2020-01-18 SOUTH AFRICA

From volunteer to promoter of South African Marist Student leaders at Mercy Care

Jason Grieve, is a lay Marist from South Africa province, who works at the Marist Mercy Care. His participation in this project started in 2009 when he went – as a young Marist volunteer  –  to the Intsikelelo Care Centre, a temporary safe community built for poor and abused children located in an informal township where there is no running water or electricity, in Addo, South Africa.

After a week of volunteering Jason decided to go back the following year and with the aim of bringing more Marists to share in his experiences. His wish became a reality: Currently he is part of the Marist Mercy Care, a center that was born from the collaborations with two eighty-year-old brothers (Chris from South Africa and Claude from Canada) as they formed a partnership with three Sisters of Mercy, and six years ago he created the Sharing Our Call program involving the newly appointed South African Marist Student leaders of the five Marist Schools.

Here below you have a part of Jason’s testimony where he tells us more about his commitment to children in need and Marist Lay vocation:


“I will never forget the first time I was driven into Langbos Informal Settlement (in 2009) … For a week, my friends and I were tasked with running a Summer Camp for the disadvantaged children of the Sundays River Valley, Addo, Eastern Cape, South Africa.  

My friends and I, alumni of St Henry’s Marist College in Durban were quietly confident. How difficult could running a Summer Camp for children be? How wrong we were! We were greeted by ninety children ages four to thirteen. None of whom spoke English. All from very poor backgrounds, some living with HIV/Aids, some who had been abused, and many malnourished children. As we faced challenges, we soon overcame them with alternative ideas and solutions giving each child an incredible week-long event to remember. At the end of the week we said goodbye to the Sisters of Mercy, Marist Brothers and our new friends from Addo.

Fast forward to 2019, I am still part of this incredible Summer Camp with the Sisters of Mercy and Marist Brothers working under the banner Marist Mercy Care. We have now grown this project to welcome close to five hundred children, twenty special needs children, newly appointed Marist Student Leaders of the five South African Marist Schools, South African Marist Alumni, German Marist Alumni and volunteers from across the Sundays River Valley. Our project held annually in December is no longer just a Summer Camp for children. It’s an incredibly important week for children and volunteers alike, all who live for this event during the year.

I believe Student Leaders thrive in unpredictable environments and this is achieved by taking them out of their comfort zones. With this in mind, six years ago I created the Sharing Our Call program involving the newly appointed South African Marist Student leaders of the five Marist Schools (St Henry’s Marist College (Durban), St David’s Marist Inanda, Marist Brothers Linmeyer, Sacred Heart Marist College (Johannesburg) and St Joseph’s Marist College (Cape Town). Our Marist Student Leaders work in incredibly tough environments where there is no electricity, running water, caring for children at our Camp who are from child headed households, abused children, children living with HIV/Aids and malnourished children.

The Sisters, Brothers and I have built this Summer Camp project so much so that we receive requests from past participants and Marist alumni and students from all over the world a year in advance to be part of this program.

When I first stepped into Langbos in 2009 with my two Marist friends all those years ago I never would have imagined the impact it has had on me and the positive influence it has on the Marists, Volunteers and Children who attend year on year.”


Jason Grieve – Marist Mercy Care


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