About Botshabelo, South Africa
- 200,000 total residents
- 70 percent unemployment
- 70,000 total children
- 30,000 orphans
- 10,500 critically vulnerable* children
*homeless, physically or sexually abused, neglected, and/or without food
About Setshabelo Family and Child Services
Setshabelo Family and Child Services (SFCS), founded in 2014, is the first Black National Child Protection Agency in South Africa. It addresses the challenges of orphans and vulnerable children by mobilizing area faith communities. Its unique approach seeks to shift away from institutional care—orphanages—and instead develop family-based models for a child’s care.
SFCS strives to embody the love of Christ by:
- Providing crisis intervention and temporary emergency care for at-risk kids.
- Offering family counseling, foster care, and adoption services to strengthen and equip families.
- Teaching life skills and spiritual values to young people to break the cycle of poverty.
Partnerships and goals
The Reformed Church in America, Bethany Christian Services, and Christ Memorial Church (RCA) in Holland, Michigan, have partnered to support SFCS and its orphans and vulnerable children.
As a result of these partnerships with SFCS, the RCA has developed the following five-year goals for this strategic impact area:
- Reduce the number of orphans and vulnerable children in Botshabelo by 10 percent.
- Reduce the number of critically vulnerable children by 5 percent.
- Increase the number of area churches actively helping this vulnerable population from less than 5 percent to 45 percent.
- Find permanent adoptive homes for at least 300 orphans.
The idea of finding adoptive families is a new concept in South Africa, requiring education to encourage a societal shift in thinking. However, SFCS’s educational focus is not on adoptions exclusively, but also on ways to break the cycle of poverty that creates orphans and vulnerable youth.
How can you or your church get involved?
- Join the network of RCA churches supporting and involved in the South Africa strategic impact area.
- Help RCA Global Mission in financially supporting jobs at SFCS (including a family and child social worker, a church and community engagement coordinator, a North American partnership coordinator, and interns).
- Send members of your congregation on a mission awareness trip to Botshabelo to gain an understanding of the work at SFCS and build relationships for future ministry.
- Hold classes on the history of apartheid, its relationship to the church, and how it affects today’s challenges with orphans and vulnerable children.
- Support Lois Wanyoike. Lois will serve as a bridge between the North American and South African partners to develop and maintain positive community relationships between churches and partners. She will share the stories from South Africa with RCA churches and maintain communication between Setshabelo Family Services in South Africa, Bethany Christian Services Global and RCA Global Mission.
- Contact Scott Engelsman to get involved: email@example.com