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Showing posts from April, 2015

What's Happening at Village of Hope: April 2015

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We have welcomed a new little girl to Village of Hope - Mindy! She has come to us primarily due to her parents' lack of understanding around her medical condition and an overall poor social situation in general. Mindy will stay with us while the social workers plan with her parents and family to improve the situation so they can all be reunified. Until then, we hope we are able to love upon this new little one! Mindy brings a lot of energy and an amazing friendliness to the Children's Unit. She quickly settled in and is enjoying lots of cuddles from our volunteers. It is nice to have another girl at the Village of Hope as we are kind of dominated by boys at the moment!

On the Rainbow Smiles front, we had the privilege of taking four of our young adult leaders-in-training and one of our helpers to the final event of the Hope@PaulCluver Season: the Kids Theatre Festival. The whole group had a great time experiencing some of the local arts scene. We see great potential in these…

ThembaCare Grabouw: April 2015 Update

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Along with the many staff additions in Thembalitsha, we are ecstatic to officially welcome Sister Berenice Potgieter to the ThembaCare team as the overseer for the Home-Based Care Unit. Sr Berenice has been with us since the beginning of March and is a huge asset to our team of energetic, passionate home-based carers who currently visit over 350 patients per week. The work is impacting the community in huge ways, and we are so grateful to have additional support in overseeing the operations and quality of the care!

With the new addition, we have also experienced a void this month as Project Manager Sister Thandi experienced a death in the family. We want to extend our sincere condolences to the entire Mulimba family. If anything, Sister Thandi's absence has proven once again what a blessing she is for this project, and we look forward to having her back with us in the coming weeks.

Our In-Patient Unit was quite full as usual with a 90% capacity rate last month, hosting a total of…

EduCare Grabouw: A Magical Chance

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by Van Heerden Heunis, Project Manager of EduCare Grabouw

The growth of human settlements, unlike that of human beings, often seems to go unnoticed. It is almost like there is no one and nothing today; suddenly, everyone and everything tomorrow.

Magic.

Yet, it was different in the case of Grabouw. For some reason, I actually noticed its expansion. And for some reason, it intrigued me.

Some time ago, I decided to have a closer look. Approaching Grabouw from the direction of Somerset West, I turned off from the N2 where the signpost nowadays reads Pineview North. I cannot remember any such signpost at the time – I just turned off because there was a turn-off.

It was cloudy when I arrived at the new Grabouw. I parked the car, swung the camera over my shoulder, lit a cigarette and started my excursion. I was being watched. From the front gates, the door posts, the windows. Older eyes seemed disconcerted, even suspicious. Younger eyes seemed relaxed, actually gleeful. I just smiled,…

Mama Themba: There Once Was a Little Girl...

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by Olenka Christie, Project Manager at Mama Themba

There once was a little girl who, like many little girls, dreamed of becoming a teacher or a nurse.

While still in primary school she trained in First Aid through St. Johns Ambulance and spent her weekends volunteering as a sports ambulance nurse. She loved caring for hurt people.

Her parents believed that girls should learn typing, accounting and shorthand, get a job, find a husband, get married, stay at home and care for their husband and children. Her attempts to achieve her dream were brushed aside by her parents encouraging her to achieve their dream for her life.

The flame was never completely extinguished, but unsupported and discouraged, it grew very dim and spent 35 years sputtering and smoking miserably through a journey from accounts clerk to secretary to journalist to computer programmer to full-time mom and part-time bookkeeper for her husband’s business.

At age 50, she moved to Somerset West from Johannesburg, heard a…

Graceland: The Power of Potential

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by Simone Van Der Berg, Project Manager & Principal at Graceland

At the age of 27, I find myself principal of an incredible preschool within Thembalitsha: Graceland. You may think – wow, principal at 27 years old. But trust me, it was not an easy road to get here, and it took a lot of people investing in me to arrive at this destination.
Ironically, I didn’t attend preschool as a child, and I failed my first year of primary school. My real hatred for school began in Grade 2 because my school fees were never paid and I never had the necessary stationery or school uniform, which caused problems. 
By Grade 4, I had been to five different schools due to moving between my grandparents and my parents. My mom worked a day shift and my dad worked night shift – or so I was told – which eventually meant that I went to live with my grandparents permanently. My parents separated when I was ten years old, and two years later my Grandpa passed away. In my eyes, Grandma became Superwoman. She was …

School of Hope: On the Expresso Morning Show

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On 23 March, School of Hope was featured on the Expresso Morning Show (SABC 3) to talk about the incredible second chance learners can have who to want to finish Grade 12. Host Ewan Strydom discusses the many reasons for students to drop out of maintstream education and the new hope they can find with Principal and Project Manager Laura Collura as well as former matriculate (and now proud Stellenbosch University student) Fatimah Santon. Check it out!

Notes from the MD: The Thembalitsha Nanny

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by Monica Folscher, Managing Director of Thembalitsha Foundation
Nan-ny (nah-nee) n.
a woman whose job is to take care of a particular family's children

I have a confession to make: I’m a nanny. I take care of a very special family’s children. This family already has seven children, and they are in the process of adopting two more.
Sound a bit daunting? I am Nanny to the seven very special project-children in the Thembalitsha family, and I love my job!
The first quarter of this year has come and gone and left me a bit breathless. For the first time ever, the whole Foundation – staff from all seven projects – came together to celebrate the beginning of 2015 and to recommit ourselves to changing lives and restoring hope to the poor and destitute in South Africa. What an amazing experience to see over a hundred Thembalitsha staff together!
We have already experienced a number of transitions this year, Tim and Maz Walker’s departure from Village of Hope being one of them. It’s times like …