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Showing posts from July, 2012

July News

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Where has everybody gone?! After saying goodbye to three children last month, this month we have also said goodbye to lots of our lovely volunteers. It is feeling very quiet in the volunteer’s unit and Mel has also gone back to the States for a few weeks so it leaves just Tim B rattling around the volunteer unit! Ah well, we are making the most of the opportunity and our wonderful maintenance team are giving all the bedrooms a fresh lick of paint.

Children’s Unit
Those children who are old enough have returned to school after the winter holidays and we are back in the rhythm of the schoolday timetable. We currently have six children staying with us which means that when three of them go off to school each day there are only three left un the unit! We are making the most of this quiet period and taking time to tidy up, sort clothes and do appraisals with all of our House Moms. We are also very excited about the purchase of a new rug for the unit. We know it seems silly but it makes the p…

July News

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School of Hope believes in giving back!
In 2011 School of Hope developed a new Core Value. The value of GIVING: to devote or sacrifice something such as time or effort.

As a school this value exists as an expression of the generosity of others, it is imperative that we, in turn, give back to the communities in need around us. Our own transformation must result in compassion towards others. We value generosity of spirit which we express through community service.

This month we gave back to the community by collaborating with Habit for Humanity to build two homes in Mfuleni. The community of Mfuleni is a relatively new township located approximately 30 km from Cape Town CBD and is now home to around 25,000 people. Housing is a great priority in Mfuleni as nearly 40% of the community lives in informal shacks that lack water and electricity. There was no greater opportunity than being part of giving someone a home. For us the experience was phenomenal and we embraced every second with a kind…

July News

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This month a little boy, Ethan, from Jamestown invited Graceland to celebrate his first birthday with him. The children delighted him with songs and joined him in celebrating his birthday and he surprised them all with gifts.  The children loved it and it was such a blessing for them on his birthday.

Twenty children of Graceland were also invited to Azalea-Hof old age home to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday on the 18th July.  They shared a meal of soup and rolls with the elderly and surprised them with song to finish off the day.  It was amazing to see the reaction of what a child’s singing could do to the elderly of Azalea-Hof old age home.   While they were at Azalea-Hof old age home the rest of the school was blessed with hotdogs by Distell.

It has been a good start to a new term and new challenges as Graceland has recently started a new curriculum.  We have a new teacher on board who is also standing in as acting principal, to assist Elizabeth during this time, as she is taking …

Thembacare Grabouw: July 2012 News

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Can you believe there is only six months left of this year?

This month we have been very busy. On Mandela Day we received a visit from members of parliament who provided us with fresh new bed linen. Also, our building as become a bit of a building site – but in a good way! We have been having work done to make our space compliant with fire regulations and the HPCA and to improve the quality of the service we offer. The works have involved making doorways and corridors wider, adding ramps for wheelchair users and extra doors. All this was made possible by the generous people at the Gerald Wright Trust. We have also added awnings to the front and the side of the building to allow patients shelter from the rain and sun. This was funded by Appeltiser, and Elgin Freerange Chickens provided some cosy new pyjamas for all of our inpatients. Thanks guys!

However, there is one specific donor who deserves an extra special mention: Uncle Sammy! Uncle Sammy and his wife are both pensioners but ha…

sports mentors united in cape town

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on saturday afternoon we were able to bless 7 of our sports mentors, the boys aged 16-20 who help us with our sports outreach each afternoon, with a trip to cape town to see cape ajax play manchester united. the weather was similar to that on a summers afternoon in manchester with wind and rain accompanying us on our journey from grabouw but once we found our seats high up in the green point stadium the sun came out to weclome the cape ajax team!





as you can imagine the stadium was packed with manchester united fans, some how this team is loved the world over, however even though the game was a friendly and had that feel about it but cape ajax played very well and gave the likes of paul scholes and anton ferdinand a bit of a run around, indeed taking the lead late in the match with a brilliant goal but ajax's defence finally broke 2 minutes into added time when manchester united finally got the ball into the net to earn a 1-1 draw.




the boys really enjoyed their time and it was wonder…

mandela day at the thembalitsha projects in grabouw!

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today we celebrated nelson mandela's birthday in style, south africans are encouraged to engage in 67 minutes of social responsibility, and as a charity who work with our communities in many different ways thembalitsha are always inundated by people, schools, organisations and companies and or their employees who are keen to help out for their 67 minutes.

as we posted on monday our mandela day started early with a visit from the ACVV old age home but today not only did village of hope benefit from visitors our sister project, thembacare grabouw, also received some willing volunteers.

the first to arrive at thembacare were some children from the local high school who had come to clean the windows, they even bought their own water from school!....

they were soon followed by a team of over 20 people from the south african parliament who had read about thembacare and the village of hope on the internet and were keen to come and see what we were involved in. after a visit to the inpatient…

mandela day starts early for the children

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this coming wednesday we celebrate nelson mandela's 94th birthday with a nationwide 67 minutes of social action to commemorate the 67 years that nelson gave to fight human rights issues here in south africa.

there will no doubt be many visitors to the village of hope on the official mandela day on wednesday but today the local old age home run by ACVV came up to spend time with our children, they had made up goody bags which contained home made cookies, teddies and jumpers for all of our children.


the children had a wonderful morning with our special visitors and we hope that they provided a glimmer of hope for the future of this country to those in their senior years!


thanks for all your hard work ladies and thank you for coming to visit!

shock and awe

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i am really sorry for those of you who might think i am blowing my own trumpet but this blog is a place where we are able to share our day to day experiences with the wider world and although i must say that i'm not proud of the photos that i am sharing with you today what i hope to do is to raise the plight of those that God has sent us to help here in grabouw.


a famous american once used the words 'shock and awe' about military power, i hope that this post will provide a 'shock and awe' to the millions, if not billions, of us who think we have a hard life.

over the last couple of days we have been able to bless a few people, who have been highlighted by our thembacare team, with some of the tin (zinc) sheets which we have been able to collect from a local friend. that was until i visited the home that i found in our waterwerks informal settlement caused me to question how anyone could live in such poverty and squallier and by handing out a couple of sheets of tin w…

what we did on thursday!

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i hope those that read this blog on a regular basis, or even stumble upon it via an internet search, will see the heart of the stories that we share here are to encourage you that the support (be that financial, physical or prayerful) that is shown towards the village of hope and or the wider thembalitsha foundation is being utilised with as much diligence as we can. we are mindful that we are in a privilege position to be on the coal face when many of our friends and families have their nose to the grindstone and don't have the opportunity to see God move in the lives of the people that we have been called to serve, whether that be in the work we do with the children infected by HIV who live with us at the village of hope or via the sports outreach that we do in our community each and every term time afternoon (weather permitting!). we value your support, we thank God for you and hope that you will be encouraged by what you see and here God doing through us.

today i want to share …

celebrating our 25th home placememt

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yesterday we had the wonderful experience of our 25th child leaving the village of hope, this beautiful little baby boy is just over 1 year old and due to some complex issues at home has been placed with a dear old lady who has been visiting him for the last few weeks and who loves him very much.






although he has been placed on a foster order, there fore a temporary arrangement, we are excited but the hope this new mom will be able to work with his real mom (who is also very needy) in the near future thus bringing about a amazing  story of new hope to the baby and his mother.

helping where we can....

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i'm not really sure where to start this post, part of me is really happy to have helped a few of our thembacare patients with some zinc (tin) sheeting for their homes but another part of me not only feels a little of the pain of those people but looks at what i have done is such an insignificant part in their lives that it's not really worth blogging about.

the reality of life in south africa is really hard for the majority of people, that's excluding the people who attempt to make a living doing the things that would seem 'normal' in europe or america which is also time consuming and hard work. the people i'm talking about those 'previously disadvantaged' under the apartheid years who have come to seek employment, or better job opportunities in grabouw or the wider western cape or those who have lived in grabouw for many years but have never received the education to enable them to provide the 'over and above' for their families.

what we in '…

help from afar

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the support that we recieve via our mission teams not only blesses us but also our local community. it's hard to quantify what a mission trip 'achieves', i mean we hardly ever seen any physical healings when we pray for people there and then and we aren't in the business of preaching the gospel from the roof tops, i suppose what we do is to use saint francis of assisi's model of 'continually share the gospel at all times and if nessasary use words' and this was our testomony this week as we have welcomed a team from the mid-cities church in midland texas for another 'mission trip'.

this team was made up of a family of 5, mom and her 4 children ranging from two daughters aged 24 and 14 and twin brothers who are celebrating their 11 birthdays with us today!....the other member of the team is an 18 year old young lady who was part of their mission trip in 2011.

as with any mission trip and or short term volunteer we try to give them a flavour of the thin…