The late Nelson Mandela once said “overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and decent life.” Living Hope is a ministry that promotes people’s right to dignity and a decent life by spreading the word of Jesus Christ and breaking the chains of despair, poverty, disease and addiction.
Active in and around the Cape Peninsula, the ministry offers preventative care, treatment and support to people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. They also assist youth and adults that are struggling with substance abuse and related problems by promoting social, educational and health awareness programs. Their Economic Empowerment programme equips people to become successful entrepreneurs as farmers.
Living Hope ministry was started by Pastor John Thomas in 2000 after hearing about the widespread problem of HIV/AIDS in Masiphumelele in the Fish Hoek Valley. Determined to make a difference, he and his church, King of Kings Baptist, established Living Hope and soon opened a twenty-two bed Health Care Centre where those infected with AIDS could die with compassion and dignity. This was before anti-retrovirals were available. This also meant that the elderly could now have easier access to collect their chronic medication.
The ministry has grown extensively and now has four pillars: (1) Health Care which took care of 40,260 people last year in their Primary Health Care and Hospital programmes; (2) an out-patient Substance Abuse Recovery centre where addicts are helped to break the chains of alcohol and drug abuse; (3) a Lifeskills ministry which has multliple programmes for children and adults; (4) an Economic Empowerment ministry which focuses on training farmers to provide affordable vegetables to the market. Living Hope served 110,151 people in their last financial year.
By partnering with FoodForward SA, Living Hope is now able to increase the nutritional value of the meals they provide to their beneficiaries. Since all the food we provide is donated, the savings on their grocery bill can now be diverted to increase their capacity, purchasing medical equipment, or increasing their reach.
At least 75% of FoodForward SA‘s beneficiary organisations focus education, skills development, women’s empowerment, and health care. In this way, we are able to use quality edible surplus food as a catalyst for social development.