A vital part of our work in South Africa involves short-term mission teams visiting our campus. Team members participate in various outreach and service projects in the local schools and community. We see an average of 100 people visit us on mission trips annually. Learn more here.
Our ministry started by feeding 300 children a year. Currently, we prepare and serve over 6,000,000 meals through our network of 11 feeding hubs. The life-changing impact of our feeding program is possible because of our partnerships with Convoy of Hope and Meals from the Heartland.
ONE CHILD AT A TIME
Our child sponsorship program is designed to benefit all the children at the Del Cramer Child Development Center. When you sponsor a child, your support of $31 a month fuels a collective fund that benefits every child at our center through food, tutoring, spiritual development, and loving care from our staff. Sponsors communicate back and forth with a child to build meaningful connections. While funds don't go directly to individual families, they create a powerful impact across the community. Together, we're working to break the cycle of poverty. Let's make a difference, one child at a time. Learn how to sponsor a child here or contact Program Manager Lisa Berry-Dirks at (515) 343-5920.
SPORTS 4 CHRIST
Our program is affiliated with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and helps students learn about Christ as they hone their soccer and netball skills. We provide a gospel-centered atmosphere and friendly sports competition. On average, 150 students use the Sports 4 Christ complex six days a week.
We provide sustainable menstrual health solutions and education for young women who would otherwise miss countless school days each year during their monthly period. Since the program's inception, we have distributed over 20,000 washable reusable menstrual hygiene kits with education. If you would like to sew feminine hygiene kits to donate to Blessman International, our volunteer Cindy Pierce created a series of videos to help you.
THE LANDING - A CELEBRATE RECOVERY PROGRAM
The Landing is a space where the youth we serve can cope with hurts, hang-ups, and habits. It's a Christ-centered program that addresses destructive or compulsive behaviors, unhealthy relationships, addictions, anger, shame, past abuse, codependency, and more. Last year, we saw over 200 students participate and begin to heal.
Jesus is at the center of everything we do. We can have all the programming in the world and still not address people's greatest need – salvation through Jesus Christ. The gospel is proclaimed at our two churches, our child development center, our Celebrate Recovery programs, and during our mission trip outreaches. Over 5,000 people hear the saving message of Jesus Christ each year.
We provide safe and sanitary bathroom facilities for children to use. In addition to avoiding dangerous conditions that spread disease, children were exposed to hazardous animals while finding a place in the bush to go to the bathroom. The Enviro Loo system is sustainable, waterless, and uses no chemicals. To date, we have installed 250 systems. We also have a company, Loo's R Us, dedicated to the upkeep and service needs of the Enviro Loo toilets.
Thanks to generous support from churches, families, and individuals, along with generous grants from Hy-Vee and Rotary International, we've drilled 50 wells and counting! Families and students now have clean water for drinking and bathing, and farmers utilize drip irrigation.
Our organization is grateful for the food we receive from America through the generosity of Meals from the Heartland and Convoy of Hope. The pandemic taught us to look for ways to supplement the food we are receiving by supporting the local economy in South Africa. We expanded the educational opportunities at our Mountain View Farm and Research Farm to teach more locals how to plant, tend, and harvest gardens at local schools, hospitals, and communities. The end goal is to provide a mindset of self-sufficiency for the people we serve.
Our data collection system allows us to measure our impact on the lives of the children we serve. At our Del Cramer Child Development Center, we track attendance, meals, education reports, and medical records. Every six months, we measure the children's height, weight, and arm circumference to ensure alignment with the growth curve for their age.
With the staggering unemployment rate in South Africa, teaching women to sew gives them a viable way to generate income for their families. Students at our Lethabo Sewing Center take a three-week class to learn how to sew. Upon graduation, they receive a sewing machine and the skills to use it productively. We have seen 30 women complete this program thanks to a Rotary International Global grant.
SCHOOL IN A BOX
This digital program provides supplemental educational resources to connect, equip, and empower learners to reach their full potential. It's a tablet-based educational tool that helps students excel at core subjects. In a village with 70% unemployment, giving these children every academic advantage is critical.