Showing posts from September, 2013

September News

A full child is a happy child

“School feeding not only fills stomachs, but has a proven track record of boosting enrolment, attendance and academic performance. For just pennies (coins) a day per child, this program changes lives – and ultimately can impact the futures of poor countries around the world in a profound way.”

Drew Barrymore

One of our little ones (let’s call him Emile) seems to forget his bag at home most of the month. When it is snack time and everyone run towards their bags. Emile would run towards his teacher and say, ’I forgot my bag at home.’ The teacher would then say to him, ‘No worries, I’ll sort you out right away’ and proceed to the kitchen to get him a snack. Other times of the month Emile would bring his bag to school but at snack time he would hide behind his friends with his bag but still no snack. His teacher later discovered that Emile preferred to say he forgot his bag at home instead of having to say he has no snack. The teacher now speaks to him before sn…

Thembacare Grabouw: Cycle To The Sea makes waves (September 2013)

September News

This month is a cause for much celebration for us here at Village of Hope. Last week we received the news that our project is officially registered with the Department of Social Development. It has taken a very long time to establish with, which government department we should be registered to and what kind of facility we should be registered as. A process of over 4 years to be precise! Maz and her team have had lots of to-ing and fro-ing to do and red tape to wade though, but finally we have the piece of paper (laminated, scanned, copied and soon to be elegantly framed!) to prove that we are acknowledged by the government and officially allowed to be in operation as a 12-bed partial care facility.

What was ‘funny’ was that all the other social service organisations in town found out the result before we did. Apparently it had been confirmed a week previous to us knowing. Slightly back to front we think!

The only slightly element that took the shine of the news is that Tim and Maz weren…

Best. Result. Ever!

Our number one goal for every child who comes to us at Village of Hope is to see them reunified with their parents. Often, that result is not always possible. Often, the child ends up with a member of their extended family, an Aunt or a Granny and sometimes we have to feed them into the foster-care system. So, on the rare occasion when we are able to place a child back with their Father or Mother our hearts do a little leap of joy! It is the Best. Result. Ever!

This week we are going to be able to do just that with a little boy who has been in our care for the last 6 months. He was referred to us because his mother had been defaulting on his ARV meds (HIV medication) to the point where he had ended up very poorly and in hospital. He couldn’t even sit up because he was so weak. Now he is a walking, talking little tinker and always entertaining us! He is particularly fond of music and loves to play the guitar with Shannon.

This little boy’s mother is only just 19. She is HIV positive hers…

September news: Shamiela's story

Shamiela* is a young woman of 19, mother of 3 children aged 4 years, 2 years and 8 months. She lives with her parents and her sister and next door to her best friend, who also has a baby. In a society where teenage pregnancies are commonplace and accepted, we find that more and more girls (and of course the men involved) are careless in their sexual practices. It is not a lack of knowledge or a lack of sex education, it is not even a lack of understanding of the consequences of falling pregnant. It is also not necessarily what a lot of people believe, which is that she has babies in order to benefit from the child support grant of R250 per child per month. We all know that this is not nearly enough to support a child. Most women we meet, no matter their age, are unmarried. According to our statistics, less than 25% of the women who attend our support groups are married. This implies that it is also only about 25% of mothers who are supported by the fathers of the children.
So why are in…

Themba Training: 2013, A Year of Contrasts

by Francois Heunis, Project Manager at Themba Training

2013 has been a year of contrasts for Themba Training. We have enjoyed good news stories, yet at the same time have faced challenges and had a few sad news stories. Sadly, at the end of August we said goodbye to two of our trainers.

Malibongwe Nduku joined the Thembalitsha staff more than 5 years ago and has become much loved and respected in the Foundation. For most of this time, Mali was involved in our microbusiness training courses. In 2012, we established the PC training center in Bellville (near main bus/taxi rank) which came under his leadership. We are very proud of what we managed to establish, but we have not been successful in creating sufficient interest. In the many years Themba Training has been involved in the townships, we have literally had hundreds of requests for computer training. However, we were not confident in establishing such a facility in the areas we operate due to security concerns, therefore the move…

If You Want To Go Far, Go Together

Hi-5s and pats on the back to all of us because we’ve survived our first week without Tim and Maz and without any major hiccups. Always a relief! We have a month to go before they return from the UK and our aim until then is to keep the wheels of the project on and running smoothly until then!!

However, as we waved them off at the end of August I was struck that, for once, I didn’t have the usual feeling of fear or trepidation. There was no sinking feeling or thought of ‘oh, no, what’s going to happen now!’ and I actually was quite happy for them to go! This wasn’t, contrary to what Mr and Mrs Walker might be thinking right now, because I was sick of the sight of them and needed a break (!) it was because I realised that:

1.God’s got us covered
2.We’ve survived in the past – in spite of children suddenly falling sick and having to be rushed into hospital, employees quitting, sheds being blown down in storms and numerous other 'coincidental' happenings

And importantly

3.We have a wo…