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Showing posts from August, 2013

more birthdays!

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yesterday we celebrated the third birthday of our dear little girl who has been struggling with her walking and speaking ever since she arrived with us late last year. emma and shannon did a great job of putting on the party with the kids making the table cloth and party hats, as well as playing games and barbara continued to bless us with the food which was enjoyed by all the kids, house moms and volunteers.

if you would like to find out more about this wonderful girl you can read more about her and the development she has made since she has been with us by clicking on the following links, her arrival and her with her walking frame.

new sports outreach starts in xolanaledi

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i am feeling a little frustrated at the moment as my laptop has had a big breakdown so i am having to use other computers to post on the blog and uploading photos, even a simple task like completing our village of hope internet banking is providing difficult as i don't want to sync my cell phone with devices that i'm not going to be using in the future, however that said i have found a way of posting this blog and i am so encouraged about the story that i am prepared to work around my technical challenges!

we have been so busy over the last few weeks, which you will have read about in our august newsletter and even today we are wanting to share about the new landscaping that is taking place around the entrance to the project as well as another birthday party, the end of which is still taking place as i write this (i can hear the music to the 'pass the parcel' as i type), however the photos and stories around those items will have to wait for another day as i am wanting …

Thembacare Grabouw: August 2013 News

Life at a hospice is always a rollercoaster of highs and lows. It is to be expected that, being involved in this kind of service, we will experience patients die. However the experience never becomes easier to handle, and this month we lost four inpatients in the space of just one week! We can take comfort in the fact that we provided each one with love and care in their last days, but sometimes it is hard not to be sad.

We have happily been able to make some improvements to our building thanks to a local funder and now have some neat and tidy new flooring throughout the unit as well as a wonderful container outside for file archiving. In the near future we will also be adding a sluice room and more storage in order to meet the standard required by HPCA (Hospice Palliative Care Association) for a 3-star award. It is good to see our premises improving and becoming more professional.

All our carers got some added sparkle on Women’s Day by having some refreshing juice given to us by Appl…

August News

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August has been a month of contrast weather-wise. Although we've had days of 29 degree sunshine, we've also experienced 0 degree days that have brought wind, rain and storms and caused a lot of discomfort and damp to our friends living in the community of Grabouw. The rivers are overflowing and although we have to be thankful for the rain for the farmers here we sometimes feel frustrated that we can't help to relieve the problems that it causes for the majority other than delivering a small drop of soup once a week - which often just doesn't seem enough....It's then that we have to remind ourselves of the starfish story!

Children’s Unit
We have to remember that we are able to make a difference to a few and this children who we care for in the unit here have somewhere safe and comfortable to be. Last week we were about to celebrate our smallest child's first birthday and have taken great delight in seeing him physically progress in the short time he has been with …

first day at pre-school

one of the most amazing things we can do to support the little ones who we have been given care over is to ensure that we don't miss those most important dates in their lives, and obviously one's first day at school, be that real big school or pre-school, is key date in anyone's life. so today we had the pleasure of taking our little three year old boy to his first day at pre-school, well i say we as it was actually emma who got up early to ensure that this boy fitted in well and was made a bit of a fuss over.

as you can imagine the lives of the children to stay with us are so complex so what is already a very trying and emotional time was made all the harder as there were many hurdles to overcome this morning, firstly his estranged mother who lives near the school, and who we have had very little interaction with since he has been with us, was calling to him as he arrived, an over friendly dog was waiting to greet him at the school gate, the little boy is very scared of do…

August News

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Mandela Day celebration!
On the 18th of July, Graceland Pre-school had three different sets of visitors, with the same goal in-mind. The goal was to make sure that all the little Gracelanders were spoilt in honour of Grandpa Nelson Mandela’s birthday. 


Our first group of visitors, were 3 colleagues from Nedbank who have committed to giving milk and oats to Graceland monthly. They came with 60 cupcakes for the children and staff to decorate. The children loved it! Once each one of us had decorated our cupcakes with different coloured icing and toppings, we sang happy birthday to Madiba and gobbled up every last drop.


Our second group of visitors, were Rayner Van Wyk (from Stellenbosch360), Abigail (from Abuzz Marketing), Tiaan Langenegger (a local celebrity chef), Hilmari (Tiaan’s friend), Mathilda Venter (from Chef & Broomstix), Janine (from ColdGold Ice Cream) and Lea, Justine and Tobie (from Brenaissance). These are all local Stellenboschers wanting to…

The hand that rocks the cradle

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Many of the young girls at the School of Hope write their Grade 12 exams with a book in the one hand and a baby in the other.

The reason we advocate for young mothers to complete education at almost any cost, is because we believe that an educated mother is almost certainly going to result in an educated child. Gaylene (2009 Bachelors pass), Bianca (2011 Diploma pass) and Fatimah (2012 Bachelors pass) are all School of Hope alumni who managed to successfully balance academics and motherhood. This year, there are three more mothers bravely facing their up-coming Grade 12 trial exams.

We asked our learners why education is important to them.

Jasmine (19): "My education is important to me because I know that without it I cannot make a success of my life. I grew up in a broken home - my father was on drugs and my mother was sick and depended on me. I also had the responsibility of looking after my brother and sister since I was 15. That's when I realised how important education is.…

August news

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August is a big month for Bosom Buddies. Women’s month means the focus nationwide is on the health and well-being is on that of the woman, which is why it is in the week coming up to Women’s Day, we celebrate breastfeeding week.    In South Africa our child mortality rates are alarmingly high and maternal mortality rates are rising.   A large percentage of these deaths are preventable. We believe that through education, support and constant guidance, we can make a real difference, which is why we offer breastfeeding education and support groups at our local clinics daily.

In the partnership between public healthcare and BB, we form a holistic care for our mothers. We offer more than antenatal and baby care; it is about life and lifestyle, finding the voice in the mother. I encourage our women to know their rights, to demand quality service and to ask questions.
Our ultimate aim is to significantly reduce stillbirths and infant deaths and to elevate maternal well-being in our area. Our foc…

winning in many ways...!

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the 9th of august is a special day in south africa when we think about the wonderful women of the country, it's a public holiday and many things are done to celebrate women, however for myself, josh, seb and our sports mentors there was no lay in as we were up by 6am collecting the mentors from their homes in the formal and informal settlements before we made the hour long journey to worcester where we were taking part in a soccer tournament organised by solid rock.

we arrived ready for registration at 8am after a fantastic drive through the snowing mountains and by 9.30 the event was well underway with teams from the whole of the boland area competing in various age groups from under 9's right the way through to under 19's. we had entered a team made up of our under 17 mentors with a few supporters joining us for the ride!....unfortunately we were placed into the under 19 competition but this didn't deter our team of five players with two subs, who were wearing some ne…

small steps make such a difference 2......

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as we highlighted on our previous post we are constantly seeing that small steps really do make such a difference and come in so many different forms as we serve our community here in grabouw.

there was much anticipation for the arrival of tony, hazel and rosie allen from winslow, not only were we looking forward to catching up with them again and seeing the impact that they would have as they joined us for a couple of weeks volunteering at the village of hope, but we knew that they were bring over a children's walking frame for one of our children who is suffering from the affects of the HIV virus.
the walking frame was donated by one of our other volunteers, josh holtrum, mother who wanted to make a difference to this dear little girls life and yesterday there was so much joy on the faces of the house mom's, the volunteers and most importantly the face of the little girl as she took her first meaningful steps behind the frame which provided some much needed support as she lear…