Showing posts from April, 2012

community works

it's hard to convey just want we do do via the them thembalitsha foundation's projects here in grabouw, maybe you think that our work is confined to our village of hope children's unit and thembacare hospice work (both inpatient and outpatient) but a lot of our time is given to work in the community. this can be seen via our sports based outreach to over 200 children a week or our rainbow smiles club which our volunteers help with every friday afternoon, all of which remain within the foundations scope by providing healthcare, education or training, but with so much need on our doorstep and a plethora of volunteers who's hearts are broken for the poor and needy its really hard to remain focused and therefore limit our work to those infected or affected by HIV, AIDS and TB.

however as part of our support to the community i (tim) sit on the community police forum (CPF), and although it's hard to remember how one gets involved in such a wide way i do believe that God h…

supporting mentors...ajax come so close

its hard to put into words the sights, sounds, feeling and or just the experience that we had yesterday evening as we took our 8 mentors who help with our sports outreach to watch cape ajax v orlando pirates at the green point stadium in cape town. we were also joined by some of the dutch students and a few of our volunteers who came along for the ride (more about that later).

our first stop was at signal hill, the back side of lions head mountain which shares the cape town backdrop with the world famous table mountain, from our lofty view the boys had a great vista across their city and were amazed by the sight of the stadium far below. as we drank in the view the mist from table mountain rolled in front of us, causing the stadium and roben island to appear and disappear from the of the boys commented that it looked like a dream, and in a way he was right, it was a long way from the realities of his daily life filled full of worries about the basic things of life that we …

April News

Last month you may remember that we mentioned how Grabouw had been experiencing civil unrest and protesting. We would like to thank those of you who have been praying for us because the town has become noticeably calmer over the past week. Last Sunday a few of the team were able to attend a Peace and Reconciliation meeting that was arranged by the ministers of the town. All churches and political groups were invited and there was a fantastic turn out. The ministers spoke with authority and it was exciting to witness God’s presence in the room. The meeting reminded us that God is still on the case and that His kingdom is breaking through here in Grabouw. It also reminded us to be persistent and fervent in our prayers for our community.

Children’s Unit
Well, the Easter break is over. Those children old enough have returned to school and the unit has resumed its term-time routine. We all enjoyed a wonderful time with the children whilst they were off school. With our abundance of able volu…

an alternative view!

this village of hope blog was set up to allow all members of the longer term team to share their thoughts and experiences with you (the wider world) and as you will know we are never short of news stories here in grabouw, however on this post we thought it would be good for you to have a look at some of the other blogs that have been set up by some of our shorter term volunteers who are living with us at the village of hope at the moment.

we hope that their stories and views will give a bit of an alternative view of life on the project and will highlight some of the things that have touched their hearts as they serve with us in grabouw and as they venture around this amazing country. if you would like to take a peek then click on the names below which will link to their various blogs, katia, jess and grace.

Thembacare Grabouw: April 2012 News

This month we would like to ask you to pray for one of our inpatients. She is a patient we have been assisting since we first opened our doors and is currently in because her second line of ARVs (HIV treatment) is failing and she is suffering badly. There are only two lines of ARV medication available through the government healthcare system, and once a patient has become resistant to those (either by failing to take the medication regularly or by the drugs just not being powerful enough) then they are only offered other treatments in extremely special cases. Without access to effective ARVs, this woman, who is only 36 years old and still has small children at home, has very little hope. It is a very sad situation.

The syringe drivers that were donated by Dr. Niall continue to be a huge blessing. Another patient has been able to use them and we are delighted to say that he has been able to be discharged home with oral morphine.

We have also been very pleased to be able to show lots of…

April News

The fruits of our labour are truly starting to show! Last year some of the first little ones we taught graduated matric! Amongst them was Beshrin Van Niekerk. Beshrin is the eldest of four children and grew up in Devon Valley. He has fond memories of us and can remember singing ‘Father Abraham had many sons’! He told us that as he was studying it was often a battle with so many siblings and he often had to wait to do homework until late at night when everyone was asleep. But his hard work and dedication has paid off and he is now studying at Cape Town University after receiving a bursary to study IT. We are confident that a bright future is ahead of him and are thankful that we are able to offer a fantastic head start in education to children like Bershrin, whom otherwise may not have been able to attend preschool. If all the children we care for grasp hold of the opportunities in front of them, like Beshrin has done, then there is so much potential for their generation to shake the b…

April News

Our Swedish Connection…

In March we added to our school family eight delightful people from a school in Kumla, Sweden. They arrived tired after the 26 hour flight, but excited to experience life in Africa. Nothing had prepared them for the sheer beauty of our shores, the sunshine and the warmth of our people. They did as much as we were able to fit in their itinerary: Table Mountain, Camps Bay, Boulders and Blouberg beaches, District Six Museum and the V&A Waterfront. However, they surprised us by claiming that meeting the courageous and friendly learners at the School of Hope was the highlight of their trip. Indeed, their learners and ours immediately hit it off they became part of our school life just as if they had always been part of it. They even complimented us on the food and took notes in class! It was difficult to say goodbye when they finally left to return to Sweden.

However, it won't be long before some of us are reunited ... in Sweden! Six of our learners and two of…

April News

Our volunteers meet hundreds of moms each month and it is not often that we see them again once they leave the hospital. We hope to make a difference to their birth stories, to honour this wonderful day and to recognise that every birth is a celebration and is important. Do you remember the day your babies were born? Ask that question to every mother (and father) you meet and they can describe to you in vivid detail the stories of their babies’ births. And that’s as it should be! These are the biggest moments of our lives, and meant to be remembered and retold.

It is not any different for the moms we meet in the public hospitals. Sometimes it is so hectically busy in the maternity ward that we seem to forget what big moments we share with these mothers.

Imagine the scene: 6 women in various stages of labour, 2 of them in the final stages with babies about to be born, 15 mothers who have given birth in the past 12 hours, some by caesarean, who need extra attention, plus 10 women with spe…

saying goodbye.....

we have been blessed with some wonderful visitors over the last few weeks and months, trondar has been visiting from norway and although he has been busy with his writing he has been ever present at the sports outreach in waterwerks on a wednesday afternoon and on the soup run every friday. his wife and son visited for his last few weeks and it was sad to say our goodbyes yesterday.

we have also been visited by one of our longer term volunteers parents, jeff and debbie joined their daughter jess for the easter school holidays and they leave on the same day as some of our very good friends from winslow, tony and hazel allen who's daughter, lizzie, volunteered with us last year. it has been great to show these friends around the projects here in grabouw and to have some time to see the sights in south africa.

we will miss them all and wish them all a safe journey home.

heart breaking again and again...

working and living in south africa is never dull and just when you think you have seen it all life comes up and kicks you in the teeth again........even though we are working in some of the poorest areas of grabouw, and indeed south africa and see life in all it's different elements via our village of hope and thembacare projects.

today we resumed our sports outreach programme at iraq informal settlement, one of the seven different areas where we work each afternoon, and although i had heard that one of our boys families had been affected by a shack fire over the weekend i was unaware of the devastation that it caused.

it wasn't until the end of our sports session that he mentioned that he and his family had lost almost everything in a fire which not only burnt down his whole home but as his older brother had been in the home when it hit and he had been killed.

the only things that the family managed to save were a single divan bed, an old single bedstead, a small kitchen unit an…

easter bunny braai

we have had a wonderful easter weekend spending time with our little family here at the village of hope, enjoying some great times at our local church, elgin unitied, with powerful thoughts around the easter story from thursday evenings tenebrae service, visiting the stations of the cross on good friday and our easter sunday celebration and taking time out with some of our volunteers. we also had a last visit from the students from stuttgart.

yesterday we had a braai with the children and moms in our children's unit, katia, jess, grace and heather had arranged an easter egg hunt which tool place in a downpour, we need the rain as we have had such a dry summer but for it to happen on easter weekend was a bit of a pain.

we were joined by some of our visiting volunteers, tony and hazel from winslow, pauline from aylesbury vineyard, jess's parents from huddesfield (yorkshire) sister and niece (vicki and faith) and friend liz from northampton, along with my mum and dad, trondar…

Having a ball this holiday

We are on a three week school break here in Grabouw so we have the great opportunity to plan some fun outings for all of our kids. Last Thursday we took them all for a great morning down in Somerset West. We piled all 9 kids, plus 3 house moms and 4 volunteers into two cars and took off to Kidz At the Mall, an indoor play centre. They have two areas that are designated for ages 3-and-under and then ages 4-and-up. We easily filled the 3-and-under section and set the kids loose to play in the pool of plastic balls, slide down the slides, ride the motorcycles and go crazy. Since everything was well padded, we were able to relax and laugh at all of the hilarious situations they got themselves into. Eventually the older children headed over to the 4-and-up section (along with a few volunteers) and they all ran themselves silly on the elevated walkways...adults included.

They all had such a good time and it was fun to be able to take them out to a new environment they could explore. We will …