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Showing posts from April, 2011

returning from the transkei

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we (myself and maz) have just returned home from a wonderful, if not somewhat challenging trip, to the xhosa homelands of the transkei. it is really hard to put into a few words the experience that we had as we made the 1000 kilometer trip to visit one of the boys who we had provided a home to at the village of hope. his grandmother had invited us to stay in their traditional family home over the easter weekend and to be welcomed with open arms by the whole village was amazing.

our arrival was the height of conversation, the grandmother was somewhat of a local celebrity as she welcomed the first european visitors to visit their village into her home. the 'location' as it was called was around 20 kilometers from the nearest tar road and was made up of simple roundhouses (rondavels) none of which had any access to running water or electricity.
we were invited to join the village in a celebration on saturday afternoon where a large cow had been slaughtered and cooked for all of us …

April News

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Much of the focus of our previous newsletters, as you would expect, has been about the work that we are doing on the village of hope and in the community with children infected or affected by HIV and AIDS, however this month we must start by highlighting the work that the amazing students from Stuttgart university and their project managers (Leslie and Ulrika) have done over the last month as they have built us an additional house here at the village of hope.



The New House

The headline this month has to be the near completion of a new home that at team of students from Stuttgart University have not only built for us, but also designed and funded which is an incredible answer to prayer.

The house has been created using local materials, straw, clay, water, local timber and much thought has gone into the using recycled materials where possible. The fronts of the kitchen cupboards are made out of old ship sail, the windows in the kitchen and bathroom from old washing machine doors and th…

soccer in lwandle

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on saturday morning we took 15 of our local boys, mainly made up of arron's winning rooidakke team from the last soccer saturday that we held at the country club, plus a couple of boys from the iraq team, down to play their first 11 a side match against a team from the lwandle township just outside somerset west.

the whole event was a real adventure of the boys, the first time playing an 11 a side game, against a very well organised team, run by my friend mbetha, who used to play for cape town ajax in the south african premier league. the game was played in the middle of the township (mainly made up of black african people and what with our boys being mainly coloured and all the coaches being white europeans this was quite a mix!)

it was somewhat shocking to realise that many of our boys, 5 of the 15, didn't have sports shoes, some had trainers, others second hand football boots but some either came with their school shoes or bare feet...at our sports saturdays we always play ba…

April News

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The School of Hope received a much-needed makeover from Multichoice Makes A Difference in March. Apart from the painting and electrical work, they also installed a 32" flat screen plasma television in the common room and decoder. The learners and teachers will have access to the basic DSTV bouquet including the Learning Channel. And that's not all! Boxes and boxes of stationery followed as well as some chocolate treats for the learners. However, the biggest blessing of the day was the braai lunch spread which catered for all the learners, teachers and even the neighbours!
As usual, our learners did not fail to impress and inspire.  Rowena Adams, Multichoice employee who was part of the organising team had this to say about her experience: 
"It was a new and exciting challenge and I felt honoured to participate in organizing the event. Out of all the places we visited, the School of Hope stood out. The difference they make in the lives of those students... they have a soft …

April News

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The problem we face in SA is that many pregnant women don’t go for adequate antenatal care. Today I met a young mother with a beautiful baby girl who is brain damaged after her birth. Baby girl was in a breach position and the mother was unaware as she did not go for any antenatal check-ups or ultrasounds. Many clinics in the Helderberg offer antenatal care and mothers are encouraged to go for at least one ultrasound during their pregnancy. This is free. However, many women across all cultures believe that since pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding is all natural, things just go naturally. Often not much thought goes into it at all, it’s just life. This baby girl could have and should have been a normal, healthy, happy girl. But she’s not, because of a culture of uneducated, unempowered women. This young mother (she is herself only 19 years old!) has to spend the rest of her life caring for a disabled daughter. Our challenge is to encourage women to go for their check-ups, to empowe…

April News

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Last month, students from Every Nation Church in Stellenbosch took our children to the beach.One boy, Christiano, just played in the sand cause he was afraid of the water!The other children enjoyed themselves very much. We have other thank yous too: Devon Valley Farm Association who have donated 10 Plastic Scooters to the children. They kids love them! And some German Visitors have donated paint so we can give our sickroom and library a much needed facelift. Graceland staff and children appreciate it vey much. Leon, our caretaker, and Zoey, a volunteer, have given our storeroom a spring clean and been through all the things that we don’t use any more. We were able to send some of the things through to the other Thembalitsha projects in Grabouw. It was nice to be able to bless them.

new look blog....blogs

well i do hope you like the new and updated blog which includes our new logo, we think that it is simple yet effective, a bit like me!.....the 6 other projects that sit within the thembalitsha foundation have also not only started their own newsletter blogs but have had a face lift too, please visit them and read about the incredible work that our sister projects are doing in and around cape town and the western cape.

follow these links to:-

- thembacare grabouw
- thembacare althone
- bosom buddies
- school of hope
- graceland (pre school)
 -themba training

thankful for the building

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today we say our sad goodbye's to the last of the ukuqala team from stuttgart university who have been building us an amazing home for our long term volunteers at the village of hope. the rest of the team have been leaving in dribs and drabs over the last few days and are now either back in germany or of on a long deserved touring holiday around south africa!

the guys who left today have been completing the finishing touches to the kitchen, tidying the house and outside area. the team have been such a blessing to us and we are very sad to see them go.



whilst we have been received this wonderful home, planned, designed and funded (all but a few thousand pounds which we are still trying to find!) it's hard to keep in context the work that these guys have done for us and our volunteers, whilst literally thousands of people in grabouw and who live on our doorstep do so with virtually nothing, many call home a small wooden structure with a tin roof, with little access to running …

health awareness at our sports outreach

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as part of the link that we have with the HAN university in arnhem in holland we are blessed with new students every 6 months or so, who come to complete part of their studies with us at the village of hope, over a period of either 5 or 10 months. providing help to maz in the children's unit via social and physio students and to us with our sports outreach in the community via their sports management students.

we run our sports outreach in 5 of the poorest areas of grabouw each afternoon, this sports based ,bible and lifeskills programme uses football and netball to interact with the children, giving us a base to provide them with some basic life skills, such as working together which brings self respect and respect for others as well as allowing us to link that with a suitable story from the bible which shows the children that God is interested in their lives and can help them when they are faced with different issues during their home, school and social lives.

during the last few …

Thembacare Grabouw: A Day in Their Shoes (April 2011)

by Amanda Nortje, Funding Manager at Thembalitsha Foundation

As the newly appointed fundraiser for the Thembalitsha Foundation, the best way for me to familiarise myself with our incredible projects is to spend time at each one over a period of time. My introduction to ThembaCare Grabouw was one of great encouragement and humility. I am encouraged by the work being done on a holistic basis and the humility of Sister Thandi who is the Project Manager.

Apart from the seven-bed, in-unit facility that ThembaCare has, they offer home-based care which is truly something special to be experienced. Patients are visited in their homes for medical and general well being check ups. Earlier this month I had the privilege of going out into the community with some of the amazing ladies that are the care workers. Please take a moment to travel that mornings’ journey with myself, Marlene, Cindy, Ntombizonke and Cynthia, who are four of the caregivers.

We leave ThembaCare at 9AM in our little car to star…

running for new hope...

my sister, vicki knight, who couldn't complete a 1 mile cross country at school without having a break and walking with her giggling school friends, is taking part in the coniston plus race tomorrow in the wonderful english lake district, 16 and 1/2 miles in one go! yes that it amazing enough but she is doing it to raise funds for the work that we (at the village of hope) and the wider thembalitsha foundation are doing as we seek to make a positive difference to those less fortunate than ourselves.

if you have a few pounds, cents, dollars to spare then please visit her justgiving site and make a donation...this won't only make her run faster and further but will help us too!

p.s i was the cross country runner of our family but i seem to only be able to manage anything cross country these days in my toyota hilux 4x4...how things have changed!

holiday time at the village of hope

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yesterday we had a visit from a team of guys who attend the his people church in baxter, cape town, tracy and her friends came up to the village of hope to entertain the children during their holiday time.

we took the opportunity to invite a few of our 'ex' children (those who we have successfully placed back out with their families or foster families in the grabouw area) to come and join in the fun.

it was great to see how much the children have grown and developed since they left us, it was great to see them playing with their old friends and enjoying all the activities that tracy and the team had set up for the morning.

we just want to thank the team from baxter for being willing to make the trip over the mountain to visit us and make our children's holiday time a little brighter.

the last straw!

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well we are into the final week of the visit from the team from the university of stuttgart, they will leave us on sunday and therefore are busy with the last of the building work that they have been completing on the new accommodation. they have worked so hard and are making every effort to finish the building to that 'german standard' that they are known for!

over the last week we have seen the solar panel installed which will provide some cost saving on our water heating bills, the septic tank has been sunk into the ground, the window frames and glass are being installed as i write and the kitchen and bathroom units are being manufactured (the door fronts of the kitchen units are made from old yahat sails)....this really is an ecco house.

we will be so sad to see this team leave, but we are so blessed to have had them come and visit, raising funds and build us a new home. myself and maz are returning to england for a short break at the end of may and we have made plans to vis…

celebrating our 2 year birthday

the village of hope has been open for 2 years today, wow that is something to celebrate. over that time we have successfully provided a home to over 20 children who are either infected or affected by HIV, AIDS or TB, 7 of whom are still with us and 18 who have been placed back home with either their immediate family or foster care.

each child who we have helped has an amazing if not difficult story, stories of neglect, abuse and disease, but through the help of our wonderful team of house moms, headed by maz and mel, and the volunteers we have welcomed onto the project over those last two years, we have made a positive impact into each of the children's lives and that is something we can be very proud of.

on saturday evening we had a party with a few carefully invited guests who joined us at the south hill vineyard to eat at the amazing venue, which is run by gordon and emma manuel, a great time was had by all (i think?), with good food and wine, provided locally by elgin ridge and

new logo

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over the last few months the thembalitsha foundation has been reestablishing itself as a provider of excellent health care, training and education, the same wonderful team of project managers have been joined by a new board of directors who are working with frank christie (our chairman) to ensure that the charity is beyond reproach as we seek to serve those less fortunate that ourselves in the most professional way we can.

last year our accounts were audited by deloittie's, which we feel is very important as it provides confidence for those people and companies (including government departments) who donate funds for us to use. we know that the economics of this world are changing and each pound, euro, dollar or rand that is given needs to work as hard as it can to provide care to those in need.

as part of our new look we have been working on a new logo, which was designed by our very own mel kidd who is volunteering with us at the village of hope. this logo will be used across the t…

home for holidays

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holiday time was always something that i looked forward to when i was at school, the thought of endless days of free time occupied my mind throughout the term and the last day was always something that i looked forward to. my mum worked in a school so she was always around to look after us and dad would take time off work to take us to interesting places or even to visit relatives who lived near the sea.

here in south africa things are different, most of the children that we work with love going to school, unless it's raining of course!, they see their education as a way out of the poverty and hardship that they live in day in day out. holiday's means time when they aren't gaining the knowledge that was denied many of their parents.

holiday's are not when most families make time to take a drive to the country or spend the day lazing by the beach, the children we work with live on the bread line, most parents are earning a few rand a day to pick apples or grapes which gro…