Sister Pam Jamison, Carryou Ministry Founder
"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." - Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
There can be little doubt HIV and AIDS is one the greatest challenges this world faces, with millions of people dying or becoming infected every year.
One of the areas hardest hit, is Africa and the impact in South Africa is enormous. Every day, families are left devastated and children, of all ages, are left without parents and must fend for themselves.
It is an enormous problem. In a study conducted in 2006, an estimated 122 000 -- almost 1% of the population -- lived in child-headed households.
The sheer magnitude of the deadly pandemic meant that the South African Government, even with the best of intentions, struggled to provide adequate care and support and ordinary South Africans, of all persuasions, knew they could not simply sit on their hands and do nothing.
In Randfontein, a former mining-town some 40 kilometres west of Johannesburg the situation was no different but it was to be the site of the start of something amazing in 2000.
It all started when the Anglican Church, St. John the Divine, asked Pam Jamison, member of the congregation and a nursing sister to attend an AIDS 'trainer of trainers' course. This was because increasing numbers of people were turning to the church for assistance in dealing with the trauma of HIV and AIDS.
Pam completed the course and soon began to care for patients in Toekomsrus, a township bordering Randfontein. Word quickly spread however, and she was asked to train others so they too, could care for the sick.
And it wasn't long before care-givers in other townships and rural areas got to hear of Pam's training and came flocking to her for help and so, Carryou Ministry was born.
"It just grew," says Pam. "Carryou Ministry is a non-profit organization involved in home-based care for the sick and elderly, as well as people affected by HIV/AIDS.
"As a result of the devastating disease our biggest challenge now, is caring for the children left behind."
Carryou Ministry's work is inspired by the Bible reading from Matthew 25:35.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me."
"We started this ministry in with no resources - just sick people and a strong faith," says Pam. "We prayed to God to lead us according to His purposes, which He always has done.
"The name Carryou can be found in Isaiah 46:4, where God says: 'I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.'"
And God has been true to his promise.
Today Carryou Ministry feeds around 1 000 people (mainly children) six days of the week, provides home-based care to over 200 terminally-ill patients, helps hundreds of kids with their school homework every day and provides a variety of other counseling and support-services.