Fast Facts and Country Updates
- Founded 1978
- Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) cares for over 600
children in 14 communities, throughout four nations:
- Dominican Republic
- MSC strives to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable members of our society by improving the economic, social and spiritual conditions of the communities we serve.
- MSC is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children with disabilities who have been abandoned, children with HIV/AIDS and teenagers who are pregnant and alone.
- Examples of the programs that serve these
- the Dare to Care program, providing homes, education and medical care for 100 orphans with HIV/AIDS;
- the Christ in the Garbage Ministries, in both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, which encompasses a feeding program, a sewing and baking center to teach life skills and a school;
- a cornerstone of MSC – bringing volunteers to help with projects in Jamaica, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, meet the children we serve, witness life in other countries and return home to share about their travels is essential to Mustard Seed’s success
- In 2009, nearly 600 people from throughout the U.S. will travel to MSC.
- sustainable living communities for children and young adults with physical and mental disabilities.
Specific Country Information and Updates:
In Jamaica, Mustard Seed Communities is caring for nearly 400 children, teens and adults in 15 apostolates. The Dare to Care program cares for nearly 70 children, ages 3-17, with HIV/AIDS in two homes, and the third home, Martha’s House, which was lost in a fire last March will soon be rebuilt. All of the children are responding well to their ARV therapy and continue to visit a pediatric HIV/AIDS clinic. There are seven homes, housing over 280 children and adults with disabilities located in Kingston, Spanish Town, Montego Bay, Moneague and Murray Mount. Mary’s Child and Blessed Assurance are both home to pregnant teens and new mothers and their babies in need. Currently Mustard Seed is caring for 16 girls and 9 babies. Several of the apostolates are farming a variety of fruits and vegetables, while also raising chickens for roasting and laying. The ROOTS FM radio station is broadcasting out of Kingston and recently began recording hurricane tips and advisories for listeners.
In Nicaragua, there are 18 children at Hogar Belen, and they continue to flourish – receiving a number of services ranging from horse therapy, to hydrotherapy, to interaction therapy and classes conducted on the premises. One of the goals is for all of the children to have the skills necessary to independently dress themselves and at mealtimes hold a spoon and eat on their own. A new mission house is being built in Diriamba and will soon be open to house residents and missionaries. Cottages to house residents at Diriamba are also under construction.
At the Christ in the Garbage Ministry at La Chureca, 22 women are actively attending the Sewing Center. English classes are also taught at the Center, with 15 women participating. A pastry class has started on Saturdays and products made at the class are then sold to cover the costs of the initial investment and additional ingredients for future classes. With the new daycare facility open, 11 children are being cared for while their mothers attend classes. 102 packages of food were delivered to families in La Chureca during the month of May.
To date, Mustard Seed Communities in Zimbabwe, has been able to establish and maintain four “nutrition programs” aimed at providing a daily meal to over 500 children who would otherwise have go hungry; three “pre-schools” accommodating just under 200 children where they receive a basic education as well as two daily meals; and two residential homes for over 40 children orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, many of whom are HIV+. The HIV/ AIDS Clinic is completed and in operation. The schools are open and all of the children are attending school. Farming is a priority. They have harvested maize and are working to raise laying chickens to add to the broiler chickens. In addition there are fish ponds. These many facets, including the Chapel, have created a community setting in Zimbabwe, a setting that benefits many people in the local vicinity, as well as extends to aid those in the surrounding areas.
There are currently 18 children living at Hogar Immanuel. Eight of the children attend physical therapy, occupational therapy and special education once or twice a week, based on need. In addition, some residents are taken to the front park for daily recreation. The School Batey La Union, a school for Haitian refugees and part of the Christ in the Garbage Ministry, has recently selected 30 new students – ranging in age from 4 to 14 years old – to join the school. These students leave the dump to attend classes for 3 to 4 hours a day. The students attend the school in two shifts and each shift receives food. The academic program is based on the public school elementary program and teaches three subjects: Spanish, math and faith studies. Preschool and special summer programs are in place for the children under age 7.