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Keep up to date with all our latest news from across the globe...

LATEST NEWS

A Community Coming Together...

Untitled_design_(17).jpgProject Madagascar continues to provide quality education to over 200 children from some of the poorest suburbs in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo – because every child should have the opportunity to learn, grow and develop skills to enable them to reach their full potential. This project, which is an ACCI RAISE initiative not only provides education and life-skills for young students, but impacts their families and the surrounding communities.

They've seen this as the Parents’ Association continues grow with more parents taking ownership over the work of Project Madagascar’s Centres (CLCs) and their children’s education. The Parent’s Association has been especially active in the last few months in assisting with internal classroom maintenance and organising a fundraising event for continued improvement to the CLCs. 

At CLC Itaosy, a concert was organised to raise funds to fix the main entrance road which is quite inaccessible during the monsoon season.  4,000,000 ariary was collected (equivalent to $1600AUD) for the task and local tradesmen were hired to start the work.

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Challenging the Charity Mindset

ALun.pngPs Alun Davies writes on going deeper than the surface-level ‘charity mindset’ of missions to becoming people of justice that will change the world....

ACCI Missions & Relief is able to have an incredible impact across the world due to the engagement, support, passion and commitment of the ACC movement. Last year over $9 million was raised to assist a multitude of people and projects, and every year the impact we collectively make continues to grow. 

Last year alone – our Field Workers were able to make the following impact:

• 9,216 leaders trained (50.8% increase on 2010 annual figures),

• 33,915 children assisted (166% increase on 2010),

• Over 78,000 community development beneficiaries (225% increase on 2010),

• 53 churches were planted,

• 5,598 salvations,

• 1,082 water baptisms, and

• 1,237 baptisms in the Holy Spirit

 

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Leadership Development in Mozambique

2.jpgRobbie Housen has been ministering in Mozambique for many years. One of her great achievements in this time, supported by Australian churches, has been to establish the Hope Training Institute (HTI).

With a vision of enhancing the leadership of the oftentimes divided church in Mozambique, HTI trains students over a four year associate degree program. Students experience two years of formal bible curriculum, then a one-year internship in a local church, followed by one year of planting a new church.

After experiencing many years of war, Mozambique still struggles with many social, economic and other development problems. In order to address the varied needs of local communities, students are prepared both through their education and through gaining practical skills.

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Providing the Recipe for Change

Untitled_design_(18).jpgA passion to help prevent human trafficking led an Australian church to partner with ACCI Vietnam in the remote mountain communities of central Vietnam. Five years ago, Hope City Church (Brisbane and Toowoomba) started the journey with ACCI by working alongside a boarding school which services one of the most vulnerable communities in Vietnam. At the time, 89% of its students dropped out by the end of grade 9. The construction of a much-needed kitchen and a successive lunchtime program provided the ingredients for change. Its success led to Vietnam’s District Department of Education replicating the initiatives in six local schools, with more to follow.

Bruce and Marion Macaulay from Hope City Church, share how the partnership came about with ACCI Vietnam and Vietnam's District Department of Education...

“In 2011, we were asked to assist a struggling boarding school in central Vietnam, in a district where there is a known significant threat of human trafficking. Located near the border, the district is surrounded by thick jungle and is heavily populated by an ethnic minority group. 

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A Family Restored

Untitled_design_(14).jpgIt is easy to make assumptions when we hear of children living in orphanages in developing countries: They must be orphans if they’re living in an orphanage, or their families have abandoned them, or at least an orphanage provides a better environment for them to grow up in when you consider the extreme poverty they’ve come from.

However, the problem with assumptions is that they generally don’t see the whole picture. Assumptions ‘suppose’ something to be the case, without actual proof. This can affect the way we deal with issues, creating new problems without solving the old ones.

Despite our assumptions, orphanages are not filled with orphans or children without adequate parental care. Up to 80% of children living in orphanages globally have families. Due to issues such as extreme poverty where little or no support is available to assist families in crisis, desperate families will place children in orphanages to ensure their children receive food, education and clothing.

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Together we're empowering families in Sri Lanka

Untitled_design_(12).jpgACCI Field Workers Alison and Narel Atkinson have seen incredible impact through their community-based care for children in Sri Lanka. HelpKids Centre not only provides a safe environment for children to develop and receive a quality education, but support to their families and broader communities - because it takes a whole community to raise a child. One such family that has been impacted by HelpKids, is Shari & Dineth's. Their lives have been changed for the better and here's how... 

It is difficult to tell you what it feels like to watch a family torn apart by poverty, lack of support, or lack of knowledge. Children are placed in orphanages, away from their parents, their families and their communities.

It is for these reasons that HelpKids Centre in Sri Lanka work tirelessly to keep children in families. HelpKids champion families through education (both early childhood learning and tuition classes), providing a loving, safe & caring environment and empowering families to stay together. 

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Missional Business, Training & Leadership Development in SE Asia

Untitled_design_(4).jpgPaul and Kim work for a missional business that operates as a professional education centre in SE Asia, teaching English language, vocational skills and Christian leadership. The main focus of this school is to train both men and women to get into the workplace and to become active leaders in their communities and churches, bringing fullness of life to the people of this region.

The school serves both educated urban people and rural young people. Each year students are screened and accepted for one or two years of vocational training in baking or housekeeping. Through living in community, classroom and practical training, and daily work experience, these students are nurtured in their life and faith so that they in turn may support and impact others. Many of the students are from believing families, and embrace the opportunity to receive discipleship and Christian leadership skills before returning to their home communities and churches. Beyond purely vocational skills, students also learn life skills that will help them to thrive in a rapidly changing society. They are taught budgeting, time management, work ethics, coping with change and other skills essential for success.

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Training Pastors in Mozambique

Untitled_design_(2).pngGreg and Kim Hart are focused on impacting Mozambique with the gospel by training and discipling pastors and leaders. They train multiple church denominations in different rural areas. Oftentimes these leaders are illiterate. To overcome this Greg and Kim use audio recordings and MP3 players to communicate concepts effectively and consistently. The Harts’ training is focused on teaching sound doctrine. They also help broader community life through training in improved farming techniques and business development.

Leaders who undertake the training include potential church planters, local Pastors and denomination leaders. At the end of 2014, Greg and Kim hosted the first of three graduations. Greg shares: “It’s that time of year again! Graduations are a celebration of the work our students have done during the year. This year we have hosted three Graduations in various locations throughout the district. It is a privilege to be able to award certificates to recognise the study that the students have completed.”

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Championing Women in Europe

Untitled_design_(88).pngLeanne Rhodes is the Founder of Abolishion, an anti-trafficking organisation working in Romania to raise awareness, provide professional training, build capacity in government and provide restoration care for survivors. She is also a champion of the church in Romania and wider Europe, spending time working with churches and womens’ movements. She shares about this aspect of her work with us here:

“Absolutely not!” they said. “We knew right from the start it wouldn’t work to have a woman in this role.”

In that moment I tried my best to remind myself that this was not about me, even if it felt like it. Our trainer for the upcoming Romanian Pastor’s training had just dislocated his shoulder and was unable to do the training. As the newly instated Next Level International (NLI) Romanian Country Leader it made sense for me to jump in and do the training, given I was a fully ordained pastor myself and was already going to be there. 

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I volunteered in an orphanage and why I think you shouldn't..

TeachersAppreciationWeek_(4).pngAs we drove away we could hear the sobbing of children fade off into the distance. Just moments ago their fingers were being pried away from the sides of the jeep as we tried to make our exit. Some children stood in silence with blank stares while others wept uncontrollably.  We sat in the back of the jeep in silence as we tried to process the scene that had just played out. One of my fellow volunteers broke the silence by simply saying “What have we done?”

What had we done? We had spent 6 weeks playing, teaching and caring for kids living in a children’s home in the Philippines. Every year millions of people travel around the world to volunteer, and orphanages are one of the most popular destinations. I had provided those kids with hours of English practice, hugs and laughter but in that moment as we drove away it finally hit me it wasn’t worth it, for those children I had caused more harm than good.

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Part 2: What's the link between orphanages and cane toads?

TeachersAppreciationWeek_(1).pngOrphanages - Lessons from the Cane Toad

Lesson 2

by Matthew Jarlett, Harvest Bible College

In Lesson 1 we compared the importation of Cane Toads with that of orphanages in the developing world. In this article I wish to develop this idea even further.

I remember my first visit to Queensland as a young boy. One of the locals had set up a tourist attraction where kids like me could not only come and see the infamous toads up close, we could even race them! Mine came last, but I had lots of fun anyway.  

The truth is though, all the locals hated the toads. Even the attraction owner wished they have never come, but reasoned, “While they’re not going anywhere I might as well make a buck.”

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What's the link between orphanages and cane toads?

CANE_TOAD.jpgOrphanages - Lessons from the Cane Toad

Lesson 1

by Matthew Jarlett, Harvest Bible College

Sugar cane is an alien species to Australia, imported here to exploit a perceived lucrative economic opportunity.  However, the tiny native Grey-Backed Cane Beetle almost put an end to that dream as it decimated the new plantations. The proposed solution? The American Cane Toad. Despite biosecurity concerns which initially limited its introduction in 1935, only one year later the possible wealth to be had proved irresistible, the flood gates were opened and the toads spread rapidly. They are now considered an exemplar invasive pest. They have devastated the biodiversity of North East Australia, and continue to spread west with no plausible eradication plan in sight.

 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Rhinella_marina_%28Linnaeus,_1758%29_-_cane_toad_%284559944181%29.jpg

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Are Good Intentions Good Enough? Protecting Children in Short-Term Missions

blog.pngby Rebecca Nhep ACCI CEO International Programs

If there is one thing I have learnt after 16 years of working in international missions and development it is that it is exhaustingly complex! Issues don’t fit into neat boxes, pat answers can’t find their place and cookie cutter solutions usually create more problems than they fix. All of the assumptions I carried into my ‘career’ have become myths debunked and the sobering reality that I and others like me are left to grapple with is that it is dangerously easy to do harm- even with the best of intentions. If this is the case even for those of us who have invested years into learning a language, culture, and taking a deep dive into certain social or missional issues, what about short-term mission? How much more of a concern is it when applied to the activities of short-term teams? 

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FROM THE FIELD: Vietnam

Van_the_workshop_participant_interview_subject.jpgPregnant mother finds maternal nutrition workshop life changing

By Catherine Tô

In the lead up to Mothers’ Day, our ACCI Vietnam team wanted to share a heartwarming story about a participant at a Maternal Nutrition workshop. Late last month (April 2016), team members sat in on this workshop in a rural village. Afterwards a pregnant mother shared with them about how life changing the training was. Her emotional story, hugs and overwhelming gratitude reduced our team members to tears.

Dressed in red, Vân, a pregnant mother with expressive brown eyes stood on the periphery as we interviewed a participant from the Maternal Nutrition workshop. 

I sensed that Vân was bursting to share her story too and was determined to ask her, but we suddenly received word that Dr Ánh, the workshop presenter was just about to leave. We wrapped up our interview at hand and rushed inside to talk to the presenter.

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NEPAL UPDATE: 12 Months On

Untitled_design_(1).pngSUMMARY OF DISASTER

On April 25th, 2015, Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake causing widespread damage which resulted in the deaths of over 9,000 people and impacted millions of people. 14 out of 75 districts were badly affected with many villages reduced to rubble leaving thousands of families homeless, highly vulnerable and in desperate need of assistance.

Aftershocks and landslides in the weeks following the earthquake followed by a long blockade at the India border significantly delayed the rebuilding and recovery efforts and caused further challenges for affected families.  

SUMMARY OF ACCIR’S RESPONSE

ACC International Relief launched a humanitarian relief appeal to assist those impacted by this disaster. In conjunction with our partners on the ground we developed a disaster response plan which focused on humanitarian relief; child protection & anti-trafficking and medical care. In the last 12 months the following has been achieved: 

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THE CAUSE: Have They Heard?

Untitled_design_(80).pngInvesting in the Call of Others

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Romans 12:6-8

“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:42-45


One thing many of us really desire is to leave a legacy. Whether it is to our children, our churches, or a particular cause, we dearly want to know that what we do today will have an impact beyond tomorrow.

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NEPAL UPDATE: March 2016

IMG_8396_-_Copy.JPGHOSPITAL REBUILDING

Aim: To help Anandaban Hospital continue to serve as the leading leprosy hospital in Nepal as well as excel in providing general and emergency services to people due to in-house availability of key staff.

TLMN’s Anandaban Hospital, located in Lalitpur district, provides high quality leprosy as well as general medical services to the people of Nepal. The services provided at Anandaban are absolutely vital as it is the only specialist hospital in Nepal that provides leprosy reconstructive surgery. It also serves the local community as the only hospital in the south of Lalitpur.

42 health facilities in total were damaged in the 2015 earthquakes, disrupting health service provision in Lalitpur district. Despite, the damages that Anandaban suffered itself, it has been a key player (and recognized by the Government of Nepal) in post earthquake injury treatment and rehabilitation. 

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THE CAUSE: Have They Heard?

8.2.jpgOutreach and Ministry Throughout Nepal

The church in Nepal frequently experiences some form of persecution. Recently, a church that was established by an ACCI partner Ps Ashok underwent a crisis in the northern part of Kathmandu. The church was attacked, and the building set on fire. Believers were beaten and kicked out of the village. The local pastor was detained for three days and nights. He was beaten severely and received significant injuries, and is still not safe from further persecution.

Ashok held an emergency meeting with pastors and leaders in Kathmandu. Some members of parliament and a minister also attended. Prayer for peaceful resolutions would be appreciated for this ongoing situation facing the church in Nepal.

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THE CAUSE: Have They Heard?

Untitled_design_(75).pngThe Four Noble Truths: Contexualising the Gospel in Cambodia

Sarah Ardu uses the four noble truths of Buddhism to introduce Cambodians to Christ and the Gospel.

Som Chantha, from the Kandal province in Cambodia, experienced a life-changing understanding of grace through Sarah’s ministry. He was struggling with work on his farm, miserable and troubled by life. He met Sarah, who started to explain the grace of God using the four noble truths, which are foundational Buddhist teachings.

Sarah and Chantha discussed the first truth, that life is suffering. Chantha believes that both rich and poor experience suffering. He shares: “Why do we all experience suffering? Because we all have sin. The rich have sin and the poor have sin. We are the same.” 

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THE CAUSE: Have They Heard?

MANILLA.pngThe Church Planting Journey: A Personal Perspective from Mark Pedder, Philippines

Eighteen months after God spoke to my heart I went to Manila, with no plan, no clear vision, no strategy and definitely no money - the idea was ‘to see’. I went and wandered alone around Manila. I began to stumble into these large slum squatter areas (clearly I was not on the tourist route) and began to preach Christ and pray for the sick. There were some salvations, a few miracles. As I wandered the Lord showed me a vision of the harvest falling off the vine, a country where the harvest was ready but rotting and being wasted, with very few gathering it. Then He showed me another vision - churches without walls, churches made out of the masses of poor people, no buildings, nothing flash, just lots of people, a living, breathing church.

God has graciously allowed us to see a number of churches planted, dozens of leaders developed from people we led to Christ and various ministries being released as our disciples grew and developed into men and women of God in their own right. It’s been fun to watch, and I feel very privileged to have been part of what God has done so far.

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THE CAUSE: Have They Heard?

BANGKOK_CHURCH_PLANT_(1).pngBangkok Church Plant

A new church in the heart of Bangkok has now been launched by the River Team. Of a population of more than 67 million, less than 0.3% of Thai people identify as Christian, and multiple millions in Bangkok have never heard the gospel. Led by Erik and Mariaana Klar, the River Team has now established regular services and connect groups which are predominantly reaching students and working professionals.

From the outset, the vision for this church has been to engage in different spheres of society. Alongside the church plant, the River has also commenced work in two local communities, in which many families are experiencing severe poverty. The local schools in this area are under-resourced, and not able to offer the broad spectrum of services that many of the children and families in this area are in need of. At the request of these schools, the River is now starting a Kids Club, in addition to teaching support throughout the school year. 

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THE CAUSE: Have They Heard?

blog4square.pngChurch Growth in Manila, Philippines

ACCI Strategic Partners, Mark and Christine Pedder, oversee an incredible work in Manila, Philippines. In the midst of urban slums where families experience extreme poverty in unimaginably difficult environments, they are successfully planting and pastoring churches together with local leaders.

Baseco Slum is the area in which Mark and Chris live and work. The Baseco Church has grown in strength and in numbers, and church members are now reaching out to surrounding areas. A second church in Fairview, a nearby slum area, has been planted, a third in Don Bosco and just recently Mark has started outreach in yet another community, Parola.

Parola is a big urban slum, divided by roads and large walls. It is filled with skinny walkways, and houses are stacked on one another and built over the walkways, turning them into dark and dingy tunnels through the neighbourhood.

 

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THE CAUSE: Have They Heard?

2_(3).pngFrom Local Village to Mega City: The Many Expressions of God's House

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. - Romans 12:4-6

In many countries around the world, ACCI Field Workers are engaged in church planting in a variety of contexts. Responding to rapid social change, these churches are adapting to current community needs. Particularly throughout Asia, there are rapidly urbanising populations. As families migrate for economic reasons to urban centres, more and more megacities are developing, often with heightened wealth disparity. This presents unique opportunities and challenges for church planting. 

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THE CAUSE: Have They Heard?

1_(3).pngResponding to Local Contexts So That All May Hear

There are over 7,000 unreached people groups in the world today with the highest concentration located in Asia. Some of these cultures lack sufficient numbers of believers and resources to reach their own people group. These areas are without a self-propagating Christian Church movement and may have never heard the gospel.

Part of ACCI’s vision is for a world where all people have an opportunity to hear the gospel and the freedom to choose, believe and express their faith. But what does it mean to hear? Is it possible that in some contexts, the gospel has been preached but never authentically heard?

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FROM THE FIELD: Thailand

sue2.jpgWolfgang and Dianne Sue are two of ACCI Mission's newest missionaries having left Australia for Thailand at the end of 2014. Having served on the field for just over one year it is inspiring to read of their journey so far!


We have had another exciting month here in Thailand.  We are building a number of interesting connections to villages and are looking forward to buying a car and being able to travel there. We are continuing the English and cultural exchange program at our local church. Please pray for people from the community around our church, to come and learn English and so hear the gospel message. We attended a baptismal service at church a couple of weeks back. It was a really moving service as eleven older people managed to climb into the ‘pool’ to be baptized as they sought God (pictured right).

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Vanuatu Cyclone Update

1.jpgIn March 2015, ACCI Relief launched a Humanitarian Relief appeal to provide immediate assistance and recovery assistance to affected communities. One of the projects we were able to assist with was the repair and re-building of Green Hill Primary School.


Headmaster Joseph Kalo and his teaching staff, kept their school open following Cyclone Pam in difficult circumstances. They continued the school year with kindy classes in two small UNICEF tents and classes 1 through 6 meeting under plastic tarpaulins. Very little furniture was recovered after the cyclone to furnish the classes and many children sat on the ground. School ended successfully with regular government end-of-year exams and a school picnic.

 

 

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ONEDAY visits Vietnam

Untitled_design_(63).png6 YEARS

420 PEOPLE

For the past 6 years, AOG World Relief in Vietnam, have hosted the ONE DAY Campaign. What started as a team effort in their office back in 2010, has since become a yearly event. This year 129 participants were hosted and momentum continues to grow!

Each one who comes is passionate and committed to the powerful concept of giving one day's salary in order to change someone else's world.

The team at AOG World Relief shares,

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FROM THE FIELD: Little Lambs Daycare Centre

Untitled_design.pngWe love receiving updates from our missionaries from all around the globe! 

Deb Kneale is currently working for Mothers Heart, a pregnancy crisis centre, established by ACCI fieldworkers Paul and Katrina Gliddon. Deb’s role involves training and mentoring Khmer Childcare workers at Little Lambs Daycare. This centre operates to provide a childcare service to single mothers in the Mothers Heart program, so that they are able to work to provide for themselves and their child. This enables mothers to leave their children in a safe, loving and stimulating environment while they attend work.

We hope you enjoy reading Deb's latest update as much as we did!

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Cyril & Evelyn Westbrook


2.pngACCI Mission's longest serving missionaries, Cyril and Evelyn Westbrook were honoured in Papua New Guinea earlier in November with the British Empire Medal for Service to the Church and Community in Papua New Guinea. This British Empire medal has now been renamed to be the "Order of Logohu" (which means Bird of Paradise) and even though the name has been changed, the medal still has the crown on the medal.

Cyril and Evelyn faithfully served in PNG for 42 years (1950 - 1992) and are still active in ministry in so many ways.

Congratulations to Cyril and Evelyn on this prestigious recognition. They truly are heroes of the faith. 

 

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FROM THE FIELD: Mother's Heart, Cambodia

Untitled_design_(59).pngToday's blog comes from ACCI Relief project, Mother's Heart located in Cambodia. Cambodia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the South-East Asia region, with 5 women dying every day during childbirth. More than a third of Cambodian women who die from pregnancy related causes die from unsafe abortions. Mother's Heart is the first and only crisis pregnancy counselling service available in Cambodia. 

Today we look at the story of Soklone, a mother of twins, one of the Mother's Heart clients. 

Sometimes at Mother’s Heart we get to see our clients long after they are off the books. Soklone called in recently, bearing a basket of fruit for the staff and baby powder as a donation for other clients. What a different woman she has become, confidently in control of her life, assured as a mother and caregiver of her own mum and younger brother.

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