Murchison Community Centre
The Murchison Community Centre, MCC, is located just 20 Kilometres from the Genesis Youth Centre in Marburg. It houses Genesis' first after school project and a community gym. This small, modest building and its grounds stand as a beacon of hope in a community that boasts one of the highest, per capita, HIV/AIDS rate in the world. An estimated 60% of the people living in this community are infected with the virus. In a country where good nutrition and medical care are not a guaranteed right of its citizens, the systemic impact of the disease casts a long shadow on the Murchison Community.
However, there is HOPE. We at Genesis Youth believe that by intervening in the lives of young people we have an enormous opportunity to educate and change thought patterns in a positive way. We know that the results may not be seen immediately, so we have a long-term, systematic approach starting with the Murchison After School Project, (M.A.P). Primary school children are often left unattended during the hours after school, and are at risk of becoming victims, or taking part in deviant behavior themselves. M.A.P. offers an alternative to this by opening our doors during the high risk hours after school. We offer homework help, a safe place to play, Lego and Brain Booster classes, a healthy snack, and a whole lot of love. M.A.P. is supported by the American initiative Go Hungry.
While we are so appreciate of the outside support to feed the children of Murchison, we also believe in teaching individuals the importance of taking ownership doing what they can to provide for their own families. The Murchison Gardening project was started to do just this. It has changed over the years to become a, "Grow Bag," ministry were our gardener, Osbone, goes into the homes and assists families with growing small gardens out of bags. The bags are portable, small, and easy to maintain. This is an amazing opportunity for our staff to get insight into the home live children attending M.A.P., thus creative a more efficient and holistic approach to ministering to the needs of the community.
While children are at school their parents may attend classes on basic sewing and crafting at our, "Skills," outreach. Here women, and men, are able to learn techniques that allow them to provide clothing or household needs for their families. They also are given the opportunity to make hand made crafts to be sold for a profit, thus empowering them with the means to start their own small business.
The Murchison Community Gym is also housed at MCC. It is one of Genesis Youth's most established gyms, and has become a vital part of the culture of Murchison. Men and women, who otherwise would never be able to afford gym fees, have access to a healthy environment in which to get healthy. In a community where there is little or no healthy social outlets, our gym has become instrumental in getting people off the streets and involved in constructive activity. The healthier physical bodies are just bonus!