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Showing posts from February, 2011

March Newsletter

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The long summer holidays are now over, which has bought some much needed relief to our house moms, who were somewhat overwhelmed with the needs of 8 children aged 9 months till 10 years, all with some social or medical issues 24/7. I am sure you would empathise with them!

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Children’s Unit
A new school year is always exciting and it was wonderful to see one of our little girls, who also suffers from alcohol fetal syndrome, skipping and jumping through the school gate her ruck sack on her back on her first day. Thankfully the novelty hasn't warn off yet as its important to us that our children attend the local schools. This term our eldest boy was also able to attend the opening of his new school, which is situated at the end of our gravel road, this school caters for his special needs and we think he is enjoying it!

During the month we were able to place our y…

pray for our 10 year old....again

please could we encourage you to pray for our 10 year old boy who has been readmitted to the red cross children's hospital in cape town with another lung infection, you may remember last august that we almost lost him but thanks to your prayers he has had another 6 months of fulfilled life, in that time starting his new school, enjoying christmas with a local family and being loved by everyone who visits the village of hope.
please also pray for us as a team as we seek to have a carer with him at all times, cape town is a good 2 1/2 hour round trip and we will have to do that twice a day for the duration of his stay.

firm foundations

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Jesus talked about setting our lives on firm foundations and this is something we are learning in a very pratical way here at the village of hope. not only are we trying to set up a project which is well managed and sustainable but yesterday we had 7 lorry loads of concrete delivered to enable the team from Stuttgart to lay the foundations of the new accommodation block which they are building for us at the village of hope.

the team are doing an amazing job and we continue to thank God for sending them to us as we seek to help children infected or affected by HIV and AIDS here in grabouw.

photos show the first pour and the site at the end of the day.

March News

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It is always very difficult when a baby does not survive in birth. Our volunteers often have to deal with stillbirths at Helderberg Hospital. The hospital is a high risk hospital and all complicated pregnancies and births are referred here from Macassar, Grabouw or sometimes even further.

Upon a visit to Helderberg Hospital, we never know what we can come across. Most of the time, our visits are joyful and happy occasions, but sometimes it does happen that we have to talk to a mother who has lost her baby. Obviously all our volunteers don’t feel equipped to handle such a situation and we have realised that there are so many mothers who get no counselling at all. This is not the fault of the staff, the hospital or the church, this is simply a reflection of how busy our local hospital is, the midwives and nurses rush between births plus have to consider the postnatal well-being of mothers and babies, as well as taking care of the sick and premature babies. Getting counselling for berieve…

March News

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Making the Impossible, Possible - New York trip February 2011

I was fortunate enough to accompnay ten learners from the School of Hope for an unforgettable ten days in New York, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Active Compassion Transforms.

The trip is the culmination of a year-long mentorship programme that connects mentors in New York with Grade 12 learners at the School of Hope.

Our time in New York was incredible.  We experienced and saw so much including the well-known sites: the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and the Empire State Building.  However, my highlight was watching our learner’s thinking expand as they began to realise that they could accomplish anything they put their minds to.  They had never envisioned something as big as going to New York and now it was happening to them.  This trip made them see that they can dream big and that their dreams can become reality.

This is how some of the participants were able to put this experience into words:

SimonĂ© Van Der Ber…

Themba Training: First Class of 2011

by Francois Heunis, Project Manager at Themba Training

As we enter the third month of the year, I am reminded of my primary school principal who told us that the year is finished on the first day of school. I found myself repeating the same words as we were providing orientation to our first class of 2011 and unveiling the plans we have for them. 50 trainees have been registered to start a journey: eight weeks of business training, followed by three years of mentoring. The Themba Training staff are fired-up as we look at our new trainees and the great expectation they have for business training.

During orientation we were fortunate to have delegates from Consol Glass and the Department of Minerals with us, to see what we do for the community. They asked us so many questions, and we assured them of two things: that, with the 50 new trainees, we will continue to provide hope through business training and follow up with the mentorship that will make sustainable businesses. We have prov…

Thembacare Grabouw: March 2011 News

ThembaCare Grabouw has had a very busy month with both Sister Joyce (who runs the in-patient unit) and Marlene (who manages out patients) away on annual leave. We’ve managed to stay on top of things with the expertise of Thandi, Suzette and Elizabeth managing out-patients and a locum to help oversee the in-patients.

Something we are struggling with this month is our transport situation. The project has four cars which we depend upon for covering extra ground when visiting our out patients and doing our voluntary testing. We currently only have one up and running with the other three all off the road needing major repairs which we just don’t have the funds for. It’s making life tough when we are trying to make sure we see all 460 of our patients each month. Please pray that this situation will be resolved as soon as possible and let us know if you know anyone who can help.

On a more positive note, the in-patients have been 100% with only one death this month. We have also managed to di…

Village of Hope Prayer Day Prayer Points

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If you don't already know we are planning 24hrs of prayer this Saturday. Please consider whether you can spare 30mins of your day to pray for us. You can sign up online here - we still have some slots that need filling




Below are some prayer points to inspire you:


Health • A’s repeat chest infections • N’s skin – keeps getting infections and having to go on medication for it • Praying against the HIV virus itself
Ins and Outs! • Exit plans for current children: Our social services are in crisis, social workers quitting under pressure. This holds up any progress they are making on cases for our children. • We currently have two empty beds in the unit so would like to know the next steps to fill spaces wisely
Staff Wellbeing Lots of our staff are having difficulties at the moment. All this is on top of their usual testing home/life situations.
Sports Outreach • Please pray for each area we work in: Rooidakke, Hillside, Iraq and Remhoote • Pray we can find local mentors to train up as leaders • Pray …

please vote for our trailer!

as you may remember the village of hope, and our sister project thembacare, were part of a filming project by wayne schoenfeld and nadia duguay (see previous post here)....well the trailer for the forthcoming movie is part of a competition and we would invite you vote for the trailer by visiting the international movie trailer festival site here. you need to find the trailer, called 'every day is a gift' click to watch the trailer then you can vote for it!.....

new dutch students

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today we welcomed the new dutch sports students from the HAN university (arnhem in holland) onto the village of hope project. jasper and djuri helped arron at his rooidakke club and talitha helped me, mel, and emily's sister, sophie, at hillside. the girls loved their new friends and we had over 25 boys and around 12 girls attend the club.

we are looking forward to working with these guys who will not only help at the midweek clubs but also look to extend the work via the municipality into other areas of grabouw. they will also take on the work that bart (our last sports management student) did with the astro turf sports pitch that will eventually be part of the new rooidakke formal settlement project.

photo shows talitha after the hillside club.

summer birthdays!

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over the last week the team from stuggard university have been working extremely hard, however we did have time to celebrated gerhard's 'quite old' birthday with us, it was the first time he had had a birthday in the summer. gerhards' birthday followed emily's '30th' the day before.

the photo shows the team celebrating gerhards birthday at the new accommodation site, but emily, as normal, is the one holding the cake!

keeping it level....

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the team from stuttgart universtiy have been doing an amazing job this week, leslie, ulrika and gerhard have been working all hours God sends in making sure that the foundations of our new build are level and stable....it speaks so much to me as we think of the 2 years we have been running the village of hope, without firm, level and solid foundations any project is unstable and is at risk of crumbling when any presure is put on it, however with lots of help we are getting closer to this project being less reliant on one or two people and ensuring it's longer term success by spreading a load over a firm foundation.

on friday afternoon i took the boys from the children's unit down to see the work being carried out and each of them had a look through the 'dumpy level' to check on the progress....see photo......we hope and trust that the work that we are doing in their lives, as they stay with us at the village of hope, will also provide a level and stable foundation for t…

another baby leaves

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our youngest baby boy, who arrived in july and is aged about 9 months, has been successfully placed with a longer term foster mom in gordon's bay (a seaside town near grabouw). it's always tough to say goodbye, especially for our house moms as they have seen the children develop from a very early age, however it's is our aim to assist in either the reintroduction to the family and or foster care, this child will be joining his siblings which is great news, he is the 17th who has come through our unit since april 2009.

we now have space to accept another child and we hope that God will bring him or her along as soon as possible so we can start another amazing story of stabilisation and reintegration.

the picture shows him leaving with a tight hand on his new mommies jumper, God bless that boy!

you too can now go see U2!

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the village of hope have been blessed with a donation of two tickets to the U2 concert in cape town, which is gonna be held at the green point stadium next friday 18th feb....so if you would like to see bono and the boys in action and you don't have a ticket then please follow the link to the bid or buy web site where you can bid on these two tickets....

remember by purchasing these tickets not only will you have 2 amazing seats at the must see event of the year but you will also be making a huge donation to the work we do in grabouw as we seek to serve the children infected or affected by HIV and AIDS.

let the building commence....(well after our planning is granted!)

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last wednesday the first of the team from the university of stuttgart arrived at the village of hope, this team, of 20 or so, are artichtech students and have come to build us an accommodation block on part of the 6 hectares of land that we own here in grabouw.

the team leaders/project managers, leslie and ulrika, are now busy making preparations for the rest of the team to join them at the end of this month and yesterday we broke the ground where the building will stand. our friend graeme cherry bought is digger up to the village of hope and cleared the site for us, in readiness for us to mark out the foundations and commence digging the footings later this week.

the photo shows (which we will upload later due to our internet lines being down AGAIN!) the digger, always an exciting addition to any photo, and the team, well leslie, ulrika, arron and rob (who does look a little like david livingstone don't you think!).

please follow the progress of the building on this blog and also lo…

stuffing more sacks!

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we have been so blessed over the last week with visits from 'random people' who have heard about our work via the stuff your rucksack web site.

on friday, we were visited by peter jackets and his wife iris who blessed us with some amazing toys, dressing up clothes and colouring books for the children, peter had also raised some funds (of which we were truly thankful for) by driving around britian in his car...in less than 17 hours, i hope that was legal!....

and on sunday julia and her husband geoff visited and donated some medical and educational supplies, they visit south africa for 4 months each year and we hope that this will be the first of many visits that they make to our project.

thanks guys, and thanks to 'stuff your rucksack', what a great site and one to look at when you are planning an oversees trip, wherever you are visiting there are charities like ours that need your help.