Mama Charity grew up in Mbonisweni, a township just outside of White River, South Africa. She was part of a large family and was labeled the black sheep of the family. Her parents drank, and her Mom would repeatedly lock her out of the house. They didn’t even welcome their own daughter into their home.
By grade nine, she was orphaned, a Mom of her own, and a high school dropout. When her parents died, her brother became the head of the household and filled the shoes of abusiveness. He kicked Mama Charity and her sister, Mama Nandi, out of the house, forcing them to relocate to Dwaleni, another nearby township.
She never had her own place. She lived in little shacks in her sister’s yard until her sister finally beat her and her infant for not contributing to the family through prostitution. Unwanted and penniless, Mama Charity was on her own.
Ten Thousand Homes met her kids in October 2011 at our after school feeding program in Dwaleni. Charity, then four years old, would bring Kevin, then two years old, on her own. They ate and ate until they gagged. They were in a desperate, starving place.
The next week we met Mama Charity and her family in the yard where a HOME was being built.
She was in a desperate place…overwhelmed with her children, not knowing how to care for them. Her definition of family growing up was not a positive one. As we loved her right in that desperate place, we began to see despair be replaced with HOPE. We began to see her loving and playing with her children and learning how to take care of them. We began to see family come alive for her.
Last year, Mama Charity confessed her greatest dream…to have a plot in her name. It didn’t even have to have a HOME on it. Just land. In her name. Construction started in January 2014 as people from all over the world, literally, came together to make her dream a reality. She was so proud of having something to call her own that she smiled BIG every time a camera came out to capture the progress. While walls of her HOME went up, she completed a life skills class. She made commitments for her family’s well-being in areas of parenting, finances, nutrition, and home management.
Not only has Mama Charity learned to love her family with a love she didn’t know growing up, she’s also learned what it means to be loved herself. The lesson Mama Charity learned growing up was that the only way to show a man that you really love him is to give him a child. That left her as Mama to five precious children by the time she was 23. Now she knows she is loved with a real love by God and others, a love that propels her to be a good Mama for her kids, a declaration that is proudly displayed in her HOME on the family covenant that she, herself, wrote.
Welcome HOME Mama Charity and your children, Charity, Kevin, Given, Karabo, and Chantelle! We’re thrilled to make your dream a reality.
Special thanks to the following for partnering with us in that dream…
Boxes 4 U and Erica Nehls for donating the funds to build Mama Charity’s HOME.
CWAM Wyoming, YWAM Minneapolis, and YWAM Drakensberg for traveling far and wide to work on Mama Charity’s HOME.
Citymark Church for furnishing Mama Charity’s HOME with furniture and for working on the front porch mosaic.
Guy and Robin Bouchard for buying her a fridge!