Winterveldt, an informal settlement, 40 kms north of Pretoria, is home to a number of Mercy ministries. At the Mercy Centre, skills training which targets the young unemployed, both male and female, offers a broad range of skills from welding and cabinet making to catering and dress design with IT and office skills also on the curriculum. Now with Community College status in Gauteng Province, other recently introduced courses at Mercy Centre include craft baking and confectionery making.
The accreditations offered by Mercy Centre in Food & Beverage, Metal & Engineering and Media & Technology ensure the trainees are equipped with nationally recognised certification when seeking employment.
Adjacent to the skills training centre is the Mercy Early Learning Centre providing 30 or more children between the ages of two to five not only with daily breakfast and lunch but more importantly the opportunity to learn social skills which prepares them for the new environment of primary school.
As a rural area with high unemployment the community struggles to put food on the table. This is where another Mercy ministry- the Thusanang Care Group – comes in. Nutritional support is provided through food gardens cultivated by community members with the produce shared among 300 or so families and through food parcels distributed to around 800 homes every two months.
The Kopano Lerato programme targeting orphans and community members who are HIV infected focuses on testing and treatment referral with facilitation offered to support groups which encourage adherence and provide solidarity for these vulnerable children and adults.
Yet another ministry is dedicated to prisons in the area with a Sister conducting regular visits to two correctional centres and liaising with the families of the inmates. Classes are conducted for the prisoners who are trying to attain their matriculation with pastoral care offered to all those who wish to engage.