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Showing posts from May, 2013

saying goodbye is never easy

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it's crazy how time flies, especially when your having fun!, and the last 10 months have been no different. this week we are saying our sad goodbye's to our two dutch students who are coming to the end of their internship with us.

last night we through a party for marlies who has been working with maz on our social work side since august and erik who has been with us since february working with me as we bring our lifeskills programme via sports outreach to the children in our community.

it was great to honor these two wonderful students with a party which was attended by the majority of our house moms and our sports mentors who enjoyed a great meal prepared by maz and the evening was capped by the village of hope tradition of sharing our highlights and (if applicable low lights) of their time with us.

we are so blessed to have this relationship with the HAN university who we have partnered with over the last four years and our minds were also bought back to the wonderful students…

helping through the storms of life!

we have been enjoying some indian summer weather here in grabouw over the last month or so, however last night that came to an abrupt ending when we had a huge storm which wrecked havoc in our little town. this morning over 100 house holds were counting the cost of the damage that the water had caused and we rallied the troops to the call of the municipal town manager who was asking for fresh blankets and other bed linen.

but as normal we look to go the extra mile, or maybe we should say the third mile, and our offer to help didn't stop there, this evening we have welcomed in a family who's home was so badly affected by the water, with over 1000mm of water rushing through their small home in pineview. they have spent most of the day cleaning up the mess that the water has caused however this evening we are so happy to be able to extend a welcome to dolly and her two girls who will sleep in warm beds and enjoy hot showers after their 24 hour ordeal.



Thembacare Grabouw: May 2013 News

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This month was not a good month for ThembaCare. Two of our carers were in a vehicle accident and were hospitalised with minor injuries and are still experiencing some pain.

It also with great sadness that we have to say farewell to one of our staff members who passed away on 13 May 2013. Eva Manho was one of the IPU night duty carers. She is leaving behind one son and four daughters as well as grandchildren. This is a first for ThembaCare Grabouw to lose a beloved staff member. Please keep our staff in your prayers in the coming weeks.

Aside from this loss, we are busy working towards our 3 star preparations for HPCA. This involves writing implementing more policies. We want to thank Ayanda from HPCA for the mentoring towards this.

May News

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Number Crunching : Measuring our Impact

A total of 35 students have graduated from the School of Hope with a Matric Certificate since 2008. Where are they NOW? We know that 46% of them are currently studying and 43% of them are meaningfully employed.

Simone van Der Berg (2008) studied Early Childhood Development management and is currently the Principal at Graceland preschool in Stellenbosch.



Mishqa Benjamin (2009) started her own successful transport business and creche.

Khumbula Mdende (2010) is in his third year of study at Cornerstone Institute in Cape Town. His amazing story of hope is featured here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NlpsVw3lTg

Manhino Dias (2010) studied at Cape Audio College and is now part owner of Shack Records. He has produced dozens of tracks for up-and-coming artists.

Noxolo Mdingi (2010) obtained a diploma in auxiliary social work and is currently working in the Langa area. She facilitated a successful intervention programme to help young offenders incarcerated …

May News

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Miles for Moms 2013 was yet another colossal challenge, with 11 of us taking on the Jonkershoek Mountain Challenge on 5 May. I am happy to say that we all survived and did extremely well. We have an amazingly fit and fearless team of runners of who I am very proud. Anthony, James and Charles undertook the extreme 35km distance. Brave men, all three of them! Emily, Willemien, André-Hugo, Jan, Ben and myself braved the 21km (very, very far for a trailrun) and speedsters Monique and Hanel sprinted the 10km.

Why did we do this? We are running to raise awareness for our project, the plights of mothers in our area and to raise some funds. Thank you for your help in spreading our message – that every new life is a celebration, that all mothers need support and compassion, that we are eliminating infant mortality and morbidity in our area through empowerment and education of mothers.

On Sunday 12 May we celebrated Mother’s day. It is on these days that I would like to encourage our supporters t…

May News

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The big news this month is that we were finally able to move into our refurbished children’s unit last week! Hurrah! The new space is fantastic and it’s great to be settling in and making it feel like home. We’ve still got some issues like heating for the winter to sort out but we will get there!

Now that we have more space we are able to begin to take more children in. We had already taken a little boy in whilst we were still in the temporary unit so our numbers are now up to 6 and have space for another 9! The new little boy is HIV positive but was not on ARVs. He had to spend his first two weeks with us in hospital because he arrived with serious diarrhea and was so weak he was unable to sit up. Now, after being fed intravenously at the hospital and being stabalised on his medication, he is doing so much better and is always smiling. He has such a cute face!

Since we’ve moved into the new unit we’ve had a visit from a team at CFNI who came and spent the afternoon with the children an…

May News

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The Changing Seasons at Graceland:

Summer at Graceland was hot and filled with children who see nothing wrong with running around in the sun. With this knowledge we decided to take full advantage of the weather and we had a water day at school. This gave us an opportunity to make use of all our water equipment that had been donated to Graceland by various people. It was amazing to see how the children responded to the water. Some children couldn’t wait to get into the water and it was difficult to get them out of the water, while other children would cry at the touch of a drop.

Well, now summer is gone and autumn is here! One of the privileges of staying in Stellenbosch is being able to experience every season to its fullest. The vineyards changed from green to yellow, red, orange and brown. As the children are learning about autumn as a theme, the teachers feel like they are experiencing it for the first time. Graceland is blessed to be situated in one of God most natural displays of b…

Meet Sannie

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This is Sannie.She is a very active and loving 5-year-old who attends our preschool.I love how Graceland offers education to children like her that would otherwise be left alone at home or on the street.

Sannie’s great grandfather cares for her because her mother left her after her father was murdered.If it weren’t for Graceland, she would spend most of her days on the streets with other children of the vineyard workers.

The teachers at Graceland represent the type of mother figure Sannie needs at this time in her life.And although they cannot replace her mother, they can dote on her, give her some of the affection that she so desperately craves, and teach her that she is valued and valuable, in addition to many life skills that will be necessary in the years to come.

Many of the children at Graceland are affected by fetal alcohol syndrome because of parents that are slave to alcoholism.Although it is an illegal practice here in the Cape Winelands, many of the workers’ wages are still pa…

More Than Your Average Mother

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Today is Mother's Day in South Africa and I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate the Village of Hope House Mums.

We have a team of wonderful ladies, 11 in total, who we employ from the local community to care for the children here at Village of Hope. But these ladies are more than just carers, they really are Mothers to the children during their time here. They clean their faces, feed them, sing to them and play with them. They are there for them when they are sick and make sure they get their medication on time. They pour their love out to every child that comes through these doors whether they are with us for three weeks or three years.

This 'job' is not easy. They work 12-hour shifts and many of them have children of their own at home that they also need to care for, however most of them have been with us since we opened our doors 4 years ago and they truly are part of the family here.

During the past 4 years they've been 'mum' to over 40 children - no …

Cute As A Button...

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...and as small as one too!


Well here we are at Friday again! We’ve survived our first week without Tim and Maz and no hiccups to report (which is always a relief!).

Yesterday we were able to welcome home one of our most recent admissions - the little boy who’d originally arrived with acute gastroenteritis, dehydration and malnutrition. His situation was so critical that he needed two weeks in hospital! We are so happy that he has recovered his strength, gained some weight and is able to sit up and walk around normally now. He is even smiling now!

Today we have taken in another little girl. She has a similar background to the little boy. She is HIV+ and her mother has been failing to give her the ARV medication regularly *. She is severely malnourished and, although she is two years old, looks no bigger than a six-month-old. I was truly shocked when I met her. She is tiny, weighing less than 6kg (12 lbs). She is not a happy bunny at the moment and keeps asking for her Mummy but we hope s…