Showing posts from July, 2013

small steps make such a difference.....

as many of you will be aware thembalitsha is the xhosa translation of the english words 'new hope' and its amazing to work with a charity where we see new hope being provided in various different ways via our seven projects throughout the western cape.

it's easy to miss the stories of hope that surround us each and everyday so we have made a point of sharing some of these stories around the morning meeting table as we start each day, one as an encouragement of the things that we have seen from the days before and one to challenge us to see the small things that bring hope to those we are working with.

the new hope we see at the village of hope comes in many different forms and expressions, some are obvious as we see the development of the children who are placed with us, be that in their physical, emotional or even spiritual growth or less obvious as we see the slight changes in behaviors of the children that attend our daily sports outreach clubs.

the story of hope that i wa…

July News

More Than Just Alumni

The School of Hope celebrated its first ever Alumni event this month, welcoming graduates for a night of impassionate reminiscing and great food.  We know that it is important to not only forge relationships in the spirit of family, but continue to grow in fellowship even after our learners have left. The transition into the ‘real world’ can be quite challenging, so it was very encouraging to hear stories about how our past learners are championing. Equally important was that we were able to measure our success as a school. Afterall, giving hope through education is what we do!
There was much anticipation on the day as we found ourselves trying to sort out last minute details. We quickly assembled the troops, and made our way to His People in N1 City to put together a décor that made the wait even more difficult. The atmosphere was rich vintage. Centred on each table was a picture of each of our graduates. The lighting was subtle and perfect for intimate conversati…

July News

“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronisingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” Nelson Mandela

Upon celebrating Mandela day on 18 July, I was yet again encouraged and thrilled to see the whole country united in charitable generosity and kindness. Obviously as an NGO we are overrun by requests for people wanting to join us in doing something. Of course we love showing guests around, for me that is one of the favourite perks of my job. I enjoy taking guests with me to the hospital, showing them around the maternity ward and allowing them to meet the new moms, give them a Bosom Buddies bag and they might even get the opportunity to dress or cuddle a newborn. It is, as with most things, a double-edged sword, though. The mothers having just given birth are in the euphoric, high-adrenalin and endorphin hormonal stage and need quiet time to bond with their babies and initiate breastfeeding. The…

July News

This month Graceland was blessed an opportunity to go see Disney On Ice at Cape Town International Convention Centre and it was all sponsored by Travelstart South Africa.

This was an amazing outing. The staff, the children and some of the children’s parents who chaperoned couldn't talk about it enough. For most of the parents and children who went, it was the first time they were in Cape Town. One of our teacher's responsed: "It was fantastic because it was so real and professional.  All the characters remind us of our childhood days and for the children it was something new. They knew some Disney characters but some was really new to them. The lights, the ice, everything amazed us all."

The parents were overwhelmed with appreciatiton of what Travel Start did for their children. It was something that they feel they could never afford to send their children to. Being able to experience something like this with our children is a privilege. The children were so amazed by …

Thembacare Grabouw: Mandela Day Blessings (July 2013)

This month here in South Africa we are encouraged to mark Mandela Day by giving back 67 minutes to our community. Of course, here at ThembaCare we give back to the community anyway, but we were very touched by some other local organisations who decided to help us out with their 67 minutes of service. Pineview school came to wash cars and tidy the garden, Groenberg school donated a lovely quilt and R1007! The local rugby club came and made us lunch and helped to feed our patients, and the Moravian church came to pray with our patients for 67 minutes. It's days like Mandela Day when we really realise the power of the community and the potential we have to make a difference by working together for good. Thank you so much to everyone who came to bless us. It made a huge difference to us!

July News

After months of upheaval, building, moving and change it really does feel like we things are coming together.

The land itself is looking more tidy. We have nice neat spaces for wood piles and the generator. Maz and Tim have moved into their new accommodation by the children’s unit and the long-term volunteer’s house (which used to be where Tim and Maz stayed) is truly homely and full with long-term volunteers!

Children’s Unit
The children’s unit is benefitting from the arrival of Emma Podmore. She has, along with Barbara, slotted in with ease to the ebb and flow of the unit. Emma is a qualified social worker and is already making distinct headway, solidifying our relationship with the social services further and working with them to see our discharge plans implemented more smoothly (and possibly quickly).  This month she has been able to assist the mum of one of the boys here in the unit to acquire a protection order from her violent boyfriend. This is something that should seem quite si…

birthday parties are the best!

yesterday we celebrated the third birthday of one of our little boys, he had a great party with games, face painting, food and a cake. it's wonderful to be able to spoil our little ones on their special day but i think the house moms and volunteers really look forward to these more than the kids!

new things a foot...including a new child

we are really sorry for the lack of communication via the blog over the last few weeks, but it has been a little bit manic here. i'm not going to say too much on this post as our monthly newsletter is due out this week but just to say that we have taken in a dear little baby boy who needs our support whilst we regain his weight and place him onto his HIV medication.

more to follow in the newsletter about the other new stuff.

volunteers arrive (from buckinghamshire!)

as you will be aware the opportunities that arise for volunteers to come and serve with us via the thembalitsha foundation are wide and varied, and our local nurses, house moms, care workers and sport mentors (of which we employ over 50 full time staff over our two projects in grabouw) are complimented by amazing people who have joined us from all around the world.

over the last few weeks this team of volunteers who serve in so many different ways here at the village of hope has grown by three, two of the those are returning to fill specific roles which we have been praying around for a long time and one is joining with the hope of extending their stay if things work out well.

all three volunteers hail from the same part of the globe, that being a very small area based in the vale of aylesbury, in buckinghamshire, england. but they all attend different churches and have all arrived on separate journey's which is a testimony to the diversity that we have with the churches in that are…

beanies for babies

the lovely folks from the local home for the elderly, huis groenland, visited the village of hope today and came bearing gifts which they had made for our children who are currently staying with us and also some of those we have successfully placed back into the local community.

the photo shows the children with their new hand knitted beanies, which will bless them as the play outside in the colder winter weather, and we are looking forward to dressing them in their new tracksuits which were also made for them, in the near future. the visit and the time taken to make these clothes was much appreciated and we were also able to enjoy a cake with one of the ladies who was celebrating her birthday today which was nice.

Meet Destino Nzonzidi, a Man with a Destiny

My first time visiting School of Hope after I arrived in South Africa, I had the privilege of meeting a remarkable young man by the name of Destino Nzonzidi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.I was blown away by how he overcame the odds stacked against him.

This is Destino’s Story
My name is Destino Nzonzidi.I came to South Africa from DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 2008.I was playing for the national soccer team in Zambia in grade 12.We lost games in a tournament and couldn’t go home because the fans were waiting to beat us when I arrived.We feared for our lives.
My aunt told me I needed to go back to school, so I decided to do that instead of pursuing a professional soccer career in South Africa.I tried looking at alternative schools to finish my education starting at grade twelve and was placed in grade eight because my first language is French and I couldn’t speak English very well.
When I started at grade eight in 2009, I failed.I tried again in 2010 and failed once…