Showing posts from 2011

father christmas visits grabouw again...

during last week we made the necessary changes to our heavy duty trailer once again converting it into santas sleigh. the plan was to tow it into the community on thursday afternoon but with a little unseasonal drizzle we postponed it until friday afternoon.

this was the third year that we have taken santa into our community and this year johan, our maintenance man, was chosen to play the role as father christmas, following in the footsteps of my dad who played him last year and our wonderful norwegian volunteer, trondor played him the first year we were here.

we decorated the bakkie, toyota hilux, with tinsel and balloons, fitted a new speaker system which enabled us to play some traditional christmas hits at a louder volume than we had been able to do previously. johan was joined by some of our longer and short term volunteers in the sleigh where they 'gave' out sweets to the excited children that we passed by.

its great to see the reaction of both the children and also the adu…

a happy christmas from the village of hope

we just wanted to thank all of our wonderful friends for their support this year, whether you are family, have volunteered (which automatically makes you family as well!), given funds, arranged an event, hosted us during our trips to europe, you know who you are and we really do appreciate you.

the children who live with us at the village of hope will be going to spend christmas with our house moms, thus giving the moms an extra few days with their families, the children a bit of a holiday and the volunteer team a little time to chill and enjoy the festive season.

so from the village of hope team, the house moms, the children in the unit and those in the community we want to wish you all a very happy christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year.

unfortunately we can't post a photo of us with the children, but if you would like to receive one then we would be more than happy to email you one, so please get in contact, either through the blog or facebook and we will arrange that fo…

its hard not to take offence!

yesterday we discovered that for the second or third time since we installed a 'security' fence around the village of hope that around 8 of the posts which were set in concrete to hold the fence had been stolen. after the original installation we were unfortunate to have around 200 meters of the fence stolen so we undertook to install a new barbed wire fence in it's place, fixing that to the posts, and in doing so spraying the posts with red paint so if anyone thought that they could take those posts we would know who did it and speak with them about it.

the fence isn't going to stop anyone getting onto the property but we thought it would serve as a deterrent, giving a visible and physical boundary to our land. yesterday i spent around R1,000 purchasing replacement wire, which had been cut to free the posts, which is money that you generous givers have donated towards the work we do with the children!.

in the afternoon i ventured into the township to see if i could spot…

beach trips and christmas parties...

this could be somewhat of a reoccurring post over the coming few weeks as we enjoy some of the blessings that our children will be receiving during this christmastide and with the fact that the local schools close for their long summer/christmas holidays this means that our sports outreach into the community, which we run each and every school day afternoon takes a bit of a rest and we are able to do some more fun stuff with those kids and the others we support in our community.

in september we started a new club for children living in the local community who are HIV+ and known to either the day hopstial, thembacare grabouw or village of hope, and on friday, as part of their C
christmas surprise, we were able to take them to our local country club for an afternoon filled with fun and food, which they really enjoyed.

we were also able to take our own children (those that live with us at the village of hope) to the beach over the weekend, which was enjoyed by the children but more so by ou…

a very positive party...

we (tim and maz) arrived back to find that the village of hope was still standing, we want to thank rob, em, mel, johan, our house moms and other key volunteers for doing such a wonderful job when we were away.

as with most things we found that there were a plethora of activities set up for the children to enjoy, which can be increasingly busy around this time of year as people want to bless our children and those that we support in the community with presents and parties, which are all wonderful but take time to arrange and run.

yesterday we had the pleasure of taking the children from the village of hope, along with those known to thembacare (grabouw) and our day hospital to a party, hosted at agape but organised by mel from the village of hope, a sister from the day hospital and marlene from thembacare. mel also had help from our longer term volunteer heather who had sorted a magician to keep the children entertained whilst they waited for their food.

around 80 children attended, alon…

Rocky Road No More?

Those of you who've been out to visit us at Village of Hope will know that the approach to our property is a bit of a 4x4 challenge to say the least. Especially in the winter when rivers appear from nowhere after a small amount of rain! The track is unmade with potholes every few metres and it really takes it toll on our vehicles (as well as our backs!) and we are frequently taking visits to our friendly tyre fixers, Supaquik, to get puncture repairs and new tyres.
We have been hoping and praying that one day, we might have enough funds, or some generous person might donate us money, to fix the road and make it into a smooth tar road...and lo and behold, today there have been some 'road fairies/angels' sent to sort it out! 
True, it's not tar race track by any means but it is certainly vastly improved and very luxurious in comparison to what we were experiencing yesterday. 
The reason the track is being repaired is because the farm next door to us is being used to shoot a…

a wholehearted walkers update III

if you have been following us recently you will know that we have been busy with a tour around england with a wonderful worship band called wholehearted, we have had an amazing time and we just wanted to capture a few highlights of the tour with you. 

last monday morning we met the band at Gatwick at 7am and were joined by 'tour manager/driver/sound enginer' and wanna be drummer, mr james porter, after the first of many coffees we exposed the band made up of charl folscher, pierre and helena smith, handri and jaqueline de villiers and daniel botha, along with danni's wife sanmarie (who worked her magic with the multi media presentations during the evening) to the icy cold english weather, which was nice and frosty. we then drove down to Bath (taking around 3 hours!) and settled them in....later we met up later in Bath to show them the christmas market, but it was shut by 7pm! (typical!)

tuesday we met up for prayer and then ventured down to taunton for an evening event at th…

world aids day event/s

if you have been following our blog for the last few years you will know that today, 1st december, is special day in our year.....working with people infected or affected by HIV and AIDS is what we do here in south africa and today is world AIDS day and we invite you to join us in raising the profile of our work in what is still a disease with a huge amount of stigma.

whilst we (tim and maz) are over here in england we have an opportunity for you to come and join us in aylesbury this evening where we will be hosting an event with the wonderful south african band, wholehearted. for more info on the event then please follow this link to both their facebook site and tour blog.

for those of you unable to join us then we are also hosting a day of prayer with the wider thembalitsha foundation where we are asking you to pray for the work we are doing with those infected by this disease.  please follow this link to the news and media page on our website for our prayer requests.

or should you wis…

December News

Kirsten Cupido (20) dropped out of school in 2008 and spent the year at home, despondent. “I started to believe the lie that I was not good enough,” said Kirsten. She joined the School of Hope in 2009 as a quiet and timid Grade 10 learner. She surprised us in the middle of the year, when she ran for school Captain. In spite of making an outstanding speech, she lost to the charismatic Manhino Dias (matriculated 2010). Nonetheless, she ran again in 2010 and, yet again, lost to another outstanding leader, Fatimah Santon (Grade 11). Nonetheless, she continued to lead in many unrecognised ways; at least they were recognised by the general school population, but those astute amongst the staff certainly noticed. In her Grade 11 year, she made a life-altering decision to end the dysfunctional relationship she was in, to concentrate on securing a better future for herself. It was a decision that would change her life.Since then, she has shown consistency in her academics and has been a positiv…

Thembacare Grabouw: December 2011 News

The end of 2011 is creeping up on us, and a mission team from InFocus Church (Augusta, Georgia, USA) blessed us with an early Christmas present! They have completely tiled our day room. It was looking very tired before and now, with two days hard work from them, the place looks great. Thanks you guys!

Last month our inpatient unit was very quiet but now we are one hundred percent full. We were sad to lose one patient in his fight against cancer. It's always tough when this happens, but we pride ourselves in giving the best possible care to these people in their last days.

The past few weeks we have been busy preparing for our HPCA audit. We are trying to get everything in line so that we might possibly achieve a 2-star status for our project. Our Outpatient carers have been battling with Grabouw’s weather elements. The rain and stormy weather makes it very difficult for them to get out and see all their patients, but they are dedicated as always.

Clowning Around - For A Reason

There’s nothing we like more here at Village of Hope than a little light relief and perhaps the odd bit of slapstick humour, so what more could we ask for than the chance to see some clowns for free?!

However these aren’t your average clowns, they are a performance group called Clowns Without Borders. This fantastic organisation brings laugher into areas of the world that don’t normally have much of reason to laugh and have worked in refugee camps and warzones. This week, after entertaining our sister project, Graceland Preschool, in the morning, they came to Grabouw to perform for us and other children from the community in the afternoon! We cancelled our sports outreach for the day and invited all the kids from those groups to the show as well as bringing along some of the children from the unit at Village of Hope.

There were eight comedy characters all together, each from different countries around the world and their show was all slapstick and mime (with a few trombones and trumpets…

walkers update III (wholehearted tour news)

well another week has flown by with our week long trip to germany and holland now over we are focusing all our attention towards to wholehearted tour which kicks off tomorrow evening in taunton, with further events in bath on wednesday, aylesbury on thursday on what is world AIDS day, and then a weekend in london starting in hammersmith on friday and finishing with 4 events with the everynation chruches on sunday....for further info the please visit the wholehearted facebook page or the wholehearted blog which they will be keeping updated with stories of their trip......but that is all to come, what follows is a short recap of what we got up to last week.

on monday morning we got up for the early flight to stuttgart where we had a short meeting with leslie, the project manager from the ukuqula I project, and then we had a three hour presentation by the students who will be working on the ukuqala II project. it was wonderful to meet these 25 students who have not only spent time looking…

December News

Can you believe that Christmas is just around the corner?!

Every month here continues to be an adventure, especially because this month the B team have been in charge of the project! Tim and Maz are currently touring their socks off speaking at various fundraising events around the UK, Germany and Holland. They have been away since the end of October and are not due to return until mid-December so we (Rob, Em and Mel) have been trying to keep things running smoothly (well, as smoothly as they ever do here in South Africa!) So far, nothing horrendous has happened so we are patting ourselves on the back with one hand, whilst desperately praying that it remains that way with the other!

Children’s Unit
Mel has been spinning all the plates for the baby unit whilst Maz is away with the medical support of Sister Portia. Our 11-year-old boy continues to be a worry for us and his health seriously dipped a couple of weeks ago as he battled with another infection. We are in a constant tension with …

December News

It is that time of year again where we consider the year past and plan for 2012. I am immensely proud of Bosom Buddies and what we have done and achieved this year. And I am super excited for all we have planned for next year.

Starting out as project manager for BB a year ago, I had some ideas of how I envisioned the future of Bosom Buddies. I am a passionate teacher and storyteller, and for me it was important to shift the focus from supplying bags at our public hospitals to the empowerment of mothers. I am happy to report that, for the most part, this objective is taking shape just as intended.

This past year we have distributed 5000 bags. This means that 5000 women were blessed and prayed for by one of our 22 volunteers. Isn’t this number just splendid? Not only this, we have grown into the field in which there is a vast need, which is education. We have started our new moms group in Macassar with attendance exceeding all expectations. The success of this group has inspired us to do …

walkers tour update II

we just wanted to provide a short update about our last weeks engagements before we fly off to germany and holland for a week long trip which will include visits to see the stuttgart university team who are looking to come out to the village of hope in early 2012, a meeting with the tutors at the HAN university including a chance to catch up with some of the students who have interned with us in the past, plus we have a couple of speaking events with an ex volunteer next thursday and friday.

so what did we get up to this week?

well we heard from arron, who is now in the caribbean, God is really using this time to speak to him about the next steps in his life and we also spent some time with our middle son, josh, as he came to visit on his way through to a party!

the service at the bridge at southcourt baptist church was great, it was wonderful to see some old friends and also have a chance to share with some new ones too...monday morning went well as we shared an assembly at the school t…

Wonder-boy's 2nd Birthday

Today we have been very excited to celebrate the second birthday of a little boy whom we’ve been looking after since he was just five days old. This precious little one really is one of our miracle children. He came to us because his family weren’t able to care for him correctly: His mother is HIV positive, blind and lives, along with the Grandmother, in a shack in one of the most desperate areas of town. She was not able to feed him properly so she was advised that sugared water would be a good alternative! Needless to say he ended up at the day hospital because he was hypo-glycaemic and then was referred to us by social services.

Babies born to HIV positive mothers have a slim chance of avoiding the virus but they have to wait until they are 12 weeks old to find out for sure one way or the other. We were praying very hard in those few months, asking the Lord to protect him from the virus. So we were over the moon to find that this little boy was, by God's grace, not HIV positive.…

walkers tour update.....

we (tim and maz) have enjoyed a busy week here in england speaking at various events around the country, doing radio interviews and sharing our story about the work that we are involved with in south africa.

to give you a flavor of where we have been and who we have seen we thought that it would be good to provide a short update with some further news of future events where you could come and hear us speak.

last sunday morning we spoke at holy trinity ashby de la zouch with our good friend tim phillips and his wonderful church. we had the pleasure of catching up with an old volunteer from the village of hope, harry hoggarth in loughborough in the afternoon and then stayed the night with tim and sarah where we shared some time with their youth group, 'spagbol'. on monday morning we made the hour long trip down to st mary's primary school in aston le walls and shared at their school assembly.

on tuesday evening we spoke at a cluster group at holy trinity walton street and enjoy…

Y'all come back now, you hear?!


Well, the cats might be away working hard in the UK, but whilst they are we mice are scurrying around trying to keep the Village of Hope battleship afloat! - It gets a little crazy at times but we are hanging in there!

Last week we were very excited to welcome a team of 10 amazing people from InFocus church, Augusta, Georgia. InFocus not only support us regularly through an Adopt-A-Cot scheme but also bless us with  mission teams every year and they never fail to disappoint. Last year the team knocked down an old braai and built a make-shift access road for the 'poo-truck' and this year they were just as effective. They were out in all weathers strimming and taming the out-of-hand grass and weeds. They repainted the entire outside of the children's unit and laid a stunning tiled floor (DIY SOS-style) for the day room at ThembaCare Grabouw.....all in five days! On top of that they were also able to spend time visiting outpatients with the ThembaCare carers and playing wi…

October News

Once again we find another month flew by here at the Village of Hope, Maz’s sister, Viv, and brother in law, Mark, have been visiting the project on a sort of ‘holiday’ so Tim and Maz have enjoyed a few days away in the Cederberg mountains with them, which they tell us was beautiful....maybe because of the lack of mobile reception!?

This month our headline news must be the final completion of the house that was built by the team from Stuttgart earlier this year. Rob and Emily are thrilled to finally be in. We are also pleased to announce the appointment of a Nursing Sister to assist with the medical side of the children who live with us. Sister Portia will be shared between us and Thembacare Grabouw, where she will oversee our Home Based Palliative Care Team. She comes highly recommended and we are already seeing the benefits of having a professional nurse around the place.

The wider Thembalitsha Foundation held their ‘staff party’ at the Erinvale Golf Club, in Somerset West, and all of…

Thembacare Grabouw: October 2011 News

We ended September with a generous donation from one of our local companies, Elgin Free Range Chicken, who’ve sponsored us, with the help of other companies, for R500 per month until February as well as two fly zappers to keep the bugs at bay. Thank you girls, Linka and the rest of the team.

It’s also with sadness that we had to say farewell to one of our members. Staff nurse Suzette Le Roux decided that her season has ended here at ThembaCare. Thank you for you hard and dedicated work in the HCT unit. We will miss you greatly.

This month was the inpatient unit was filled with the happy sound of children’s’ laughter whilst a 13 month-old boy and his four year old sister spent a couple of days with us alongside their mom in the unit. They are now back at home doing well.

We are also very excited to welcome Sr Portia to the Out-Patient Unit. Her responsibility will be to us and the childrens’ unit at the Village of Hope. It is fantastic to have some more skilled hands on the team to sh…

October News

The late afternoon of Tuesday 11th October was just another mild spring day in Cape Town. As a whistle blew one last time on a sports field in Maitland one group of soccer players cheered and hugged each other in victory whilst the others, exhausted and disappointed, heads bowed, had to stomach the bitter taste of defeat..............and that was us!
Unfortunately we had just lost 3-0 in the Amandla Knock Out Competition Final to the B.E.S.T Centre, a team who we had previously beaten. It was just one of those days when nothing went “our way”- we forgot our game plan which we had rehearsed and used in other games to good effect and we had been unfortunate to have several key refereeing decisions go against us. Not a good way to end the season for the School of Hope Under 19 Soccer team.
However, with the following day I was able to see the positive side of our season – we had been beaten finalists in the Knock Out Trophy but Winners of the Amandla Under 19 League Competition so we have …

October News

This month we just want thank the Lord for his grace and blessings over Graceland.  Here at Graceland we can see everyday how great the
Lord is for every one of us.

From this quarter we are going to get the children ready for their graduation which will be taking place on 30th November 2011. We are also starting with assessment to see if they are ready for Gr.R next year.

We had three excellent workshops to refresh our brains again. With the help of an occupational therapist Anoeska De Villiers and two students Simone and Sandi from Cape College.  We really want to say thank you to them for their help.

We also want to thank Helen and Jenifer from Texas for giving us fans for our classrooms for the summer and wall clocks and a DVD as well as some lovely dolls. Distell Winery from Stellenbosch also want to help us with Donations towards Graceland. I will tell you all that exciting news in the next newsletter!

Finally, thank you to Every Nation Church Students and Stellenbosch University, tha…

October News

One of our proudest achievements of this past year has been the establishment of our breastfeeding support group. This group has been tremendously successful in Macassar. It runs every Friday between 10 and 12 and has grown enormously since its inception in June 2011. To be entirely honest, the first few weeks were quite disheartening since, more often than not, I waited in the library for the 2 hours with not one woman arriving. But word of mouth has proved tremendously successful and within just a few short months, we now weekly have 12 to 15 women and their babies attending. This past Friday was our record with 18 moms there!

Let me tell you about some of our regulars:

Michelle and baby Raquel. Raquel is now 2 months old and Michelle has been attending the group for about 6 weeks. Raquel is the most gorgeous little girl! Michelle has two older daughters, one a teenager and a 9-year old. She is a wonderful mother, so full of love for her daughters and shares her experience and knowled…

Tim and Maz on Tour

I know you've all been counting down the days until you can see Tim and Maz again....
Well, I am pleased to tell you that it's only two more sleeps until they set foot on UK soil! Whilst they are busy trying to make sure they have handed everything over before they leave (and we are busy panicking about what to do when they do!) I thought I would let you know their tour details so that you can find out when you can see them. I have not put the full information on here (such as all the addresses etc) but if would like further details then please email me: and I will be happy to fill you in. Please try and see them if you can. They would love to see you and also have some amazing new stories to share from the project.

Here goes:

Sun Oct 30
AM Vale of Aylesbury Vineyard Church

Sun Nov 6 10:00am – 12:00am
AM Holy Trinity Church, Ashby De La Zouch
PM Loughborough

Mon Nov 7
AM Banbury

Thu Nov 10 
PM Student Alpha, Loughborough

Fri Nov 11
PM Huddersfield

Sun Nov 13 

new wholehearted video shoot

as part of our fundraising drive for the work that thembalitsha is doing in grabouw, via thembacare and village of hope, and the wider foundation with the other 5 projects in the western cape, we are once again partnering with the amazing south african band from somerset west called 'wholehearted', these guys filmed a music video with us last year (see youtube link here) and they have been visiting us and the communities that we work in to shoot a new video for a song that will be used to tell the story of the day to day lives of thousands of people in our town and other such towns like grabouw throughout south africa.

yesterday afternoon and all day today we have been filming in the waterworks informal settlement, using everyday people to tell their everyday stories, we also shot part of the film with the soccer club that we run in the iraq informal settlement and also had help from the careworkers and house moms at thembacare and the village of hope.
we were blessed to have th…