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Showing posts from April, 2014

newsworthy stories...

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it's always nice to have the profile of the work we are doing raised in the media and last week the village of hope project, and the work we are involved with via the thembalitsha foundation, made the news in two papers around the world.
for those of you who don't live in grabouw the story of our fifth birthday celebrations made the news in the elgin grabouwer, see photo attached and for those who live outside of the aylesbury vale (the area where myself, maz, rob, emily, barbara, emma and josh hail from) we appeared in the local newspaper, the bucks herald, and if you would like to take a look at the electronic version of that piece then please click this link.

starting school

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one of the greatest joys we have is to be able to see our young children grow up and enter their formal education, most of our children stay with us only a short while as we seek to stabilise them on their medication and work with their families for a full reintegration however for some they stay with us a little longer so this schooling process usually takes place when a child has been with us as a toddler and then makes their first steps into pre-school.

however last week we were able to secure a place for our new 8 year old into his first grade of primary education, this child had never attended school before so there was a lot for emma to sort out, especially as all the schools in grabouw were already full, however with her 'never give up attitude' she managed to enter him into his grade one class of which he was so pleased.

he has made some new friends and seems to be very happy, the only down side is that  the school run has got a little more complicated with us having to …

April News

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This April we celebrate being open 5 years! It’s so wonderful to be able to reflect on the work we’ve done so far and to be inspired to knuckle down and keep going through the tough days.


Children’s Unit
Perhaps the most exciting thing about ‘turning 5’ is that we’ve been able to receive four new children into the unit which means that we are nearly at capacity. It’s great to see the unit bustling with life – although it’s keeping the House Moms on their toes, especially since three of the new boys are brothers and the other new admission suffers severely with FASD.

The three-year-old boy who arrived here last month has had to spend the past three weeks in hospital. Although he is back with us now the hospital are still battling to determine exactly what he is suffering with. They think it might be a strain of TB usually only found in adults and he is going back for more tests this week, the results of which will hopefully help to determine a
treatment plan. The doctors and staff at the h…

Themba Training: Sewing Sparks Great Interest!

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by Frances Fuchs, Project Manager at Themba Training

The current training course which started the first week of Feb and ran over 10 weeks has now ended with a tremendous success rate. Of the 15 women who started the course, 13 completed the full training. Of those 13 women, nine are attending the small business training as well, which would give them the necessary skills and business knowledge to start their own ventures. Upon doing a random test of the sewing ladies, I found their skill to be excellent. I was impressed by how the students could design something, cut, pin and sew it according to my specifications. All commendation should go to Funiswa, our excellent seamstress and teacher.

We have started beading as well. We intend to start a small business, creating opportunities for the women who attend our classes with outstanding results. Our ultimate aim is to produce keepsakes and gifts for corporates to give their clients. The first of our customers is Bosom Buddies (now Mama T…

Fundraiser time!

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Bosom Buddies fundraisers are legendary as occasions where huge fun is had in celebration of what we have achieved and continue to work towards daily. We gave 2013 a skip but are determined to host an event that surpasses all others we've done before. Prepare yourself for…
An out of Africa Experience not to be missed!
Dressed in White and/or Khaki with your voluptuous hat, arrive in time for a sundowner of gin and tonic to play some croquet, boules and other games on the lawn in front of the forest.
Then wander through into the courtyard where you’ll be welcomed by the smell of freshly baked rosemary-infused potbrood which you can eat together with paté and olives.
Later you’ll be treated to:
· Lightly dusted hake on puk choi with a paprika/cashew nut crust and wedges

· Plankie Steak and crisp salad

· Chicken Kebabs

· Deboned Lamb neck on Mediterranean vegetables

· Boerewors with a mustard mayo sauce

Sit down and relax and laugh around the long table, or have a boogie on the dancefloor! Lin…

April news!

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Graceland High Tea 2014

Our High Tea was hosted on the terrace at the luxurious Devon Valley Hotel, surrounded by amazing views filled with natural beauty. The weather played along as jazz vocalist Monique Hellenberg covered the atmosphere with her sultry piano sounds and angelic voice.  
We had fun and laughter as Early Childhood Development specialist, Bonita Daniels Director of the Early Childhood Centre, made us feel like children again with an activity that emphasised the importance of appreciating the workproduced by our little ones  regardless of the developmental milestone they are in. As Bonita voiced the cause of the most vulnerable human beings on earth, she brought it down to the basics for everyone to understand and to remind us of the power we have as their leaders, to build them up or break them down.
Devon Valley Hotel did an amazing job with the set up of the tables and chairs, service and catering. We were all spoilt with the most delicious treats, from the sweetest of …

Creating Hope

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I was pleasantly surprised by a letter written to me by our enthusiastic Creative Arts teacher, Sipho Banda. Having just taken over the overactive, difficult-to-please and sadly underachieving Grade 8 class, he had a moment of joy in the integrated music/poetry class. He writes:

Last week, during Creative Arts, the Grade 8 class had to read aloud or perform a poem. The poems were randomly selected - I had never read the poem ‘Ou Krouskop’ before, and certainly assumed the learners never had either, but within minutes it was performed with an edgy and creative Hip-Hop flow ! I certainly don’t think the author intended ‘Ou Krouskop’ to be read that way, but that’s the beautiful thing about poetry and creativity. The group’s interpretation of the title had some local twang to it which was most entertaining. I smiled…and my smile turned to pure enjoyment. I wanted someone to walk into my class so that I could share the moment. Learners should want to perform, present and learn with their pe…

celebrating 5 years since the opening of the children's unit - its a family affair!

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on saturday we celebrated the fifth birthday of the opening of the village of hope children's unit, this was a momentous occasion and one where we wanted to use it as a time of thanksgiving to God for his great provision towards the project and those that we have impacted over the last five years.

our intention was to host an 'open day'for all our friends, partners and community projects but the numbers would be so huge that we wouldn't be able to cope. so although we have other outreaches into the community via our sports and rainbow smiles clubs this was just for the children, their families and some key staff both past and present. saying that we must have had around 60 people come join us for a time of worship, tea, cake and an easter egg hunt.

the weather was so hot that we had to throw up a makeshift sail to provide some shade to those who joined us, including some of the first children that filled our unit, those boys and girls who were around two years old when t…

a full children's unit

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we start this blog post with some great news.....for the first time since we had the unit extended by the students from stuttgart university we have a full unit!

over the last month we have had five new admissions who join children who have been with us for some time, however whilst we are so pleased to be able to provide a stable home to these children the news of any new admission is always tinged with sadness as every child who is placed with us arrives with a story of suffering and pain. unfortunately this is so true of the three children who we have been able to help this week.

as per normal we can't go into each of their individual cases but please pray for us as we seek to provide a safe home for three little ones who have had a very troubled life so far and also their family who are obviously struggling to support them at home. we hope to be able to sort something quickly with our social workers but as always things don't always follow a quick path.