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Showing posts from January, 2012

Thembacare Grabouw: New Year, New Stars (January 2012)

Grabouw has experienced very hot weather this New Year. Temperatures soared to over 38 degrees Celsius and has made it very challenging for all ThembaCare Grabouw staff to work. The In-Patient Unit’s fans did little to relieve the patients and the staff of their discomfort, as only extremely hot air was being circulated. The Palliative Community Care Workers suffered the most as they had to walk to their patients in the blistering heat! Despite this, the community team managed to reach their NACOSA patient home visit targets. Well done to them for their hard work and endurance!

ThembaCare Grabouw had its final Hospice Palliative Care Association (HPCA) Phase 2 Audit on the 1st December 2011 and achieved an overall rating of 94%. Thus ThembaCare Grabouw is now a proud “2 Star “ rated hospice! For those of you who don’t know, this is not an easy level to reach and involves us having to maintain a very high standard of care to be recognised as such. All the ‘I’s have to be dotted and ‘T’…

January News

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Happy New Year from all of us here at Village of Hope. As we enter 2012 we are full of excitement at what God has in store for us this year…We are also rather hot! The summer has decided to kick in and it has been in the mid-30s for the past week…phew! Anyway, we intend to grab 2012 by the horns, seizing every opportunity and continue our fight to restore hope to the communities we work with.

We want to invite you to join us in our quest and use this year to make a positive change . Why not sign up to volunteer or take on a personal challenge to raise funds for us? Two of our Thembalitsha staff might inspire you. Together with their friends they have organised two initiatives in aid of our Foundation. Frances from our sister project Bosom Buddies is completing 6 physically grueling trail runs within a month – for those of you who don’t know, these runs are actually like racing up and down a mountain! (Sponsor her here) And Amanda, our funding manager, is going to cycle from our Village…

Cape Summer Trail Series 3 of 5

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Silvermine West





Our third run was a happy occasion. It was good to overcome my fears after getting sick on the mountain at our first run. I had a lovely time and did not do too badly! Well done to Anthony Geard with a fantastic time of 1hr 16 mins for this 11.8km, doing the MILES FOR MOMS team proud!




Please remember why we are doing this - to raise some much-needed funds in order to facilitate the antenatal courses we are starting in Sir Lowrys Pass, Macassar, and more this year. We are aiming to raise R60 000, which will enable us to do this.


You can support us here: http://www.givengain.com/activist/69386/projects/2172/





jolly hockey sticks

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our recent long term volunteer, simon, donated a wonderful hockey set to our sports outreach programme which we are truly grateful for. last week we used this for the first time in anger at our sports project at a local farm and the children really loved it.

it was great to see both boys and girls playing together, thankfully the sticks and ball are made out of plastic and that saved, what surely would have been, a trip to the local hospital. we will use these again on other afternoons at the 5 other clubs we run, however some of the surfaces are less than conducive than the wonderful grass that the farm children are blessed with.

thanks simon and we hope you like the photo!

January News

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The achievement of our 2011 matrics is a story of hope and perseverance against all odds. Many schools have achieved 100% passes, some with 200 or more matriculant but at the School of Hope, each of the nine learners who finally made it to Matric had been told it was impossible. Many of them had given up hope and for them this victory is sweet indeed.

For the educators and management it is a confirmation that our model works. Our admission policy does not allow us to pick the cream of applicants. We simply look for commitment to complete their education, regardless of their circumstances, aptitude for mathematics or academic potential. Every young person has the right to access to a good education, all that we require is commitment and that each learner has taken responsibility for their learning.

In an atmosphere of hope and our family-like environment, that dedication translates into success. This is why we have seen learners with learning disabilities, learners living in deep, desper…

January News

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We are back open and running full steam after the summer holidays. We now have 51 children and we have our first ever set of twins so we are keeping very busy as you can imagine! Unfortunately we have a lot of ill children at the moment. There seems to be a few different viruses flying around and I don’t think the hot weather helps so please pray for their swift recovery.

We have to say a very big thank you to Rick and Eve Beeton who have donated the money for us to build a roof over the play area. It’s going provide some very welcome shade as the hot weather continues. Also thank you to those of you who donated toys and books over Christmas. It’s always great to have some fresh stimulation for the children and a change of things to play with. It helps keeps their minds and imaginations active.

January News

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We have had another incredible holiday season, witnessing Christmas and New Year’s babies being born. Sincere and heartfelt thanks to our incredible volunteers who ensured that only 1 scheduled holiday visit was missed. I’m so proud of Bosom Buddies!


2012 is starting with excitement in the air for Bosom Buddies. We are starting our antenatal courses in early February in Macassar and Sir Lowry’s Pass. Our manual is ready to be printed, we have been blessed by donations  of cups and an urn to be able to make tea for our classes. In a sentence: we are ready!
Let’s not forget why this is so important: at every single hospital visit, our volunteers meet mothers with premature babies, sick babies or stillborn babies – most of which is preventable. Antenatal care is available at clinics all through the Helderberg, but sadly the clinic sisters do not have time to discuss all do’s and don’ts of pregnancy with every single patient. There is no talk of classes. In the private sectors, most mothers…

trot to adopt

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our good friend, tom digsby, from augusta in the USA who has been part of a few mission trips here at the village of hope is organising the second annual  trot to adopt . the event happens this sunday and if you are in the area you can sign up to run the 5k or you could donate/sponsor someone who is running and some of that money will be coming directly to the village of hope to help in our work with the children infected by HIV that we work with.

follow this link to the trot to adopt web site and find out more.

volunteers come and volunteers go....

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this weekend was another one of those bitter sweet ones here at the village of hope. we had to say our sad goodbyes to two amazing volunteers but we also welcomed three more...such is our life.

heather (from australia) had been serving with us for 3 months, holding stuff together whilst tim and maz were away, ably supporting our dutch students at our sports outreach and we certainly will miss her cheery smile, so apt that she helped out and extended the work with our new rainbow smiles club, (a club for young people living with HIV in our community)....and the enthusiasm to put her hand in all those things that 'just need doing'. she was a real servant and we trust that she follows the path that God is leading her on and hope that she will be back soon!

we also said goodbye to mariana, who joined us on a short 10 day trip from brazil, she was a real hit with the kids but as the girls left we welcomed the first three students from stuttgart university who will be building the new…

the stuttgart team are coming again

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this coming weekend we are going to be joined by the first 3 students from this years ukuqala project. these students from stuttgart university will be following in the footsteps of the previous group who built us a wonderful home this time last year. have a look at this newspaper article which appears on their website which picks up on the work that they did last year.

be assured that we will keep you informed of the progress of the new building which the rest of the team, who arrive during the middle of february, will build for us.

pig leaves and tim and jess arrive.....

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during the last week we have extended our warm (in more ways than one as the summer weather has certainly arrived with full force as well!) to two longer term volunteers. tim berger has joined us for two years from the USA, tim has a long relationship with the thembalitsha foundation where he has bought mission teams over to serve the charity in the past. tim has a real servant heart, which has been demonstrated as he lead his previous teams and he has shown that as he settles into his role here at the village of hope. we hope that tim will also be a blessing to the wider thembalitsha grabouw team which includes themabcare grabouw where his arrival has been waited with great expectation (by some of the ladies!). tim is a bit of a technophobe so don't hold your breath if you are expecting lots of updates!

our second longer termer is jess trigg, a proud yorkshire lass who will be focusing her attention into developing the children's daily activities during her 6 month stay with u…

Cape Summer Trail Series 2 of 5

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This past Sunday our runners ran at Lebanon Forest in Grabouw, and I’m happy to say that the race went without any incident. I was still unwell so had to call in my lovely sister-in-law Sigi van Rensburg to run in my place, which she did super well.

We had a full team: Anthony Geard had a fantastic time for the 13.4km and was the first of our MILES FOR MOMS runners in. He was followed very closely by Ben van Rensburg, and then in was Adventure Bootcamp trainer running for Bosom Buddies Miena van Zyl with a 18th overall ranking in her category, Jan Scholtz and Emily House. Well done team!

An update on funds raised: we have started receiving some funds, and I wholeheartedly thank our sponsors. I am leading in this race, with Miena close on my heals. Come on friends, support our runners!


new year new schools

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over the last week our older children have started their new school year, for two of the girls they moved up to the next class, our 6 year old boy he made the big step to start at primary school and our 3 year old she started creche for the first time.......starting something new is always an event that is filled with excitement and trepidation and starting school is no different. for our kids there is no mom or dad waving from the gate, but we are able to support them at this special time and it is wonderful to see these little ones leave in the combi in the morning, uniforms and ruck sacks shiny new, but the best is to hear the hubbub as they return to tell their stories of friendship and learning.


Cape Summer Trail Series 1 of 5

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Last night we ran the first of 5 races in the summer trail series. Those of us involved are all from Thembalitsha and doing this challenge as a personal challenge to ourselves, but also as a fundraiser for Bosom Buddies. Anthony Geard is treasurer on the board of Thembalitsha, Jan Scholtz a board member as well, Ben van Rensburg my husband and I. Apart from the 4 of us who have committed to do at least 4 of the races (Ben and I will do all 5), we have other volunteers who will be running 1 or 2 races with us.

I won’t be overreacting when I say that last night’s race at Silvermine high above Muizenberg counts as my worst ever running experience. I got sick on the mountain, severely dehydrated and what should have taken about 1 hr 30 minutes, took me over 2 and a half hours. On the way home I was so sick, we had to stop 3 times. Aching body, vomiting and headache.

I have some trail running experience and thoroughly enjoyed the winter runs in the Helderberg mountain and Jonkershoek. I know…

11 year old returns again....

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if you have ever visited the village of hope, or if you have been following our blog for any amount of time, you will have heard stories about our wonderful 11 year old boy who captures every-bodies heart. without going into too much detail he has some very complex medical conditions which are really playing havoc with his little body and he has spent a lot of time in the red cross children's hospital as they battle to understand and contain the illness which is overwhelming him.

he loves the village of hope, the house moms who love him as their own and especially mommy maz, who he continually asks for when he is away from 'his home'.......

yesterday we had the great news that he was stable enough to be placed back with us, following his hospitalization and care at our sister project, thembacare athlone. it is good to have his back with us, but because of his medical situation we have to continually monitor him and he is still on oxygen full time, however his smile and light…

helpful volunteers

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over the 3 years or so that we have been open as the project 'village of hope' we have been blessed with a plethora of volunteers, whether they have served with us for a day or committed to a life changing move to be with us for a longer period of time their presence here is much valued.

during the last week we have said our sad goodbye's to simon, a volunteer from england who was with us for 3 months and we want to wish him well with his next placement in tanzania, if you wanna keep up with simon then please follow this link to his blog which also picks up on some of the things that were going on at the village of hope whilst myself and maz were in europe!

over this christmas period we have been joined on the project by a young dutch man who has thrown his self into building us a new water tank holder, this is a somewhat tedious and lonely task, although he has been helped by our new grounds maintenance coordinator, heinrich.

we want to thank stijn, yes that's really how…

being a blessing and being blessed!

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during our journey into the unknown here in south africa our western thoughts and minds are being constantly challenged. today was another one of those days as we were able to bless around 20 children from our local community with a day at the beach and a burger and chips, which most of us would think nothing of doing either during a summer holiday or if you live 20 minutes from the beach here in grabouw on a weekend afternoon, however for these children this was a very very special experience of which they may have never known before or ever have the chance to experience again in the very near future.

we all really enjoyed the luke warm sea, the hot sun and delicious burgers whilst having the opportunity to play some beach cricket, tennis and a game football, including a mixture of other people from the beach joining in our impromptu game which was a major success.
the day was made possible by some of our wonderful volunteers, from england, holland and an australian who provided us wit…

new year and new baby boy...

the last week of 2011 saw the village of hope offer new hope and a loving family environment to the 30th child since we opened in 2009. our home has been a little quite since our 11 year old boy has been in the red cross children's hospital, again, but we are now up to our full compliment of 9 children with the addition of a wonderful little boy who needs our support whilst his family get their feet back on track.

he is around 20 months old and is on TB medication and is HIV+ so please pray for him as he settles into life here at the village of hope, thankfully his grandparents have already made a visit to him, which is all positive news, lets hope that 2012 will prove to be a better year for him.

please could we ask you to continue to pray for our little 11 year old in red cross, he has had a rough time of it, unable to keep his food down over christmas, due to some of the medication he is taking, although maz was able to feed him his first meal when we visited him on thursday whic…