Showing posts from December, 2013

looking back at 2013 and forward into 2104

well where did that year go?....2013 certainly seemed to fly by, this is a trend that we have become accustom to at the village of hope as we pack so much into each day but it's frightening when you realise that a whole 365 days have passed in the blink of an eye. its hard to put into words all the things that have happened during the year, just taking a look at our blog posts there are many fond memories, some sad moments and a few disappointments, but overall we made lots of new friends, increased our service to the community, celebrated the completion of the new children's and volunteer units, we've hosted many wonderful mission teams and single volunteers, and put on some amazing sports events for the children that we work with. our relationships with our local community have been strengthen, just think about the amazing events that we have already hosted at the hope@cluver amphitheater, we are able to host more children at the project, we have a stronger social work si

its lovely weather for a sleigh ride together

santa and his elves (sports mentors) yes its that time of year again when the days are sunny, warm and bright and we dust off the 'good olde sleigh' again and tow it, along with father christmas, around the community of grabouw. if you have followed this blog for any length of time you will know that our annual sleigh rise has become a tradition at the village of hope, to see the faces of the children as they catch sight of santa passing their homes is a real treat and to hand out a few sweets brings so much joy to those who won't have chance to visit santa's grotto in the local mall. santa in site view we know that christmas isn't all about presents and a funny white bearded guy who supposedly comes from the north pole (no that's not you trondar) but to know that this one hour of fun can bring so many smiles from all ages of people is worth doing and we trust that this random act of kindness will be seen as our continued desire to serve the town of grabouw via

beach days, new babies and mentors help....

happy christmas meal house moms and our eldest girl enjoying the sea nana on the beach! we have been enjoying some balmy summer weather over the last week or so and fittingly after the funeral of nelson mandela on sunday the country celbrated its annual public holiday, 'the day of reconciliation' on the 16th december. mommy maz building castles in the sand grace with our newest baby boy helping mentors on the 15th we held our 'christmas dinner', which was cooked for us by barbara and my mum (tim) and on the public holiday it was a chance to take our wonderful children, our house moms and some members of the thembacare grabouw staff for an afternoon of fun and games at the local beach. the weather was great and the kids had a great time digging sandcastles and jumping in the surf. after our sad goodbyes to two children on friday, see earlier post here , it was fantastic to be able to take in our newest child, a seven week old baby boy who has been placed with us after s

parting christmas parties

our 3 year old and his granny it is the season to be jolly ( and on friday lunchtime we were able to celebrate with the children who are currently staying with us, with some of those who have been discharged and with their carers. it was great to see some of the little ones who had spent time with us at the village of hope doing so well and to be able to bless their moms, aunties and grannies with a festive feast (kindly donated by chanttel and her husband)....'father christmas' (aka josh holtrum) made his annual (josh's first) appearance and handed each child and their siblings a present. clicking thumbs for the last time! the party had its ups and its downs as we knew at the end of it two of our longer term boys would be going home to stay with aunties and grannies for good. the aim of the village of hope has always been to provide a safe environment for vulnerable children to stay whilst their medical and or social issues

rainbow smiles for a rainbow nation

as you can imagine the news of nelson mandela's passing on thursday evening has dominated the thoughts of all here at the village of hope, the news feeds, not only here in south africa but all around the world are full of thoughts towards him and the name he was, its quite strange being part of the national outpouring of love and support that this country is going through at the minute and we are aware that that will probably heighten during the next few days as we lead up to his funeral this coming sunday. yesterday morning we gathered with the rest of the congregation at elgin united church to hold a special memorial service for nelson mandela and we had the privileged to hear from two men who were very close to him following his release and creation of the new government. the stories they told really captured the essence of the man the world has come to revere and as a nation we are now standing at the precipice of a new era, he has gone but as he so rightly said in one of his a

Meet Zoleka, Breastfeeding Counselor

I was recently able to spend some time with Zoleka Malamba, a breastfeeding counselor and advocate. I was struck by her personal story and how her history has led her to where she is today, making a difference in the lives of other women in similar situations. Zoleka teaching on the importance of breastfeeding at a support group Today, Zoleka is 34 years old and has three kids.  She is married and lives with her husband, George, whom she met 1998. Zoleka met Frances Fuchs, the manager of Bosom Buddies, while she was working for another NGO (non-governmental organisation), Mothers To Mothers, that counsels women who are HIV+.  She is happy today that she spoke with Frances when her contract with Mothers to Mothers was coming to an end.  She accepted the offer to work for Bosom Buddies in April 2012. This is just a bit of Zoleka’s story. Please tell me about yourself. I grew up living with my mother, grandmother and uncle as social outcasts.  My mother had me when I was 15 years old and

thoughts from the village of hope around world AIDS day...

stories in the news around HIV can be confusing, on the one hand we hear that there has been a 'dramatic drop in new infection rates'  and ' that mother to child transmission is falling ', and on the other hand there are 'reports of a more dangerous strain of the HIV virus in west africa ' and that 'adolescence dying from AIDS in south africa is on the increase' , what are we to believe on 'world aids day' in 2013? well we will now provide you with four stories that have impacted us in grabouw over the last four weeks where we are really feeling the effects of the loss of our full time ARV doctor at our local hospital, not all of these stories can be attributed to the fact that we have lost probably one of the most amazing and caring HIV specialists in south africa and we don't want to get into the politics of all that here but the facts on the ground are pointing to more suffering and even deaths due to the changes that have been made. the f