Local church gives back to the community

The gift bags with toiletries for the boys. PHOTO: Supplied

In celebration of the Boy Child, the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Mt. Zion Bloemfontein, and friends of the church, rallied together to raise more than 500+ toiletry products to donate to the boy child.

According to Mandisa Skibane from Mt. Zion, the initiative was the brain child of the Reverend Thabo Matsaseng, local pastor of the church in the Batho location, who saw a need for the church to honour and celebrate the boy child.

“50 gift bags were donated to 50 learners who were identified by the school. In the bag was 2 of each item, namely toothbrushes, toothpaste, bathing cloths, deodorant roll-on, soaps, and a body lotion,” said Skibane.

The toiletries that went into each gift bag. PHOTO: Supplied

Skibane further said on Wednesday 30 August, in collaboration with Sehunelo Secondary School, under the leadership of the principal, the AME Church congregation and Rev. Matsaseng gathered together with learners and the staff for a praise and worship at their assembly.

“Over the recent years, Bloemfontein has seen a rise in the number of gang related crimes, especially those in high schools. This is affecting boys more than girls, as they are recruited and groomed to facilitate hate crimes among each other. It is therefore important for different stakeholders (parents, teachers, communities and the church) to come together and give guidance to combat and teach the boy child a different way of living and existing,” said Skibane.

Skibane believes that this initiative is a start to embracing the growing mind of a boy. “They too matter, they are future leaders who need an environment they can grow and flourish in. The gifts are a reminder that though they are faced with challenges, especially pertaining to peer pressure, the church cares about them, the church will pray for them, the church will not sit back and watch them destroy their future.”

Inside each beneficiary’s bag of toiletries was a message saying: You are amazing, you are important, you are special, you are unique, you are precious, you are loved.  

Justine Fortuin