– by Mosaic SA

In South Africa, there are currently 5.2 million orphaned and vulnerable children. The prospects for such children in terms of access to proper schooling, housing, and basic necessities like food and clothes are bleak. Many children don’t complete matric and for many them, the poverty cycle will never be broken. Many of these children lives with aunts of grandmothers who then become their mothers.

The story of Masedi
The Phungwakos are a family of four, two brothers, Bongani and Odirile, and two sisters, Pretty and Masedi. Their aunt Martha decided to foster the Phungwakos after both of their parents died. She became more that their aunt, she became their mother. This is the story of Masedi, she is the second oldest of the Phungwako family. Masedi’s mom passed away when she was only three and the family then lost their dad in 2011, due to illness. Masedi was only 12 at the time. 

Sacrificing everything
When Masedi’s parents passed away, her eldest sister Pretty took care of the family. They were living in a mokuku (or a shack) with no one helping or taking care of this young family. They lived in a ‘house’ with no running water, no electricity, and no food. They slept on the floor. They had no income, as they were all too small to work. For Pretty, this was a very difficult time and she tried to commit suicide. She remembers making sure that her brothers and sister had enough blankets to stay warm at night, and going to school with an empty stomach. Masedi doesn’t remember much during that time, but she does remember how excited she was to move into a house with Martha.

Mosaic stepped in to help
Martha Phungwako, their aunt, found out about the situation her nephews and nieces were in and then contacted Mosaic for help. Mosaic seeks to serve orphaned and vulnerable children and their foster parents by providing them with employment or schooling opportunities, assisting them by finding housing, and working with parents. Martha became a foster mother to four young children.

There to help
Through the Mosaic programmes, the family moved into a house, Martha started a job at Made by Mosaic, and Masedi and her siblings began to attend Mosaic after-school programmes. These programmes helped Martha with support and resources when she didn’t have any.

A passionate child
Masedi describes herself as a caring and loving person who loves junk food, especially chips. Her favourite dish to cook is chicken and rice. She loves to sing, especially to herself, and her says that she “loves going to Bible study at the Mosaic centre”. Mosaic brings Biblical principles and methods into their training programmes. 

Fulfilling her dreams
Masedi studied hard and completed matric at the end of 2017. Her hobbies at school were acting and dancing. She enjoys any part that is challenging. Masedi dreamt of becoming an actress or a teacher. She applied to study further and just got accepted for a Diploma in Language Practice at the Tshwane University of Technology. Enrolling for further studies was a very brave step for Masedi, as she will be far away from home, her family, and what she knows to chase her dreams. “I wanted to change the situation at home by being successful and being able to provide for my family,” says Masedi. With this qualification, she will become a teacher one day, and she will have the opportunity to help children and build into their lives, a dream she has had since she was little.

God is on your side, always
Masedi wants to remind everyone that there is always an option, you always have a choice, being born in a poor family doesn’t determine your future. She says that God never forgets His children and that whatever you wish, whatever you feel, tell Him and He will definitely answer. Masedi dreams of buying her family a house and being independent.
Giving up was never an option
Giving up was never an option for Masedi. Through the love and support of her aunt and siblings, as well as that of the Mosaic staff and her determination to reach her dreams, she is stepping out in faith. Masedi has become a wonderful example to the other kids at Mosaic Potchefstroom, her brothers, and sister. Her aunt is so proud of her and so is Mosaic.

Article source: JOY! Magazine

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