Hanna van der Walt Clinical Programs Specialist, CareMeridian
Grant Recipient, Foundation For His Ministry
Hanna van der Walt volunteers through Foundation For His Ministry (FFHM,) an interdenominational organization providing homes and outreach services for children and families in need. Twice a year, Hanna travels to “Cristo Por Su Mundo,” one of FFHM’s missions located in Vicente Guerrero, Baja California North, Mexico. The mission provides many valuable services to the community, including a soup kitchen, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, free clinic, and a daycare center for children with disabilities. There’s even a bus that picks up children with wheelchairs and takes them to day service programs specifically designed for individuals in wheelchairs. The reach of the mission is wide, providing services to thousands of individuals in Vicente Guerrero, many of them migrant workers.
Throughout the year, Hanna collects necessity items such as clothing, non-perishable food, diapers, medical supplies and toys that are later distributed to children and adults at the mission in Vicente Guerrero. During her trips to Mexico, Hanna and a team of volunteers dispense the donated items and help out wherever they’re needed -preparing meals at the soup kitchen, supporting the staff at the clinic, playing games with children or even assisting with the construction of buildings.
Her favorite part of volunteering at the mission in Mexico is visiting the orphanage, “Hogar Para Niños,” which means “home for children.” The orphanage is made up of 12 homes, each housing 10 children and one House Mother. Hanna teaches Bible study to the children, distributes food and clothing, and assists with childcare, providing relief to the House Mothers. “On a typical afternoon, we’ll hold Bible study, play some outdoor games, and then give each child a glass of milk and a scoop of peanut butter to make sure they receive some protein and calcium for the day,” she explained.
“Children are very dear to me,” said Hanna. “I’ve always been driven to helping young people grow and be the best they can be. Volunteering at the orphanage was one of the main reasons I became involved with the mission.”
“Hanna’s ability to put others before herself constantly is beyond human,” said Rita Pathmanaban, Vice President of Clinical Programs at CareMeridian. “Her personality is no different at work. She is kind, thoughtful and very helpful – traits that come naturally. It’s just who she is.”
“What I’ve learned is that people can be content with very little as long as their basic needs are met,” shared Hanna. “You don’t have to be able to speak someone’s language to show them that you care. Caring crosses all borders.”