meet and make friendships across barriers - and to have fun! AYOWA hosted a very popular football tournament for teams from different communities to coincide with the 2010 World Cup.
Grace Christian Academy, in Siyabuswa, provides some of the best education available in South Africa. Starting from scratch just a few years ago, Grace now offers hundreds of children a comprehensive curriculum and high standards, which regularly score very highly in all government assessments. Grace teams regularly win regional academic and sporting competitions.
Where possible, parents of the children at Grace pay fees, but this enables some needy children to be educated free. As an integral part of the plan, Grace provides a home, as well as an education, for a growing number of orphans, many of whom have lost parents to AIDS, and many of whom are themselves HIV+. HFAM has ambitious plans for the development of Grace.
The developing vocational training programme, as well as providing skills for Bible College students, will also serve children in senior years at Grace, and other candidates from the local community. It will teach business skills - from information technology to motor mechanics, plumbing and electrical engineering - all to the level of recognised South African qualifications.
NEW Watch slideshow (Youtube) showing life at Grace School.
Recent additions include a bio-digester and other 'green' technology, through partnership with another South African organisation, Jabenzi. HFAM is modelling these technologies so that other organisations and projects might see their effectiveness.
This is a remarkable ministry which has come a very long way in a short time. Leadership, reporting and accountability are of a high standard. Their vision for growth is constant and new developments are always 'in the pipeline'. They are resilient and resourceful, and are attracting increasing attention as role-models for others.
(Click on the links to see details of the projects of this ministry partner)
Grace School Library Books
Gold Peer Education Every Farm for Jesus