Showing posts from 2020

Trainee to Trainer, a story of HOPE.

At the start of 2018, Themba Training opened in their new space above Smiling Oven in the Gants Centre, after having relocated from their previous location in Crossroads. Marla van der Merwe, the newly appointed Project Manager kicked off the new year having created a new Themba Training product line and an array of training courses. News of the training courses was spread around through word of mouth among the projects and their communities.    It was in March 2018 that Nonkqubela heard of Themba Training through our Agape project manager, Thabisa, who had spread the word in their community. (These two women are friends and serve together at Every Nation Zola.) Nonkqubela then reached out to Marla to secure a space and days later attended the training, having never touched a sewing machine.  Nonkqubela wanted to upskill herself to help provide for her family and Themba Training could not have been a more perfect fit for her. After graduating the Basic Sewing Course, she transitioned i

A journey through School of Hope

My journey with School of Hope started in 2008 when my dad enrolled me for Grade 10. I remember that year being extremely challenging, because of my health. Prior to 2008, I dropped out of high school because I deemed my circumstances to be more important than my education. Many people crossed my path and encouraged me to return to school, the desire grew stronger with time, but at the time I could barely take twenty steps without being exhausted (this is no exaggeration). I matriculated in 2010 as valedictorian; what I wanted to do after high school seemed blurry, but deep down I knew that I wanted to work with young people. I n 2011, I returned to the School of Hope as a volunteer for six months until I started working in retail. From this, you can gather that the school held a special place in my heart and it did not take long before I found myself walking through those doors again. This time the school relocate to Observatory and I was asked to present a speech during orientation w

Elizabeth's Story: Graceland's Gem

“We started Graceland with only 6 children. In 1999, I, Elizabeth Solomons started as a teacher. At that stage, I did not have any formal qualifications other than my Grade 6 certificate. I started working at the school in faith that I would do my job well. In 2002, I was offered an opportunity through Thembalitsha Foundation to receive education in early childhood development. During the next two years, I would take part-time classes at Boland College Strand and complete my Level 4 course in 2004. I am the oldest child of seven children. I grew up on a farm called Morgenhof in Stellenbosch. My first school years started in Cloetesville at Pieter Lange veldt Primary. I went to school up to the age of 12years, at that time we were 5 children already and my younger brother and baby sister were at home, my mother had to go work on the farm with them but had to made the choice of taking me out of school. It was not an easy time for me because I really loved school. Since that time I was lo

ThembaCare Update: Letter from the Thembalitsha Board

With the increasing challenges faced in these very dynamic times, Thembalitsha Foundation leadership is in the process of consolidating operations to ensure maximum impact across our various projects.  Community needs, financial sustainability, leadership and staff capacity are all important factors in the decision-making process.    Most recently, the Board and executive leadership of Thembalitsha have consulted with ThembaCare Grabouw employees and a range of stakeholders, both local and international, to discuss the future of this project.  In discussions, it was clear that closure of the In-Patient Unit was inevitable due to shifting priorities and a lack of sufficient funding from the Department of Health.  A scaled-down home-based care only service was then considered, however, limitations in regard to staffing oversight and the identification of a duplication of services (another organisation is providing home-based care in the area)  have lead us to make the painful decision to

Mother's Day: 2-for-1 Giving

Every year at this time we think about our own mothers. What they mean to us. How we miss them if they’re living far away. Which of their characteristics we inherited and which of those home-cooked dishes were our favourites... if you’re like me, you wonder how they ever found the time and had the energy to do it all!  These thoughts always bring such inspiration, nostalgia, and a sense of belonging. Motherhood is truly a special place… and mothers, a special group of inspiring ladies. Sitting in my office at Themba Training, I look at the mothers around me: working hard and diligently to support their families in a time where there is an increasing amount of uncertainty, filling in for other losses of income. I look at the mothers around me and am inspired by their ability to use the very little they have to feed and clothe their families. I look at the mothers around me and stand in awe that despite intensely difficult circumstances, they still have brave smiles on their