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Showing posts from March, 2012

Themba Training: March 2012 News

The big news at Themba Training is that we will be moving into new premises on 1 May. A company in Bellville (GlobalBPO) has decided to partner with us and have made these premises available. They are also greatly assisting us with the rental payments. The house has been re-zoned with business rights, has excellent facilities and security. The great plus is that it is within short walking distance from the Bellville rail/bus stations and taxi rank. Many people in Cape Town regard this area as the hub of the city.

Currently, two of our trainers are hard at work writing exams and qualifying to present the new courses we plan to start in June. At the new facility we will offer:

Three PC Courses
1. A basic computer skills course
2. A more advanced course (by Skillwise) with official accreditation
3. The MOS (Microsoft Specialist Course). This course comes with Microsoft’s International backing and accreditation. Obtaining this certificate greatly enhances an individual’s chances of securing …

March News

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As ThembaCare Grabouw have probably mentioned in their news, we have had a dramatic month here in Grabouw. There has been a large amount of unrest in the community which culminated in violent protests a couple of weeks ago. We are thankful that our project is not immediately in the township so we weren’t caught up in anything directly, however it impacted our staffing for over 24 hours because it was not safe for our House Moms to move back and forth. Thankfully we are currently blessed with lots of very capable volunteers who stepped in to fill the gaps and they did an fantastic job of keeping the children stimulated and the routines running.

Children’s Unit
With the Easter Holidays now in full swing, the House Moms are being kept on their toes. Nine children to entertain all day, seven days a week can be quite full on! To add to this we have been looking after two extra little boys in the day as well. The boys are staying with ThembaCare (because we don’t have any spare beds) whilst t…

Thembacare Grabouw: March 2012 News

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We have had a mixed month, but highs and lows are part of the job.

Dr. Niall has now returned to England but he has left us fully trained in administering pain relief through syringe drivers and, although we have lost a patient this month, at least she was able to pass on with the least pain possible. Niall has also approached the local GPs to assist with acquiring the vials for the syringe drivers and out of hours advice, which they have agreed to do. This is absolutely fantastic.

This month we’ve also been out in the community with our Mobile HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing Unit. We visited farms, supermarkets and fruit distribution centres. We are thankful for the diligent assistance of our Counsellors and Staff Nurse Cathy, who is currently locuming for ThembaCare.

March News

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This month we were very excited to host our Fancy Hat Tea with the Queen (of Graceland). Over 100 ladies attended this wonderful event on the terrace of the Devon Valley Hotel, Stellenbosch. The sun smiled down on us and everyone who attended wore a beautiful, and sometimes unique, hat. Ambient music was provided by the girls from Wholehearted and we listened to addresses from Laura Collura, the Director of Education for Thembalitsha, Amanda Nortje, the funding manager and Elizabeth Solomons, the ‘Queen’ of Graceland. Mrs Berger, who owns Seaton Farm, the land that Graceland sits on, gave a moving speech about the history of Graceland and how she became involved with the project. We were fortunate enough to enjoy some tantalizing treats provided by the Devon Valley Hotel: yummy cakes and scones and delicate sandwiches. The hotel also presented us with a cheque for R11895 which are the profits from their Giving Room initiative! It is safe to say that the event was a huge success. Thank…

March News

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The learners from School of Hope recently drew closer to nature in two amazing ways:

We survived an Outward Bound Camp!
At the end of February we had the opportunity to send 20 learners on the Outward Bound Camp. This is a very challenging outdoor adventure camp that stretched the limits of many of the participants. The notorious "solo" (surviving in the bush alone for a period of time) proved extremely difficult, but most of the learners survived and came back to tell the tale. In their words:

‘I had a great experience from raft building to the solo. I felt it as if I was having the best time of my life. I did all the challenges for the fun experience even though I found some of them very difficult. My backpack was heavy when I was hiking, but I went up the mountain and finished the hike.’Shargaan Bassardien


‘It was very beautiful, I enjoyed myself and had a great experience. It was my first time doing these kinds of activities. I would like to come back and do it all again. Th…

March News

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Bosom Buddies was founded 6 years ago when founder Mel Novitzkas was training to be a doula (childbirth companion). In her practical training at Helderberg Hospital, she realised how many women have nothing when they go to the hospital to give birth. Nothing for their babies, or for themselves in terms of sanitary products. In South Africa, you often see women wearing towels or thick blankets around their bodies. These are to protect them from their monthly bleeding. A simple thing such as sanitary towels becomes a luxury in certain poor communities. An essential after giving birth, a packet of sanitary towels will be found as a part of our dignity gift to new moms who give birth at our local public hospital. In her Bosom Buddies bag, she will find everything for at least a comfortable first day with her baby – a set of newborn clothes, a baby blanket, some nappies, sanitary towels and perhaps a baby product or soft toy if we have one.

When I did my training as a doula 2 years ago, I r…

it all comes together with sport

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on saturday morning we held our latest sports saturday at the elgin country club, the event was made possible by our wonderful volunteers, the HAN students and the german architect students who took some time off of their busy building schedule.

we host these sports saturdays for the 7 different groups of children that we work with throughout our daily sports outreach projects in the different communities and farms in grabouw and elgin valley. it was with deep regret that we had to restrict each of the teams to 8 players, meaning that some of the children were unable to attend but due to limited resources, in transportation and kit, we were still able to provide over 150 children with a fantastic morning of sport.

the 'set up team' arrived at the country club under grey sky's with drizzle in the air at 8am and by 9am the two 65 seater coaches provided by our local transport company, gaffley's, were making the trip around the townships to pick up the teams arriving with 1…

supporting our sports mentors.....

over the last two years we have been developing the relationship that we have with the young volunteers who come and work with us in the community as we share our life skills sports outreach with the children aged 9 - 15 in 7 different areas of grabouw and the elgin valley. we are now working with 6 guys aged 16 - 20 who not only meet with us each week to prepare the next sessions but give freely of their time leading the groups each afternoon.

many of our sports mentors are just coming to the end of their schooling and it's important for us to offer support to them in whatever way we can, today we are able to share the news that we have been able enrol one of our longer term mentors into a college in somerset west where we will support him in the college fees, holding him to account for the IT course that he is undertaking and hopefully making a real difference to not only his future but the future of his family.

if you would like to find out more about how you can help us to help …

hope is here

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if you have been following this blog for any amount of time you will know of the strong link we have with the wonderful band from the every nation church in somerset west called 'wholehearted' and you may also remember that at the end of last year we were blessed to 'tour' the uk with them as we visited churches and schools to share about the work we do in grabouw via our thembacare and village of hope projects.

just before we made the trip we were involved in the shooting of the new music video to accompany the bands new song 'hope is here'. the video was shot in a couple of the informal settlements where we work, with people and children that we know and serve on a daily basis and whilst the song is very powerful the images on the video give it some depth and meaning.

as you can imagine seeing those people on a screen with the band playing the song 'live' in the background bought me and maz to our knees, tears flowed and our hearts were humbled to think…

topping out...or the richtfest

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it seems that we go from the sublime to the ridiculous here at the village of hope, our last post contained the info about how we provided some very basic care for a couple of families that had lost everything in a fire that destroyed their home and possessions in one of our informal settlements in grabouw and today i am posting a blog about the wonderful party we had to celebrate the hard work of our stuttgart students as they close on to the completion of our second building that will host our international volunteers.......

...everything is connected as we wouldn't be able to provide the help to the community without our volunteers and we are so thankful to them and to the amazing german students who have been working so hard to not only build but also provide the design and concept of our new building but sometimes your brain struggles to come to terms with the two worlds in which we seem to live.

however that's the conundrum we live with everyday and we have to deal with th…

happy to help.....

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yesterday morning we received an early morning call to inform us that there had been a fire in one of the informal settlements in grabouw. these are areas where some of our children come from, where we run sports outreach and where our thembacare palliative home based carers work day in day out and we were more than happy to help out where we could.

with the support of a few of the congregation from the elgin united presbyterian church who donated some funds we were able to purchase some basic items to help reestablish the two families who had lost everything in the fire. the more immediate needs of food etc were provided by the local community who rallied round to help their neighbours but with the money we collected we were able to buy a small stove, buckets, crockery, cooking utensils and we were able to make good use of the volunteer mattresses which we had recently replaced to ensure that the families (of 8 people) could sleep off the floor.

it was amazing to see how well the men h…

new sports outreach (our 7th)

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we currently deliver our sports outreach into 6 different areas including a fruit farm in the elgin valley and last year we were approached by another farm to work with their children. its always hard to balance starting a new club with the greater impact it has on our current sports outreach team, our heart is to bless as many children as possible with this life skills and health awareness based outreach but we need to ensure that anything we do is sustainable, ensuring we are not letting the children down if we have to stop for any reason.

i am glad to say that we felt happy to accept this opportunity to work with this new farm and yesterday we ran the first club there (our 7th club), the site has a large rugby field and some broken netball posts (which we hope to fix to engage the girls in the netball training). the session was led by one of our sports mentors (local young people that we have seen potential in who is now a 'support worker' to the main team) with a HAN studen…