The Care Ministry organisation began in July 1994 as an initiative within the Port Elizabeth Parish of St Bernadette’s Catholic Church, Walmer.
The founder, Moira Boshoff, recognised and responded to a need for parishioners to receive training in Pastoral Care in order to respond to the emotional needs of parishioners.
This first group of Care Ministers was commissioned in July 1994. As a result of the interest shown in the Care Ministry by other parishes the Priests Council approved the formal structure of the Care Ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Port Elizabeth on 16th July 1996.
From 1994 – 2000, thirty five Parish Care Groups (approximately 400 Care Ministers) were trained and commissioned to offer emotional support to those in need in their parishes.
Throughout the 1990′s South Africa was faced with an ever increasing rise in HIV/AIDS transmission. Training in HIV/AIDS was incorporated into the Care Ministry programme during 1999 and by 2001 Care Ministers were offered training in AIDS education, AIDS counselling and Home Based Care.
Due to the difficulty of accessing funding for programmes that were not related to HIV/AIDS the Care Ministry divided its core work into two pillar programmes:
The Parish Care Groups
These Care Ministers continue to provide emotional and spiritual care and support to the frail, lonely, sick and bereaved within parish communities and may access support services and training from the Care Ministry at a nominal fee.
The HIV/AIDS programme
These volunteer care-givers provide care and support within under resourced communities affected by a high incidence of HIV infection.
During 2009 we received our NPO status and became an independant organisation.