Missionvale Care Centre
This non-profit organisation operates in the township of Missionvale in Port Elizabeth.
The care centre was founded by Sister Ethel Normoyle under a tree in 1988. She used to give out clothes and food to people from beneath the tree.
Now she oversees a complex of brick buildings on the edge of the township which feeds, clothes, educates and administers medicine. It's a quite remarkable place.
These people are all queuing for the daily bread that Missionvale Care Centre bakes and gives out each morning.
These people are all queuing for their daily bread, given out at the care centre each morning.
The centre hires local staff, who sort through donations of clothes. The local population is encouraged to earn their clothes and food. For example, they're asked to bring items in for recycling, in return for which they can get whatever item they or their family needs.
This is the tree that Sister Ethel started her work under. The other trees in this area have been cut down - but the people of Missionvale have left this one alone.
Sister Ethel says that whenever she feels weary, she walks to the tree and sits beneath it, just like she first did back in 1988.
The care centre also contains an independent school for the township's children.
Locals are encouraged to work on allotments and provide food for themselves.
The care centre also has a team of locals making clothes for sale.
The centre has a Santa's Grotto, where all year round donated children's toys and games are sorted. They were actually preparing for Christmas at the time of my visit, and busy wrapping presents.
This optician replaced his equipment at his business, so he donated his old kit to the care centre. He pays regular visits to check on the township's residents.