Strategic Impact Area: South Africa

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 in helping Botshabelo’s orphans and vulnerable children. The RCA has developed the following five-year goals for this strategic impact area:

  1. Reduce the number of orphans and vulnerable children in Botshabelo by 10 percent (4,050 children). We will help 300 children find adoptive homes, place 1,000 children in foster families, and enable 2,750 children to stay with their families.
  2. Raise awareness about family-based care for orphans and critically vulnerable children. We’ll reach at least 50 percent (65,000 people) of the adult population of Botshabelo through events and social media.
  3. Actively involve at least 40 percent (100 churches) of area churches in growing family-based care for orphans and critically vulnerable children, with at least 10 percent of churches (26 churches) starting a family and child support ministry.

Progress so far:

  1. Nearly 1,300 children have been placed in loving homes or supported in their existing families.
  2. SFCS has reached more than 10,000 people with events, church engagement, and radio programs to raise awareness about family-based care for orphans and critically vulnerable children.
  3. By the end of 2017, 346 families completed the parental training program, including 229 men who completed the fatherhood program.
  4. There were 46 churches actively engaged by the end of 2017, nearly half of our five-year goal.

Download the South Africa SIA brochure

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: sengelsman@rca.org

Donate to: Strategic Impact Area: South Africa

Need help with your gift? Contact tboven@rca.org or call Terri Boven at (616) 541-0835

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