Showing posts from March, 2014

arrival of the whirlwind.....

during the week we have experienced some very strong northwest winds which have battered the western cape, however none of the winds impacted us as much as the little whirlwind of a child who arrived yesterday for some much needed support.
this little three year old suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome and is very small for his age, he has already experienced so much in his little life and comes from a challenging home situation where things such as food, electric and hot water are a premium, so you can imagine the joy on his face as he saw the toys, beds and outside play equipment that greeted him and his mother as they walked through the door of our children's unit.
it is a joy to be able to provide a home for him but we do need help in understanding his needs so please pray for this little guy and also our house moms who will have to adapt to having this whirlwind around. please also pray for his mother who we will be working with as we seek to have him placed back with her once t…

our 8th sports club the rain!

there is such need in our community and it would be easy to have a scatter gun approach to all the issues that we see and are confronted with on a daily basis, however we are keen to ensure the sustainability of any project that we start and therefore planning and preparation has been the key to our success. 
this approach can be seen as we have developed our sports outreach over the last few years, and within this blog post we are pleased to announce that not only have we taken on two new sports mentors (local young adults from the communities we work in who provide that peer to peer education) but have increasing our clubs from the first one we set up in october 2008 which met the needs of about 20 boys aged about 13 to now our eighth club which sees us work over 400 children each week from the youngest under three's all the way through to boys and girls aged 15 and 16 years.
the new club was the dream of a new mentor (aphiwe) which has been set up in the marikana informal settlem…

Thembacare Grabouw: March 2014 News

Last week we were very excited to receive our long-awaited new generator. This generator was bought with the funds that were raised from the Cycle To The Sea biking challenge that took place last year and we are extremely thankful to all the people who took part! A generator means that we will never be without electricity and enables us to continue our high level of care for our patients regardless of what it going on with the grid. Quite recently we’ve had a number of power cuts so this is going to come in very handy.

Our in-patients have also been treated to a visit from the ‘Adventurers’ youth group who came to sing for them as well as visits from German volunteer, Gundi, who is staying at Village of Hope but comes to do craft with the in-patients every Wednesday.

Next week, on 24th March we will be joining forces with the local clinic to screen the community for TB on World TB Day. Grabouw has the highest rate of TB deaths in its municipality and it’s a curable disease, so this i…

March News

We are very excited to be receiving more referrals from Caledon and Villiersdorp which is extending our work into other jurisdictions. Its very interesting to see how things vary from one area to another and we are working hard with the district office of Dept of Social Development to find a way forward with these offices that fully complies with the Children's Act of SA.

 Our most recent admission is a gorgeous two and a half year old who is on chronic medication. Unfortunately his strict medical regime has not been kept to during the past two years which resulted with him being hospitalised and very poorly. It is a miracle he is still alive!  He has already improved dramatically now that he is on medication, and being loved on by our team of staff and volunteers works wonders. We will be working closely with his social worker to support his family as they face significant challenges which have resulted in this situation.

Our three-year-old girl is coming on leaps and bounds since …

Themba Training: Women's Empowerment

by Frances Fuchs, Project Manager at Themba Training

Women bear almost all responsibility for meeting basic needs of the family, yet are systematically denied the resources, information and freedom of action they need to fulfill this responsibility.

In our experience, we have found that women are denied access not by political discrimination or isolation, but by circumstance. We get to these circumstances by a combination of a wide array of factors: social, cultural, religious, and many more. We believe that although the average South African woman might be aware of her rights, she is simply not empowered enough to speak out.
Women's empowerment is a passion and priority for us at Thembalitsha. We believe that empowering women to be financially, physically, and emotionally independent is fundamental to her (and by extension the family’s) well-being. It is with this in mind that Themba Training has launched the new sub-project, focusing on women, skills training, and business traini…

February News!

Random Act of Kindness shown to Graceland

The first year occupational therapy class at Stellenbosch University was nominated by the first year occupational therapy class of the University of Cape Town to a RAK nomination, (Random Act of Kindness nomination). This means that they had a specific time-frame to complete any act of kindness, film it, and put it on social media (such as Youtube or Facebook). 

We were visited by the class of Occupational Therapy students from Stellenbosch University, a very eager and willing group. Their Random Act of Kindness to us was to do activities with the children and pamper the teachers. The activities with the children included playing games, face painting and doing creative art work. Our children enjoyed every moment of it. The pampering of the teachers included the a very indulgent manicure that started with a thorough hand massage. It is one of the few times where the teachers are also being spoiled. The RAK film will be online on the 18th of March…

Remembering ... and speaking out!


Grade 9 learners at School of Hope  recently visited the Holocaust Center, as part of the Social Sciences curriculum. The center is the oldest of its kind in Africa. It houses insightful historical content about the Human Rights violated during and post-WWII.

The day was spent attending lectures, viewing historical artifacts and watching documentaries. The outing gave the class an opportunity to engage with topics discussed as part of the History curriculum, in a different and experiential way. What a great opportunity it was to honour the millions of lives that were lost as a result of a Nazi genocide and to join the people who say, 'Never again!'.

Speaking Out!

While the Grade 9s were crystallizing their ideas about social issues and  finding their voices to speak out against injustice and oppression, two Grade 11 learners were selected to participate in the District Public Speaking competition held at Herschel Girls School on Saturday the 15th March. This being our…

Tiny little miracles

One of the privileges of being a volunteer for Bosom Buddies is that we build relationships with the moms who stay in the kangaroo room. With HH being a high risk hospital, a lot of mothers get referred here with complications in their pregnancies, and especially when in labour with premature babies. In the labour ward is a room where these mothers stay while they wait for their babies to grow to an acceptable weight for them to be discharged. This room is called the kangaroo room, since moms are encouraged to keep the babies against their chests, skin-to-skin (really beneficial for growth and brain development, and amazingly, no incubator is necessary since mom keeps baby at the perfect temperature!). These babies are unbelievably, miraculously tiny. They get discharged when their weight reaches 1.8kg, so in hospital we meet babies from 600g and up. It is these moms who we get to know, who we like to spend time with, encourage and reassure.
Below are a few notes we have received from t…

video of our sports fun day at a local creche

its amazing the relationships that develop from the work we do within the community via our sports outreach, rainbow smiles club and being involved with thembacare, one such relationship led us to put on a simple fundraising event for a creche up in the siteview area of grabouw last saturday morning. 
the leaders of the creche were so impressed with the dedication of our sports outreach programme which we run each monday afternoon near their building,  that they approached us to see if we couldn't help them with organising a sports day for their three to five year olds. 
josh and jasper grasped the opportunity with both hands and set up a wonderful event for the children, over 40 children took part in various games, including an 'egg and spoon' race, a sack race and games involving knocking down bottles of water with a tennis ball. all of the games were designed so that each child participated in every event and as they were split into different teams there were no winners o…

all smiles at rainbow smiles

its been a while since we updated you about our rainbow smiles adolescent HIV support group which runs each friday afternoon under the amazing leadership of emma podmore, who is ably supported by johan and two of our thembacare care workers.

we have to respect the children's identities and therefore their status which is one of the reasons for the lack of updates about this wonderful group, however last friday we held a special session which celebrated the move to our new venue which is held at sunday school rooms at the elgin united church and it was a chance to welcome some new children who we had identified via the work we do with the local day clinic to our weekly club.

the children enjoyed an afternoon of drumming and dancing which was lead by our security guard, andlie. they had so much fun learning simple (for them but not myself and emma who really struggled!) rhythms and xhosa dancing which was great to watch. it was nice to see the use of music to bring the group together …

providing new hope to another needy child...

it's wonderful to be able to provide a home to those children most in need and yesterday we received our newest addition to the vast numbers of children that we have helped in the nearly five years since we first opened the doors of our children's unit here at the village of hope.
each child who is placed with us comes with his or her own complex problems, perhaps the child has grown up in a home where the care that they need isn't being provided by the ones who love them, perhaps the child has a chronic illness or is on medication which needs to be monitored to ensure they are stabilised before discharging back to their families.
all of the cases are heartbreaking but we know that we have provided care for around 50 children, sometimes they stay with us for a short while, some a little longer, but each one has been loved and cared for whilst we work with their families or adoptive parents with the desire to ensure that both the child and their families are able to live a he…

another first day at school..

its amazing to see the children grow as they spend time with us, there are many mile stones that we celebrate with them and their first day at school or pre-school is one of those most precious moments.

today our little three year old who has been with us for about 18 months made his first steps into the 'education system' which was a real joy, thanks must go out to our social worker, emma, who has been busy trying to find a place at a local creche since the school term started about a month ago.

the creche/pre-school that he attends is further away from the village of hope than where the other children go, so the school run will be extended by a few minutes but he was reunited with an ex house mom who is now working at the school and will be his teacher....good news all round and it seems like his day went well as maz picked him up around lunchtime all he could talk about was the fun that he had had.