Posts

Showing posts from August, 2011

The story of Agnes

Image
Agnes is 34 years old but looks at least 10 years older. I met her this morning as she was leaving the hospital and asked for help with taxi fare. I had some time, so offered to give her a ride to her home. I believe this decision was God fated as I needed to hear her story and share it with you.



Agnes has given birth to her eighth baby on Saturday. The little boy was born premature at 8 months, but is healthy and will probably be able to go home in a few days’ time when he reaches 1.8kg. Her eldest daughter lives next door to her, is 20 years old and has 2 children of her own. The second eldest is 18, also with 2 kids. Yes, Agnes had her first baby at 14 years and for the past 20 years she has been pregnant and breastfeeding for most of those years. She is tiny, looks weatherbeaten and doesn’t weigh more than 40kg. She is not healthy and suffers from epileptic fits as well as stress. My answer to that was that I would also suffer from stress if I had 8 kids and no work, with a husband…

crazy days.....but still loving it!

Image
today has felt like a week in one day....so many things have happend during my day, stresses, strains, highs and lows, but one thing that bought me back down to earth with a big bump was around lunchtime when i was able to 'do' the soup run.

the soup run is a 'service' that we have been providing for a couple of years now and is a partnership between us and the rose and bull restaurant here in grabouw, in fact all we do is transport the soup to those in real need of a balance meal and we have been totally blessed by doing this.




today i was running around like a headless chicken, meetings here, there and everywhere and was slightly late with the delivery, as i arrived at the multipurpose center in rooidakke i was greeted by lines of adults and children waiting for the arrival of the soup, perhaps the only meal that many of them will have today.

i hope the photos show the huge need that we have here in grabouw  and it is only our pleasure for the village of hope to provide …

our new dutch students get involved....

Image
this week we have been joined by our latest students from the HAN university in holland, stephan and wieke (with a 'w') will be working with us on our sports outreach into the community. they are both studying sports and sports management and are the 4th set of students that we have been blessed with.

they have helped at a couple of our sports clubs already however today the students spent the morning with our thembacare careworkers in the formal and informal settlements as they (the careworkers) visit the patients living with HIV and TB, it's always challenging to see the real side of grabouw but i hope it opened up their eyes to the problems that we face in our town.

this afternoon they joined us at one of the sports outreaches at a farm in the elgin valley, where they engaged with the children and helped deliver our lifeskills and lifestyle programme. i hope they will be ready for next week when they will really get their hands dirty as they help us serve the kids in our …

our brothers meet their new family!

Image
we have been providing a loving home for two brothers for the last year or so, their family background is very difficult and whilst they still have parents they are not able to care for them due to wider health and social issues. the brothers also have a baby sister that they have never seen, well not until today!

maz has been working very hard with both our local and regional social workers to find a new home not only for the boys but also one where they will be reunited with their sister in a new family.

we have a wonderful relationship with another ngo (non governmental organisation) called home from home, who we have successfully placed our 9 year old girl with and this afternoon the boys met their new mom and dad at their home in khayelitsha (cape town's biggest township)....

...it was a very special meeting and one that we will be working to a fully integrated placement by the end of next week....we need to take things slowly and today the boys were able to see their new bedroo…

ever wondered what a short term mission team gets up to?

last month we had the pleasure of welcoming joe williams and his team from jesmond onto the thembalitsha projects here in grabouw (see post here about their arrival). one of the team, andy, has made a short account of their trip, which we have posted below. i hope this will give you some idea of what our short term mission teams get up to and will help you see the benefits to both them and to the community that we serve.

Andy’s Africa Account


Our
 time
 at
 the
 farm
 mainly
 consisted
 of
 2
 duties,
 helping
 the
 ‘house
 moms’
 and
 painting
 the
 house.
 Helping
 out
 the
 ‘House
 Moms’
 look
 after 
the 
children 
was 
very 
tiring 
at 
first because
 they 
were 
so 
energetic!
 It 
was 
also 
great 
to 
see 
a safe
 haven
 for
 them.



We
 worked
 to
 decorate
 an old 
house 
that 
was 
being 
converted 
in
to 
a 
new
 office;
 again
 this
 was
 another
 time
 to
 see
 the
 team
 work 
together 
productively.
 Although
 some
 would
 say
 equal
 amounts
 of
 paint
 ended
 up
 on

the
…

August News

Image
Education is the greatest gift you could ever give any girl-child or young woman. One woman represents ten who will be impacted, represents future children and their children’s children.

Keeping girls in school is the only way to significantly lower the levels of unplanned teenage pregnancy.

The rate of teen pregnancies amongst school children in SA is unacceptably high. Dropping out of school is by far the biggest contributor to teenage pregnancy. It not only increases the risk of pregnancy in girls, but also significantly increases the risk of HIV infection.

More education translates into more choices for further education, greater chance of employment and increased earning power – as well as the ability to make better choices about sexuality in the future!

The School of Hope is known as a second-chance programme. For our dedicated staff, giving young girls the opportunity to complete their schooling is a priority and our God-inspired calling.

Not only are we committed to giving the girl…

Thembacare Grabouw: August 2011 News

This month the Inpatient Unit (IPU) has cared for a lot more cancer patients than usual, and we were sad to lose three patients to the battle. Losing any patient is always sad and this was quite disheartening for the staff. However, it has also been rewarding to see that one cancer patient, who was referred to us to die, is still with us and doing much better. Her family never thought that they would see her reach her next birthday! But it was her birthday this month, and the whole family came to celebrate with her in the IPU. It was encouraging to see the family’s hope restored as they decorated the lounge for the party.

We also received quite an influx of visitors on Mandela Day who brought blessings of goodwill and reminded our staff of what amazing care and support they provide for the community of Grabouw. Of those who visited us were the Caledon Correctional Services Staff and some Parliamentarians from Namibia. We also had a former patient who had been very ill and admitted to …

August News

Graceland has had a very blessed month!!

It started with us recieving a generous donation of R5000 from Lewis Stores. We were then treated to a visit from Mrs Van Schalckwyk from Devon Valley who brought with her some very tasty chocolate cupcakes for us all to enjoy.

We were also pleased to host a visit from His People Baxter Church who spent time with us getting to know what Graceland is about. It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to share the testimony that is Graceland and it reminds us how far we have come and how faithful God has been to us.

Our regular monthly visit from the mobile clinic has been a real encouragement. The nurses are giving good reports on the children's health and all of them have gained weight. This is especially fantastic news for those who are underweight and have been recieving nutritional supplements (prescribed by the clinic) with their breakfast at Graceland. The clinic feels Graceland is doing a 'great job'.

One of our little learner…

August News

Image
On this Women’s Day and Women’s Month of 2011 Bosom Buddies honours our mothers. We share in the most special time in the lives of so many women and we hear wonderful, beautiful, inspiring life stories.

As we celebrate the 20000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on August 9, 1956, I wonder how far we have really come as women. Constitutionally and legally we have all the rights on paper and it is such a privilege to live in a country where human rights are respected and constitutionally enforced. But have we really come that far? The majority of women in our country don’t have the means to access these laws. Neither are they aware of them. Many are repressed, fearful and vulnerable. And the most vulnerable of these is the mother.

Consider the single mother trying to receive maintenance contributions from her children’s father. She earns R100 per day. Transport for her and her two children to work and school amounts to R55 per day. Going to the courts means a day off w…

August News

Image
Yes, Tim and Maz are going to be at your disposal throughout November and early December so if you want them to come and pay you a visit just drop us an email. We’ve also got bands doing gigs to raise money for us and another day of prayer coming up. Make sure you check out the ‘events’ section of this post so you don’t miss out!

It’s wonderful to have Rob and Emily back with us from their 4 week trip to England. Mel has been away for a few weeks on a funding support trip to the USA so our long term team, which completed by Arron and Johan, is still down one member. That said we have had some wonderful support from Britton, Tyler (who’s brother and father joined him for a few days from Dallas), Barbara Wood who has returned for the third time, Katrin who is serving with us for 6 months and Claire who is staying with her Grandmother in town...so once again it has been a very busy time!

Children’s Unit
Our top news story is that our 11-year-old boy has returned from his ‘holiday’ at Themba…

how to make someone's day.....provide them with candles and matches!

Image
you may remember the story about a young 16 year old boy that has become a great friend to me, read the short blog post from december 2010 by clicking here, well yesterday, via some funds that were donated from a generous guy in england we were able to bless this local teenage boy with some basic supplies.

the photos show barbara wood, from aylesbury, southcourt baptist church, with this young guy both inside and outside of his small wooden shack in the zwelitsha (iraq squatter camp) here in grabouw. this guy is such a blessing to me, as he helps me to translate to the younger xhosa speaking kids at our sports outreach each tuesday afternoon.




he was so happy with his parcel, which included some tinned and dried food, as well as deodorant and much to his delight some matches and candles. we (thembalitsha/thembacare/village of hope) don't normally hand out support in this direct way, as it can create a culture of reliance upon us to provide, which is obviously unsustainable and doesn&…

more birthdays and more fence stolen!

Image
we have been able to celebrate two birthday's this weekend, yesterday i celebrated my 44th birthday with maz and arron, they took me for a wonderful birthday lunch at the guardian peak vineyard near stellenbosch and then we enjoyed an evening of cheese and biscuits with our wonderful volunteers....however that wasn't the main party that we had a the village of hope this week!

on friday we were delighted to have a birthday party for one of our newer children, she came to us a few months ago and has been very ill since she has been with us, ending up in hospital with TB meningitis  however it was great to celebrate her second birthday and also welcome her mother, who is also quite sick, to the party. as usual our house mom's and volunteers did an amazing job with lots of party games such as pass the parcel and lots of yummy food.

unfortunately we did suffer another loss of fence and fence posts from around the edge of the property on friday, this is a real pain in the neck and…

continuing sodexo support

Image
our long(er) term volunteer barbara wood from southcourt baptist church in aylesbury (where myself and maz were married over 20 year ago) works for sodexo in england and has been instrumental in bringing us together with their local team here in south africa. we first came into contact with sodexo over a year ago and as part of their nelson mandela day commitiment to the local community they encouraged staff to donate dry goods for the continued support of the orphans that live with us on the village of hope.

it was great to meet up with colin from sodexo, who is pictured with me and barbara, who handed over the items that had been donated. it's great to know that there are people in high level industry willing to make a difference to those less fortunate. the support we receive is part of sodexo's wider 'stop hunger' champain and we thank them for getting involved locally.

wholehearted donations via sms?!

the wholehearted band, who will be touring england with us (tim and maz) in december, are currently on a short tour of south africa, we have set up a simple way of giving via sms (text message) and over the last few days we have received over 50 of these sms' which automatically donate R10 direct to thembalitsha here in south africa. 


we have also set up the same system in the UK where you can text a message and donate any amount direct from your mobile phone account, if you don't believe it works or if you would like to make a R10 donation from south africa or any amount from the UK then please follow these simple steps.....and if you are quick you could be the first person to donate from the UK which would prove to us that it is working...go on you know you want to!


from south africa sms HOPE to 38415 and R10 will automatically go to thembalitsha


in the uk text HELP07 £10 (or the amount you wish to donate, which can be from £1 upwards)
to 70070 and that amount is directly sent t…

relaunched thembalitsha web site

we are pleased to announce that we have relaunched the wider thembalitsha foundation web site, this is something that emily has been working on for a few days (thanks emily) and whilst there are a few further tweaks to make with additional items such as the volunteer testimonies, we are really pleased with the result.

please follow this link to the site and see how the village of hope fits within thembalitsha and be encouraged by the work we are doing to provide new hope to those infected or affected by HIV, AIDS, TB and the disadvantaged here in the western cape.