Centre of Concern

Centre of Concern Team

Pinki Libala | Vicky Cengani | Bev Sanderson | Michael Mtyaleka

Bev Sanderson:  Centre of Concern Co-Ordinator is responsible for the staffing, co-ordination and allocation of resources for the St John’s Centre of Concern, Children’s Haven, Ruth Project and St Augustines Play and Learn Centre.

Vicky Cengani:  Assistant to the Centre of Concern Co-ordinator is responsible for the “gate ministry” and food parcel requirements.  She also organises the participants for the sewing, beading and candle making courses.

Pinkie Libala :  Ruth Project Leader and Senior Field Worker is responsible for the resources,  and staffing of the Soup Kitchen, Ruth Project and St Augustines project for the Aged.

Mike Mtyaleka :  The Driver is responsible for all collection and deliveries for St John’s Church, The Haven, Play & Learn Centre, Ruth Project and Soup Kitchen.

Parcel Packing

Donations from the St John’s community for the Food4 Needy initiative was created during Covid19 epidemic.  The volunteers and staff at St John’s have great fun packing an average of 100 parcels per month for different projects.  The “Gate Ministry” which is managed by Vicky and Bev who hand out about 60 parcels per month to accommodate those who are either homeless or have lost their jobs.

Food forward continues to provide monthly contributions of products to assist with the above project as well as the Haven, Soup Kitchen and our “Gate Ministry”.

Soup Kitchen & Feeding Scheme

The soup kitchen in Walmer Township provides ± 80 local folk with a bread and a cup of soup from Monday to Friday.
Centre of Concern still supports the feeding program at Aaron Gqadu Secondary School which feeds approximately 300 children per day.

Food forward continues to provide monthly contributions of products to assist with the above project as well as the Haven, Soup Kitchen and our “Gate Ministry”.

Ruth Centre & Home Care

Pinkie Libala, the Ruth Project Leader and Palesa Manentsa the carer, run a project at St Augustine’s church from Tues to Thursday each week.    They offer the elderly the opportunity to learn different skills including crafts, games, exercise classes and receive home-cooked meals.

Our Ruth Project carers are assisted by ABCA (Algoa Bay Council for the Aged) social worker, Poppy Mhlangabezo, who assesses the elderly and the housebound in Walmer Township. She advises which of the elderly should receive home-cooked meals, who needs to be washed and fed and transported to the clinic or hospital when necessary.  

They also encourage the elderly to get fit and take part in the  District Golden Games which takes place at NMU each year.

St Augustine's Play & Learn Centre

This was built in 2006 through funds made available by the Savage Trust but the Diocese entrusted the administration of this to the St Johns Centre of Concern.  The school currently caters for 46 learners ranging from 3 – 6 years of age.  The School is managed by Principal, Nilakhe Balani and three teachers who prepare the children for entry into Grade R.

Beanies for Africa/Second Hand Clothing

There are many members of the St John’s congregation and the surrounding community who continue knitting for the Beanies for Africa Project. Louise Parker runs this project and ensures these beanies are donated to St Francis
Hospice and Dora Nginza hospital for both adults and children whilst having chemo treatment.
Beanies have also been sent with the teams visiting the Africa4Jesus ministry in Lesotho.
All second-hand clothing, bedding etc are carefully collected and sorted by Louise Parker and her team. The COC holds a second-hand clothing sale on the 1st Thursday of each month for the community to purchase clothing at a very reasonable price.  Other clothing is distributed to those in need.  Blankets and jerseys are collected at the back of the church from May to August of each year.

Sewing, Beading, Candle making

The Isandla Encincedayo Sewing Group meets on Tuesday and Wednesday of each week.  Bev Willemse and Chery Weyer teach these ladies over a 12-week period to sew basic items.  The idea is to enable them to sew items that they can sell in the community.  The course culminates with a graduation where they showcase the skirt and top that they have made for themselves in the last two weeks of the course.

Vicky Cengani, teaches beading on a Monday of each week.  The course includes the traditional safety pin a necklace and beaded headscarf.

We are going to be start a candle-making course on a Thursday morning where they can learn to make candles in order to sell them in their community.

Wonder Bags & Sewing items

These wonder bags allow food that has been brought to the boil using conventional methods to continue to cook for up to 8 hours without using additional energy sources. We have volunteers making these bags to sell at the Centre of Concern in order to fund some of the other needy projects.

Karen Glover kindly makes these bags and we have ladies making other useful items which we sell on behalf of the COC in order that we may fund some of the other projects.

Addo Fitness Project

This project is run by Xola Williams in the Addo area. He is training 15 children for triathlons giving them the courage to dream and achieve.

The St John’s community have been very generous is supporting this project through clothing, track shoes and sports equipment.

Shoe and Shirt Project

We are in our 2nd year of running this project whereby we purchase shoes from SPAR and then donate a pair of school shoes and shirt to children in need.  We started with 37 pairs of shoes being donated to Bhongweni Primary in 2022 to 67 school shoes and shirts being donated to Zuney Intermediate school in Alexandria, Walmer township, Addo Project & St Timothy/St Matthias.  We will therefore continue running this needy project.

Our Children's Haven

The Haven is managed by Housemother Zanele James with Pinkie Libala providing relief every second weekend.  This currently accommodates two children who will continue to be supported until they turn 18.