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Showing posts from June, 2015

Graceland: Blessings from In Focus

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by Elizabeth Solomons, Head Teacher at Graceland Preschool

In May, we had the privilege to an amazing mission team from In Focus Church in Augusta, GA visit our school. They wanted to see how we do things and spend some time working with our wonderful children.

It was a special experience to meet all the new people who traveled across the world to see the work Thembalitsha is doing and invest in our communities. (Graceland was just one of the stops they made on this trip - they spent time at each of our seven projects in the Western Cape!) Beyond visiting the school, they also applied a much-need coat of paint to our building. This humble group came to show us the love of God, and their fingerprints are all over our campus now. Our school looks very pretty, neat and clean. We're incredibly thankful for and blessed by all their hard work.

In particular, a man named James from the team made my day with his joyful spirit and open willingness to play with our kids. They arrived early i…

Notes from the MD: Keeping the Heart

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by Monica Folscher, Managing Director of Thembalitsha Foundation

Thembalitsha Foundation started out almost two decades ago as a shared vision between a handful of passionate people. It had a small family feel, everyone fitted under one blanket on the couch with popcorn, watching the same movie. But our family is growing bigger by the day!

As an organisation grows and develops this cosy family feel begins to feel more distant, often replaced by more structured communication, rules and regulations, criteria to adhere to and seeing each other by appointment. Staff in developing organisations often grieve for the loss of that initial family feel, although they fully realise that more structure is needed to protect the growing family and to keep operations running smoothly.

This has certainly been true for Thembalitsha. We are a growing, dynamic organisation, and it will be impossible to retain the original small family feel with the ever-increasing numbers of staff and projects. With eig…

Hope@PaulCluver: Powering Social Change (Yes, we really are!)

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by Emily House, Creative Producer of Hope@PaulCluver

It takes a while for the dust to settle at the close of a season. There are reports to file and bills to pay and that one catchy song on loop in your head (the one that Elvis Blue opened with) that you have to shake. It now seems like eons ago since we last had a Hope@PaulCluver event - even though in reality it has only been a few months!

Looking back: we had fun last summer, didn’t we? We had amazingly talented artists perform for us, some made-to-order sunshine (miraculously not even one show rained out) to accompany the exquisite Paul Cluver Wine, and we even managed to out-fox Eskom’s infamous Load Shedding (yes, it deserves caps).

Aside from experiencing these awesome events, perhaps our most exciting achievement was that, this group of sponsors, ticketholders, organisers and artists were able to generate enough profits to power social change, providing Thembalitsha with some essentials for the community of Grabouw. Here’s wh…

Get Involved with Thembalitsha this Mandela Day!

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Are you in South Africa, looking for an outlet to give back this Mandela Day? Interested in finding a worthwhile cause where your valuable time and resources are needed? Then we want you! Yes - you!

Mandela Day has become acknowledged all over the world in honour of South Africa's Madiba. Celebrating the birthday of Nelson Mandela every 18 July, individuals across the globe are challenged to give back to their community with 67 minutes (or more!) of service in remembrance of the 67 years that Mandela gave to the fight for equal rights for all people and the service of his country.

At Thembalitsha, we are excited to carry this tradition forward. In an effort to use your time this Mandela Day in the most worthwhile manner, we've gathered a list of needs from our projects. This year, 18 July is a Saturday when many of our projects are closed so most tasks need personnel on Friday, 17 July. If you're interested in chipping in, please fill out the appropriate RSVP form to tell…

School of Hope: There is Hope Beyond Gang Violence

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by Laura Collura, Principal & Project Manager at School of Hope

Notorious 28's gang leader George “Geweld” Thomas was recently sentenced to seven life terms by the Western Cape High Court. Thomas, along with his 17 fellow accused gang members, faced more than 140 charges including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering, extortion and robbery. The man nicknamed Geweld (Afrikaans for “violence”) smiled and saluted on his way to prison, where he will spend the rest of his days.

A victory in the fight against gangsterism? Perhaps, yes. But in light of the last six months of gangster shootings and general mayhem in Manenberg and Hanover Park, the event seems to be just a ripple in a large, sinister pool of organised crime fueled by poverty, unemployment and drug abuse. Just days after the heavy sentences were handed out a 13-year-old girl was shot in the face when rival gangs opened fire in Bonteheuwel.

ENCA: George 'Geweld' Thomas served seven life sentences
Whe…

What's Happening at ThembaCare Grabouw: June 2015

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by Sister Thandi Sililo, Project Manager at ThembaCare Grabouw

The provision of palliative care and support continues to be the central focus of ThembaCare Grabouw, underpinning all the care we provide to our patients and their families. The relevancy and impact of offering a “Holistic Palliative Care and Support Approach” to patients infected & affected by HIV, TB, cancer, chronic or terminal illness in the communities and surrounding remote fruit farming areas we serve remains quite unshakeable.

With the cold winter that has set in this quarter, the stark reality of the experiences our patients have in the community – most of whom are living in the informal settlement areas – really hit home hard for us. One of our home-based carers lost two of her patients in one swoop in a shack fire on Tuesday, 9 June.
Shack fires during this season are usually a major concern for the community at large. With the freezing cold temperatures, most people in the community usually become pre-occup…