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Showing posts from March, 2013

busy busy busy...

wow i can't believe it was last monday, that's 10 days ago, since i last updated our blog site, having said that it has been crazy crazy busy here and i really haven't had any time to think, let lone create a new post.

so what's been going on i hear you cry.......well the following is a snapshot.

the ukuqala3 team worked long hours into the night to complete the project, some members of the team left at 3.30am one night and others worked through from 8am till 6am (the next day!).

our key sponsor from germany sent a representative to view the project and it was great to show her around the village of hope and other areas of work here in grabouw.

we were also joined by the professor of the architectural faculty in stuttgart, this was his first visit and he was able to see the work that his previous students (ukuqala 1 and 2) had done.

last thursday was a public holiday but there was soooo much work to be completed that both myself, maz, shannon and mel worked tirelessly paint…

another successful sports saturday...

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last saturday morning, into the early afternoon, we held our most recent sports saturday, this time with help from our german students who are busy building the extension to our children's unit acting as managers for the boys soccer and girls netball teams.

once again the event was held at the magnificent elgin country club, with the wonderful scenery providing a stunning backdrop to the games being played by over 180 children who were split into 25 teams, playing soccer and netball under the guidance of our dutch student, eric, who did a sterling job in managing the other volunteers and local sports mentors.

there isn't much that hasn't been said before about these amazing events (click on these links to see other posts around our sports saturdays, nov 2012, oct 2011, mar 2011) however it must be said that it is one of the longest but most exciting days, the joy on the children's faces as they board the 65 seater coaches for the short journey to the club, the fun that i…

March News

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Thembacare Grabouw: Inspired Care (March 2013)

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This month we’ve had the pleasure of hosting three students who’ve decided to do the practical training for their home-based care qualification with us. They chose us not only because of the work we are doing for the community, but also because the sister of one of the students was a patient of ours. The student saw how much we helped her sister and was inspired to train so that she could help others in a similar situation. Her sister is now living a healthy life, despite being HIV positive, and has managed to give birth to a child who is negative. This is great news!

Our best wishes go out to Portia, our nursing sister in charge of the home-based care team. She has been admitted to the hospital and therefore been off work this past week. We wish her a speedy recovery.

March News

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Getting to know Graceland’s new Principal

Graceland’s new principal, Simoné Van Der Berg, is an alumni of the School of Hope; another project of the Thembalitsha Foundation. She was one of their first matriculants and was valedictorian of her class. Simoné’s journey to success started when she enrolled at the School of Hope. She was 18 years old at the time, very insecure and didn’t even say a word to anyone unless asked a question. In her young life she had experienced her parents’ divorce, dropping out of school, failing a grade, moving schools 7 times and she grow up with her Grandmother who then passed away the year she enrolled at the School of Hope.

Up until the time she got to School of Hope she didn’t think she’d finish her schooling as everyone in her family only reached Grade 10, it was as if that was as high up the schooling ladder her family could go. She was told by family to give up and get a job but she knew that God had a bigger and better plan for her life. At the Schoo…

March News

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A new face at School of Hope and Thandeka starts the next phase of her journey

Daryn Jones (social worker) has only been working at School of Hope since March 1st, but already she has made herself indispensible. What were we doing without her? She is always on the go, thinking of new ways to add value to the school and to offer the learners a better service. She organised an outstanding Career Week, launching the career development programme with great enthusiasm. Says Daryn of her new role: "This is a very challenging position but i feel inspired and passionate about it. I know I will learn a lot from the learners at the School of Hope."



Thandeka Deda's inspiring story has been the subject of this blog before. This time last year she travelled to Sweden on an exchange programme. Later in 2012, she was named as School of Hope's Valedictorian and received a R20 000 bursary to further studies of her choice. Today she is making her dreams a reality. This month she started…

March News

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There has been a lot of debate on our social platforms surrounding breastfeeding vs bottle feeding. One might wonder why we would invest so much in educating mothers on this issue. People are often surprised when I mention the topic. Or activists for breastfeeding are branded as ‘hippies and Nazis’. Yes, I have been called both. Let me explain my views as endorsed by our own Department of Health, by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF.

A middle class mother in urban areas in Europe has the benefits of antenatal education, of clean running water, of sterilising equipment, enough money to buy formula milk, help and resources nearby. She would be (one would hope) properly educated around the benefits of breastfeeding, on how to deal with difficulties and she would be literate in order to read and understand mixing instructions on the formula tin.

It is true that some women are unable to breastfeed for some specific medical reason; it
is also true that women don’t have the support to be…

in the news....

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thought you might like a short update on the work that the amazing team of student from the university of stuttgart are up to here at the village of hope, i could go into the long working hours that they are keeping (at least a 12 hour shift, 8am till 8pm) or the crazy designs that they have created for both the extension of our children's unit or volunteer accommodation  i could speak about a workshop that was held with some green/ecofriendly capetonians over the weekend but i would be here all day explaining so what better way than let others do that explaining.

therefore if you would like to see some recent photos then visit the ukuqala web page by clicking here, or to see how the newspaper reported our recent break in against a back drop of outreach and support then click on the article for a better look.

a new area for our sports outreach

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you may be aware that we run sports outreach clubs to over 250 children each week and over the last 18 months we have been working at a second local farm providing our life skills and health awareness via sport programme to their children, however due to other commitments, such as school work and family commitments we have only been getting between five to 10 children at each club.

we know that each child is special and needs to be given the same chance but we had to reevaluate our resource and we felt that traveling over 50 minutes there and back on a thursday afternoon was not a good use of time, petrol or money so it is with sadness that we say goodbye to those wonderful children. we trust that our impact will be long lasting and if we were able to employ a full-time sports outreach coordinator we are sure that this could open up again.

but as with anything as one door closes then another opens and our sports mentors from the informal areas of town were keen to start another club to …

shedding a tear or two....

i feel enormously proud and honored to be part of the thembalitsha foundation, each one of our projects is doing some amazing work as we seek to provide new hope via our healthcare, education and training projects.

today i would encourage you to take 10 minutes to sit down in a quiet space and watch the new video that has been put together for our sister project thembacare athlone....click here to follow the youtube link....

my words cannot express the way this team of doctors, sisters and careworkers have impacted the lives of literally thousands of children who are infected or affected by HIV, AIDS and TB since they opened 10 years ago, so i will let the video do the talking, but please be inspired by the work, put your hand in your pocket to pledge to give or your hands together to pray for this work and the work the wider foundation are involved in.

and lastly i am sure you will find it hard not to shed a tear or two when you see the appearance of a certain little man at the end of t…

some unwelcome visitors

we have often posted about the amazing people who come and spend their time here at the village of hope, our visitors normally range from international volunteers who have been with us for nearly 3 years to people making a quick visit whilst on holiday in the western cape, however in the early hours of thursday morning the peace that surrounds the village of hope, and especially the children's unit, was broken by the arrival of four masked men who made an unwelcome entry into the unit, waking the house moms and placing them under pressure to hand over their valuable cell phones and jewelry.

its hard to put into words the trauma that was caused to our two house moms who were sleeping gently whilst looking after the children that have been placed into our care and it's hard not to worry if the same events might happen again, however we a not so blind to notice that we live in a world that is full of violence let lone a country that has some of the highest crime rates on earth and…