Showing posts from September, 2011

gateway to the great outdoors!

our mission team (all three of them, justin, sue and amanda) from gateway ministries in aylesbury have almost come to the end of their very short trip with us. we hope that they have had a good time, we have certainly kept them busy with some DIY work that needed to be completed here at the village of hope and some spirtitual things in our community.

each of their days has been very varied, from playing with the children in our unit, to painting the front entrance wall which was showing some signs of the winter weather, leading the thembacare service on wednesday afternoon and helping our with community work at thembacare, our sports outreach clubs and soup run. we also got time to travel down to false bay to watch the sunset, as you can see justin enjoyed himself.

we hope that this will be the first of their trips to serve us and we look forward to seeing them very soon when we (me and maz) return to the UK later in the year on our 'fundraising tour'.

love is in the air....!

the village of hope has been blessed with literally hundreds of volunteers since we took our first steps as a project nearly 3 years ago, they are the life blood of the work we do here and we love hosting people who want to get involved in the lives of the children that we serve, not only here on the project, but also in the community via our sports outreach and at our sister project thembacare in grabouw.

as you can imagine spending time serving certainly has in impact into many of our volunteers lives and over the years we hear stories from lots of them that speak about 'rediscovering themselves', 'understanding the love God has for africa' or 'Gods love for the children that we look after', but never in our wildest dreams did we ever consider that the village of hope would be a place where two young people not only found God in a deeper way but also found their partner for life.

on sunday evening we had a wonderful skype call with two of our volunteers, both o…

new baby with new volunteers

on sunday afternoon we welcomed justin and sue, our friends from aylesbury gateway church, along with their friend amanda, also from aylesbury. they will be with us for just one week but as always things are never quiet here at the village of hope and by monday afternoon they had been able to welcome a new baby girl into our children's unit.

we are hoping that this cute little girl will be with us on a short placement, but as with most of our children things are never that simple. that said she is settling in well and the other children are making her feel welcome, we will keep you updated on her progress.

September News

Please consider supporting this day by giving up 30 minutes of your Saturday, on 15th October, to pray for the project. Signing up is easy: and we will be posting prayer points very soon.

In the meantime here's all our other news......

Phew! Is it nearly October already?!

This month has been happily hectic but here are the highlights:
We have some wonderful news to share about our two brothers (see the Children’s Unit update), Maz is thankful that Mel is back, Arron has been away completing his sailing training, we’ve welcomed two new Dutch students and said goodbye to Britton….

Children’s Unit
Our children’s unit continues to be the main focus of attention here in Grabouw and each and every day presents itself with its own challenges. However this month we can share some amazing news: Our two little brothers, aged 4 and 2 years, now have a new family to care of them. This new family lives in Khayelitsha, the largest township in Cape Town with around…

September News

Wow we had an amazing day this month. We had the official opening of our Library and Sick room!!

It was the culmination of a dream that began 5 months ago when I heard some startling statistics regarding literacy levels for primary school children in SA and the lack of access to books.

I have always believed that stories are such an important part of a child's life. They open up a whole new world, for language to develop, emotions to be experienced as well as the opportunity for nuturing to occur. Graceland is blessed to have a number of potential story tellers who visit every week in the form of Students from the University of Stellenbosch!!! These students have come on board and are beginning to read regularly to the children which is fantastic and very well received.

It is such a beautiful thing to see a child pickup a book and find pleasure in its pages. We have witnessed times when a group of children have been excitedly showing each other their books and other times when a chil…

Thembacare Grabouw: September 2011 News

This month we would really love to thank Froggie shoes. As any South African will tell you, 'local is lekker' and so a heartfelt THANK YOU must be said!

We were able to bless some of our staff at Thembacare Grabouw with a comfortable pair of working shoes as a result of a generous donation from Sarah Gedye and Jane Moodley from Froggie Shoes in Durban. A few staff are going to test out the shoes on their out-patient rounds in the community, and if they are up to the terrain then there will be a pair for every staff member! Our carers cover most of the town on foot every week so comfortable footwear is very much appreciated.

One of the ladies burst into tears when she received a pair. She was so happy to get new shoes because her old pair were quite worn through and she had no money to replace them. Who would have thought such a simple gift could make such an amazing difference? It was a truly special moment to witness.

September News

Education opens the doors and creates choices!

As such, career guidance is an integral part of ensuring that learners pursue a career path that they love, and that they are successful and employable after matriculating from high school.  Many high school learners find the world outside of school intimidating and are often unsure of how to navigate their way through the various career and study options out there.  At the School of Hope we recognise this.  We offer on-going career counseling to our Grade 12 learners and deal with this topic extensively in Life Orientation.

For the past four years we have a run a Career Week, where various professionals and tertiary institutions address our learners thus opening their eyes to the their career opportunities and also inspiring them to study further.  This year our career week ran during September and we had a number of professionals join us from different sectors.  It ran in the form of a career panel where each profession could share about …

September News

As I am busy doing our volunteer roster for shifts to Helderberg Hospital over the next few months, I remember that it is a year ago since I did my very first roster as new manager of Bosom Buddies. What a year it has been for us all. Currently we have 19 active volunteers for Heldeberg Hospital and a further 3 who visit Macassar Day hospital. Another 4 women serve on the Babies Born Sleeping team, though on hold for now, they are ready to be called at a moment’s notice. A bunch of beautiful, inspirational and committed women. I cannot ask for a better team and am so grateful to every one of you.

What motivates someone to volunteer? Some of our volunteers have been with Bosom Buddies for longer than me, even Mel who retired as leader, is back as volunteer. Granny Rose is in the Bosom Buddies stock room packing bags and sorting donations every morning. I know our volunteers love Bosom Buddies, and what we do. We love to cuddle those newborns, to share in this very special time with the …

soup and teddies

each and every friday we deliver soup into the community, we support two projects, a multi purpose centre in rooidakke and a small creche in the iraq informal settlement. last week we were not only able to provide the hot soup to these precious children, which is donated from the local rose and bull restaurant, but we also gave out some hand made teddies to the children which had been given to us by the local round table.

the teddies were made by the local 'teddy bear club' and we were able to get these to those children most in need, to see even grown boys of 11 and 12 years old receiving a teddy and hold it close to their hearts was a special experience, to think that these kids might not have ever had their own teddy before was somewhat humbling and we hope to be able to do this again some day.

4th birthday parties

there never seems to be an end of our birthday celebrations, each and every month one or more of our children seem to have their birthdays, these are always precious times and maz and the team ensure that the birthday boys or girls are made to feel really special.

this week we held a birthday party for one of the little girls who has been with us from our opening day, looking back at some of the old photos it's hard to believe that this 18 month old is now 4 years old. we have obviously shared some real highs and some lows. we will never forget the first few months that she was with us, having to be fed through a stint as her fetal alcohol syndrome had caused some major issues with her swallowing, in fact it was thought that she would have to live with this all her life so to see her tucking in to her party food and drink was especially moving.

please keep following the progress of our children via this blog and if you would like to help support our work financially to enable us to …

sports clinics

i think monday and tuesday afternoons are my favorite times of my week, although we run sports clinics for the children in grabouw each and every afternoon in 6 different areas monday and tuesday's are the only two days that i can commit to.

yesterday we had a wonderful time in hillside with around 50 children, both boys and girls, coming to play soccer (sorry football) and netball, and today we had about the same number in the iraq informal settlement. the kids we work with are so precious, many of them come from very difficult family situations, often living with many people in a single room tin shack or breeze block home, but the smiles on their faces when they see our team turn up is what makes the days so special.

this afternoon we were able to share the bible scripture about using the whole armour of God to protect ourselves against the evil that is part of our daily lives and i was able to pray for one little guy who had really bad tooth ache, we stood together and asked God …

sad goodbyes, but happy futures await....

on wednesday afternoon maz took our two brothers to their new home in khayelitsha, once again this day was full of mix emotions. as you can see we just love having the special children that need our care, be that medical or social, however we are just part of a bigger story and it is our aim to have the children placed either back with their own families or foster/adoptive care.

maz works so hard to find the right homes for our children and these two precious brothers are the 19th and 20th children that we have successfully placed back into the community since we opened in april 2009. Although we still have a few issues with some of the placements, we are so glad that we are able to be part of their growing up, stabilising them on their medication and finding them a family who will be able to love and support them during their lives.

we pray for the two boys, especially as they will now be sharing a home with their little sister and another 3 children and we also pray for their new pare…

if you are in aylesbury on sunday....

this sunday some friends from our jolly little village in england have arranged a rock gig that will take place in aylesbury market square on sunday afternoon, it's a free event but there will be people selling raffle tickets and holding collecting tins to raise funds for the work we do here in south africa.

so if you are in the aylesbury area and want to rock your sunday afternoon please feel free to join us and in the process support children and adults infected or affected by HIV.