Showing posts from 2015

The guiding light from 2015 into 2016

By Amanda Nortje, Thembalitsha Foundation Fundraiser. As we close the door on 2015 and enter into 2016, we are reminded that we, as a foundation move like the waves of the sea…..always onward and upwards. Like the sea, there are currents, swells, riptides, tidal waves and storms but the waves always keep moving onward and upwards. Whilst there are those challenges, the sea will often empty the contents of its jewellery box on the shores in the form of shells and precious stones. This is our jewellery box for you, our partners, friends and family to enjoy as we reflect on this past year in pictures at Thembalitsha. Themba Care Grabouw Celebrating hospice day and raising awareness of breast cancer month.
Educare Grabouw Celebrating the launch of 10 Educare Grabouw Centres of which 3 are currently established and the next seven will reach completion by end 2016.
Graceland's tea Our annual tea was celebrated in a true...

The poor and the strong.

At the Bobby van Jaarsveld, Hope@PaulCluver concert  on Saturday 12 December,

A spectator - who won her ticket through a radio promotion, was telling me that she was overwhelmed by Bobby's charisma, stage personality and talent, and she was also intrigued by the work done by Thembalitsha; restoring hope in the desperate and needy, developing them to a point of self reliance through the provision of healthcare, education and training.

In conversation with her, the events of the past year flashed through my mind,   like scenes in a movie.   Actually, over the last 10 years,  I have witnessed many poor, weak and lonely people, 
like this little girl who lost her life just before her 1st birthday,

and the homeless after the destruction caused by fire and flooding in Masiphumelele.

 In John Lennon's (who also had a tough upbringing)    'So this is Christmas',  everyone is brought together under one light.
 The poor and the strong and the old and the young....

 The Themba…

Village of Hope: Protecting Their Hearts

by Barbara Wood, Financial Administrator & Project Host at the Village of Hope 

The main objective at Village of Hope has always been to be a safe place of respite care for children who's families need time to get their lives together. This has looked different for every child that has come through our doors. Some parents struggle with providing for their children and just need time to find a solid job. Some struggle with understanding how to properly administer medication to their child and need simplified training to really understand it all. And then some parents struggle with drugs or alcohol and never rise up out of that pit of addiction. Whatever the case, couple those reasons with a slow moving social welfare system and it means some of our children end up staying with us for years rather than months.

We have learned over the years to be patient, to wait for God's plan for these children's lives to be revealed and not put trust in our own plans. Needless to say,…

Notes from the MD: A Shopping Spree for the Soul

by Monica Folscher, Managing Director for Thembalitsha Foundation
Funny how one thinks more of those who are no longer with us at this time of year, a time for family, a time for love, a time for reflection…

After more than twenty years, I can still hear my father say: “Nothing in life is for free.” This is certainly true in a business context, also in our everyday life, where you even have to pay so that no one steals your car while you are doing your grocery shopping. It is also true that you have to work and work hard to accomplish things in life.

But there comes a time in life (and now I am giving away my age) when you yearn for the few freebies in life, those things that money cannot buy: time, an unexpected smile, a friendly welcome, someone opening a door for you, a thank you.

Maslow, clever man that he was, theorized about the paradigm of human needs and after many decades I can now say (high time!) that I am striving at those things that add value to my life without costing …

Hope@PaulCluver: What Makes a Freshlyground Concert Unforgettable

by Daniel Jones, Communications Officer for Thembalitsha Foundation

Before I moved to South Africa just nine months ago, I received an e-mail from a fellow volunteer based at Village of Hope asking me if I wanted to go see this band called Freshlyground at this place called Kirstenbosch the first weekend after I arrived in the Western Cape. I was in the flurry of packing up my post-grad life in Boston (it's amazing the amount of stuff you can fit into a single bedroom over the course of six years) and was too hurried to do any research on who this band was or why exactly they were so fresh. I'm also not one to say no to a social invite. I happily accepted and continued packing.

A few weeks later - after trudging through several metres of New England snow, saying sappy goodbyes to friends and coming to terms with the fact that my life was about to change in unknown ways - I found myself plopped on a blanket in the expansive and stunning Kirstenbosch Gardens waiting for the musi…

Graceland: Market Day 2015!

by Simone Van Der Berg, Project Manager at Graceland
Graceland’s Market Day 2015, held in September, was an incredible success thanks to an all-star community of people who gave in-kind goods, their valuable personal time and others who came out to support us at the event. Days before it had rained for a few days but on the Market Day, even the weather played along!

Our aim was to make sure that both the children and adults in our community were catered for and had plenty to do. We offered face painting, a jumping castle, ring toss, balloon dart, fishing game, mini-cinema, bean bag toss, raffles, second-hand clothing for sale, a tuck-shop and curry, potjiekos and boerewors rolls for sale! It created a festive (and tasty!) environment for attendees of all ages to come and enjoy themselves. The various games, sales, raffles and activities were generously facilitated by Graceland staff, local volunteers and colleagues from our other Thembalitsha projects.

We at Graceland want to say a spe…

What's Happening at ThembaCare Grabouw: October 2015

by Sister Thandi Sililo, Project Manager of ThembaCare Grabouw
“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die.”- Dame Cicely Saunders

These words from Dame Cicely Saunders are the benchmark upon which the palliative and terminal care of patients in our In Patient Unit has literally been based upon, and has been heavy on my mind in the last several months. With seven patient deaths this last quarter (April - June) and four more deaths during the month of September, the staff in the In-Patient Unit have had to draw on their inner strength in providing care for so many terminally ill patients who all passed on within a close timeframe.

Despite the deaths we have experienced, it was encouraging to know that the patients and their family members could feel like they were cared for and supported during their most difficult time. Our staff at ThembaCare ensures that each indi…

Village of Hope: Sports Outreach Update, October 2015

by Tim Afrika, Project Manager at the Village of Hope

Since entering the partnership with The Goodsport Trust in early 2015, the sports outreach program at Village of Hope is continuing to make a great impact on the community of Grabouw. Here are some of the highlights that we've seen:

1. Refined structure for the Sports Outreach Program
The structure which Goodsport is using for the sports outreach program consists of three components:

a) SAQ – Helps correct the fundamental movement skills of the youth thereby giving them the confidence to participate in positive recreational activities and also helps with their self-esteem as they learn to move more efficiently.

b) Sport – The aim through sports is to facilitate the development of certain life skills that assist them in the everyday decision making. (eg. leadership, teamwork and self-discipline)

c) Life Skills – The youth are empowered on various life skills topics that help them deal with issues within their households and commun…

EduCare Grabouw: Fire Safety Training for the Centres

by Angélique Brannekämper, ECD Manager for EduCare Grabouw

Fire Safety Training was presented by the local Grabouw fire department staff in September. The workshops took place over two days at the Gerald Wright Thusong Service Centre and were offered at no charge to the participants. The opportunity was offered to ECD staff from crèches and Educare centres across Grabouw, and approximately 40 ECD Principals and Practitioners participated over the two day period!

The training offered by Julian April and Ricky Oncke was practical and very informative. The day ended with a practical demonstration and each participant was given the opportunity to use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire. All participants will be receiving a certificate for their attendance.

What really struck me during these two days was how important it is that we as educators keep children safe and how often that's something we take for granted. The ECD Principals and Practitioners need to be supported with such v…

Note from the MD: Thinking Pink this October

by Monica Folscher, Managing Director of Thembalitsha Foundation

Colour plays such an important part in our lives, especially with the change of seasons here in South Africa. Flowers are in abundance, the sombre winter moods are lifting and we even dress in more vibrant colours.

October is the month to THINK PINK - whether it is berry pink or hot fuchsia pink - as we honour and celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pink is no longer a colour only associated with women. Brave men all over the globe are wearing pink and looking good! Did you know that the colour pink supresses anger and anxiety? Even the colour-blind are tranquilized by pink rooms.
In support of our own hospice, ThembaCare Grabouw, we are all thinking pink at Thembalitsha this October. Pink snoods and pink ribbons are worn daily and on Friday, 9 October, we celebrated a very pink Open Hospice Day in Grabouw.

Some people still feel uncomfortable discussing this very relevant topic. I am one of them. But with more know…

Village of Hope: The Waiting Game

Our newest child at Village of Hope, Mindy, has been with us since April. She is a complete delight, but sadly suffers from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the young age of six. This causes persistent joint pain, swelling and stiffness - particularly in her wrists and ankles. Barbara and Emma, two of our steadfast VOH volunteers, accompanied little Mindy on her monthly visit to the local hospital. Here's what they saw.
EMMA: Mindy has to take a truck load of medications each day to treat her chronic condition, some of which taste bitter and are hard to swallow. She does this consistently without a hint of complaint. Due to her condition, Mindy has to have a monthly check-up and medication refill at the local Tygerberg Hospital in addition to enduring many long stays in the hospital to undergo treatment which will help stabilise her condition. During each stay, she inevitably wins the hearts of all the doctors, nurses and staff with her tenacious spirit and positive attitude.
When …

Hope@PaulCluver: Announcing the 2015/16 Line-Up!

by Emily House, Creative Producer at Hope@PaulCluver
The mornings are getting lighter, summer is just around the corner and it’s with a big HURRAH that we can announce our programme for the third season of Hope@PaulCluver.

We've got a spectacular variety of performances in store for you this season! Afro-Pop faves Freshlyground will be getting the party started in mid-November, followed later in the season by Afrikaans heartthrob Bobby Van Jaarsveld. In the New Year, we welcome The Parlotones, Nataniel and Karen Zoid + Francois Van Coke to the stage, each with their own signature repertoire. This season we are also bringing you some hilariously provocative comedy from Chester Missing + Conrad Koch as well as contemporary opera – the kind that’s not just limited to the black-tie brigade – with UCT’s acclaimed interpretation of Mozart’s no.1 ladies’ man, Don Giovanni. Plus, on Valentine’s Day, we are screening Baz Lurhmann’s epic romance, Moulin Rouge.

We are proud to announce a new…

School of Hope: Inspiration from the Heart Museum

by Trevor Petersen, Educator at School of Hope

This September, we were able to visit the Groote Schuur Hospital Heart Museum with several of our students - a site of particular significance in South Africa where the first heart transplant in the world took place in 1967. Being at the museum really brought home the reality that, as South Africans, we need to hold on to the courage we have and not lose hope in the face of globalisation and our reality as a developing country because we do have a lot to be proud of in this nation.
Professor Chris Barnard 's achievement in 1967 was an extra-ordinary one - he was the first doctor in the world to perform a heart transplant on a human being and also the first doctor to perform a kidney transplant on the continent of Africa. We can and should be proud of this important South African figure and continue to inspire one another on our journey of development and new discoveries.

When making these advances in science and medicine, Professor Bar…