Since 2000, Fundukuphila has been St Mark’s mission link with a group of people in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa.
We support two foster families, the Boake family and the Melmoth family, who care (permanently or temporarily, pending adoption) for children orphaned, abandoned, with HIV/AIDS or other disabilities, or who may be suffering from drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms because their mothers were addicts.
Our contact with these families is by direct email, through Diana Coke (who, with her late husband Mike, has visited St Mark’s twice) and Margaret Fitzroy (the sister of a member of St Mark’s, who alerted us to these families at the outset).
Money is raised by the sale of hand-made greetings cards throughout the year, by donations large and small as well as by fundraising teas or lunches. The funds raised are sent directly by bank transfer to the Prestbury Methodist Support Group, where they are allocated to the foster families according to their needs at the time.
The foster families tell us that what St Mark’s sends always makes such a big difference to their ability to care for their children; the periodic payments usually arrive just at the right time e.g. for school uniforms, a laptop needed for school study, repairs to their only car or to replace a broken domestic washing machine with an industrial machine to cope with their heavy laundry needs. The final payment for the year is made at the end of November and we ask that a proportion of the funds be allocated for Christmas presents and special treats for them all.
The email links we have with the families and with Diana Coke enable St Mark’s to respond speedily to any urgent prayer requests the families may have.
In 2020 St Mark’s sent £2,281 to the families which, despite the restrictions on our usual activities due to Covid-19, is only slightly down on the usual level of fundraising. A beneficial exchange rate in South Africa continues to make a great difference to the families where domestic requirements (which we take for granted) cost so much more, especially for large families with their particular needs.
The mission link is coordinated by Anne and Graham Rumney who can be contacted via the church office.