Twenty-nine-year-old social worker Mpho Maeko is a social entrepreneur and the founder of Bereavement Care and Maeko Social Work Services. He holds an honours degress in social work from the University of Limpopo and has extensive experience in bereavement, trauma and grief therapy. He is passionate about his field of work after losing his mother at a young age.
“Growing up poor and an orphan taught me a lot about grit and survival, about how a piece of bread from a neighbour meant not going to bed with an empty stomach,” he says.
“This experience taught me to persevere and to share what little I have with those in need. There is nothing more fulfilling than giving a helping hand and having deep empathy.”
Death is a universal human experience and a crisis that all families encounter. It can be significantly disruptive and upsetting to the family system and the network of relationships. As a social entrepreneur, Maeko focuses on the field of bereavement and grief therapy.
“I provide bereavement counselling to families and help them try to accept what has happened and how to adjust to life without that person,” says Maeko.
“Helping them to find a place to keep the memories alive while ensuring they get along as best they can. My aim is to protect, enable and support the most vulnerable citizens of all ages so they can make the most of their lives.”
Maeko plans to use his role to tackle social issues in South Africa and to be a game changer through advanced social work service provision. Already, he is making an impression. Maeko is also provides social work services on a leading SABC TV show.
“My advice to young South Africans is to remember that there is nothing impossible with a willing heart,” he concludes. —Tamsin Oxford