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Showing posts from November, 2009

knowing your status!

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today i can justifiably speak about HIV and Jesus without too much complaint.....the 1st of december marks two important dates in the village of hope calendar.

firstly we think of Jesus as we celebrate the first day of advent, the time where we prepare ourselves to remember his first coming as a baby born to a virgin in a stable in a poor occupied nation in the middle east.

secondly we think of those infected by the virus, HIV, which can lead to full blown AIDS, we live in a town where the known infection rate is over 30% and with children who already know their status...however many thousands of people are living with this virus without full knowledge of why they are feeling sick. today we will match through our streets to encourage people come to be tested at the various places around our town where they can find out their status and make a start on the road to stabilised health.....

...they say knowledge is powerful, it certainly is with HIV as the treatments now available to many can…

community day

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we have been working with some of the dutch students (from the HAN university, who are on a placement in grabouw) on a community day for some weeks and yesterday we all worked very hard to ensure that the local people of grabouw had a day to remember.

the idea of the day was to bring together people from all over the town to firstly have a great time, but with the intention to get the message of HIV and AIDS over to them in a fun way. the day was split into three categories, culture, in which we created a space for local artists and schools to perform, either dance or song...this was held on the back of a flat bed lorry, the second was health, were we arranged with the local day hospital to release some of it's HIV testing team to come and work for the day, and sport, which is where i sorta fitted in...we held a soccer competition for 2 age groups and a netball tournament...the dutch students also set up some 'traditional dutch games' which included knocking a nail into a p…

toddler goes home

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today we placed one of our wonderful 3 year old boys back out with his family, this boy who had been at thembacare athlone for many years had been with us since we opened in april and we had become very attached to him, especially as the outlook for him to be reintegrated with his family was slim.

his mother, HIV+, only visited a couple of times, and the meetings/interaction with the boy was pretty limited, however with the recent involvement from the boys grandmother, who lives in the eastern cape, we were happy that he would be welcomed into a loving home.

whilst it is always sad to say goodbye we know that our children need the opportunity to grow up in their own community and culture, especially within their own family, so it is with much tears that we say goodbye but trust God to provide all that this precious boy needs as he grows up with his new found family.

village of hope office!

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as the work of the village of hope expands so does the paperwork side of things, maz is doing an amazing job with our finances, and has been joined by corinne to sort the 'petty cash' side (although she looks more interested in her coffee!), rob house is also busy with documents, all three are pictured, emily has also been working in the 'dinning room/office' as she finishes off some video editing.

it's great to have such an amazing team around us and i hope that with rob around he might start to share some thoughts on this blog as well!....

we have a new baby....

we have been working with a very needy mother in our community, unfortunately this young lady has full blown AIDS and the virus has attacked her eyesight and she is now blind.....she has also just given birth to a 4 week premature baby, born last saturday in our local hospital....she was discharged that same day with the new born......!

the mum is now in thembacare receiving some much needed support from the wonderful team there and she realises that she cannot support this child and is happy to place him up for adoption, however for the foreseeable future we will help her as we take this precious one into our care at the village of hope until all the red tape has been sorted (and that could take some time).....

please pray for this mum, her child and the team here on the village of hope as we seek to do our best for her and her baby, that she might be fully restored and that this child might grow up in a family who can provide him with a bright future....thanks

christmas is coming!

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the weather is getting very hot here in south africa which must mean that Christmas is coming!....with that wonderful thought in mind we are hoping that you wonderful readers might want to do something amazing this year for the children we are working with....our current monthly costs have risen to over £7K and with only £1K of regular giving coming each month we will soon be at the end of our 'buffer' and the project will be at risk....therefore we need your help, could you run a fundraising event, buy one less present and donate the money to village of hope?....whatever you can do will really make a difference to the children we are working with who are infected or affected by HIV and AIDS...

to donate please visit www.justgiving.com/thembalitshauk thanks the team at the village of hope!

mummy maz

since we picked up our 9 year old boy from thembacare athlone maz has made a real effort to engage with him, maz' background is working with children with special needs and has an amazing gift to get into these children's worlds....well last week maz was working up in our children's unit and just about to leave when this boy, who has very little vocabulary, called out 'goodbye mommy maz'!....this just about knocked maz for 6, she was so over the moon that she had been able to be that special person to this wonderful but much needy boy.

later on in the week maz tried to get him to say it again in my presence but he was having non of it, however when the house mom's asked the boy in his native tongue, which is xhosa, who is that lady (maz) he replied 'that's my mum'....which was another amazing milestone in this little boys life....i hope that we will be able to have that same effect on so many of our children who have lost their 'real' parents…

continued support

the village of hope project seems to be growing daily, whether that be with new children, outreach into the community, extending the land which we are looking to produce our own crops on or just looking to provide our amazing children with new toys or clothes, as with anything the bigger a project becomes the more funding we require.

our amazing friends at everynation hammersmith have chosen the village of hope to be their christmas fundraising project and have updated their web site with links to a new video, (with some footage of me and maz sharing the vision, which is now actual, and some filming that was done on a visit into our local community), which is also on youtube, and our justgiving page where people can donate...please have a look at their page and even if you are not involved in that church maybe this christmas you could perhaps thing of ways in which you could support the work we are doing in south africa.

p.s the youtube footage was shot in december 2008 and it just show…

what do them walkers do with themselves over in south africa then?

we have finally been found out, yes we spend all our time either on the beach, walking in the mountains, lying around reading a book or visiting vineyards to do the very hard exercise of 'wine tasting'........

...well that's how it would appear in this months edition of the franschhoek' valley 'the month' publication, myself and maz go away for a well earned weekend away at the beginning of october, just so happening to tie in with the wonderful 'franschhoek uncorked' festival, and we get caught on film!

you can have a look at the full publication by following this link to 'the month' web site and have a read of the article found on page 7!

using the sun!

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over the last few days the we have had a local company (solar zone) come and install solar panels (german made) which we hope will provide us with hot water to the 4 separate units here at the village of hope...with up to 8/9 hours of sunshine/or daylight for 8 months of the year we really hope that we can cut our electricity bills and maybe even one day go fully solar for all our electric needs....we will monitor this and let you know how we are getting on with the panels and indeed see if it cuts our bills at all.....this morning we all woke to hot water, with the exception of johan and joyce, it seems one of the children turned their system off by mistake!....oooops

new beginnings

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last friday we had the great pleasure of helping a local family move from their wooden home into their newly built government brick home. the family, a mum, dad and a 17 year old son who helps arron with his soccer outreach in rooidakke, had lived in this one bed wooden home, which they rented, for the last 10 years.....it took just two loads on my bakkie and small trailer to move their entire home, beds, plastic chair, clothes etc...they were joined in their new 2 bed home by an uncle who we collected from a nearby farm, he had lived in his home for 59 years, he had a simple bed, mattress and a couple of chairs.
it was a real privilege to see the mum take the first steps in her new home, and as we moved her belongings from the car she washed her hands in the sink, just a single cold water tap, for the first time. the home is a simple single story build, open plan lounge/kitchen, two bedrooms and a room with a toilet and shower, the 'kitchen' is just a single sink in the corner…

zuma on AIDS

our new president (jacob zuma) made a speech about the treatment of HIV and AIDS last week, pls see this article for the full report.....some interesting comments have been made about this as you will see.

lets just hope that this man has finally realised what a mess our country is in and maybe he has finally changed his mind about showering after having sex with a person known to have HIV.....we need our leader to be an example to the majority of people who look to him for guidance and moral standards......lets pray that this will make a difference to those infected or affected by this awful disease.