The 3rd and 4th quarter of 2010 are full of exciting developments at Hearts of Hope, the first and largest development being the building currently in progress at I’Themba Children’s Home in Wendywood.
News from I’Themba Children’s Home
The 1st phase of our intended building plans at I’Themba Children’s Home has begun! The 1st phase includes the building of staff quarters as well as a Hearts of Hope meeting room/office. This will allow the current staff accommodation to be converted into a baby unit accommodating an additional 6 babies by year end. In addition we plan on welcoming 2 additional children aged 6 months+ into the main house by October 2010. This means that full occupancy will increase from 6 to 14 children!
Thank you to all those who have contributed to the funding of this project. Although we have a long way to go to ensure the building is paid for, it’s wonderful to have started and to see the progress.
Our Children at I’Themba are thriving and developing at an amazing rate:
Bongani is now 24 months. He is truly a miracle and a blessing to all that come into contact with him. He’s talking up a storm and as always is quick to smile and laugh with those around him. His skin condition remains a challenge, but shows some improvement as he grows and develops. We’re currently trying a specially formulated organic diet high in natural oils which we’re hoping will ease his discomfort. Bongani starts nursery school next year where the added stimulation will benefit him greatly.
Brigit is already 16 months old and has started walking, and is so proud of herself! She’s a content, vocal little girl who eats and sleeps well. She loves company of both children and adults, loves to listen to music and takes in all that happens around her.
Busi turned 4 years old in January. She’s settled so well into I’Themba and has thrived in the loving, secure environment. She continues to attend Hugs & Kisses Nursery School, our heartfelt thanks to Sue Liebenburg who owns and runs Hugs & Kisses Nursery School for her 100% sponsorship of Busi’s school fees, her on-going support and kindness. Busi will need to move schools next year due to her age, and will be attending Sister Helga’s in Wendywood in 2011 to begin her Grade 000 year.
Zama is now 3 years & 6 months and attends Hugs and Kisses with Busi. Again many thanks to Sue for the discounted fees and incredible support.
Zama is a bright and adorable little girl who’s immediately loved by all that meet her. Zama will stay at Hugs & Kisses till the end of 2011.
Ndumi turns 5 years old in August. After spending time at St Martins Nursery School in Alexandra last year, a decision was taken to move her to Sister Helga’s Nursery School in Wendywood in January. She has shown great strides in her development since January, confidently reciting colours, shapes and numbers. She’s a little girl who loves to do anything constructive. Her kind, helpful nature endears her to all who spend time at I’Themba.
Zelda turns 14 years old in November this year. She continues to be a wonderful, caring sister figure to her younger “siblings”. She loves school and socialising with her group of friends. We have been really blessed to cross paths with Harriet Leisegang, who has taken Zelda on for remedial lessons every Monday afternoon at no cost. Zelda is showing wonderful improvement in her English reading, and spelling skills. Thank you Harriet for her amazing generosity, dedication and heart for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
News from the Drakensberg project
Megan and her team continue to manage and run the 9 pre-schools/crèches in the Northern Drakensburg, providing a daily meal and early childhood development instruction to the 365 children.
Teacher training remains a focus as does equipping of schools with adequate facilities, both sanitary and educational requirements.
News from the Alexandra project
We continue with our weekly food parcel distribution to 14 child headed households in Alexandra, as well as administrative support, school supplies and counselling where the need arises for these families. Thank you to Celeste and Keith Allan for their management, dedication and commitment to this project.
We are in the process of securing the services of a Social Worker to control all areas of case management and counselling, both within I’Themba Children’s Home and the Alexandra families. This has been an area of need for sometime, and with the financial support for this post from various corporate donors we’re in the final phases of appointing the right person for the job.
We have also welcomed three new staff members to the team at I’Themba Children’s Home within the last month, Rose, Florah and Maureen. These wonderful ladies are currently being trained to ensure we are fully equipped with trained staff once the baby unit opens.
We’d like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to volunteers and donors for their generosity and commitment to Hearts of Hope:
Volunteers: Fiona, Nici, Al, Sarah, Natasha, Vasti, Roberta
Donors: Karen Cousins, Midrand Presbyterian Church, Orr Home Group, T&I Chalmers, Mike Caveney, Edgar Kapanga, Joc Kuper, Camilla and Quentin Leeds, CCJ Woodmead, Silica, Workstream, IMCD, Tania Hobbs, Mindshare Jhb, the Bartlett family, Beaulieu Preparatory School, St Peters Boys and Girls Preparatory Schools, Millwood Brown, AGB Nielsens.
The 2010 Mangwanani fundraiser was held on the 15th June, 61 ladies and gentlemen enjoyed an evening of pampering and good company. Thank you to all for their support. The total funds raised at this event was
R 21250.00 that went directly towards the setting up of the baby unit.
Brenda and Stuart Wortley ran Comrades again this year. They both achieved fabulous times, 9h04 and 10h36 respectively. Thank you to all who sponsored their runs in support of Hearts of Hope. These funds have been put towards Zama’s school fees and used to cover building/material costs for the extension at I’Themba Children’s Home.
We would welcome anyone interested in our “Sponsoring a child” initiative to contact us. Sponsorship of a child involves financial cover of a portion of an allocated childs cost, whether it be education, food, clothing, toiletries etc. Please contact us for further information.
We would also appreciate volunteer assistance with the following:
Bongani and Brigit: Volunteers required to spend an hour a day with Bongani and Brigit focusing on developing fine and gross motor skills. No qualifications required, activity ideas would be provided. An hour once a week would be a great contribution to their development.
Zelda: Volunteers willing to spend an hour twice a week to help Zelda with her homework and remedial exercises. This would require consistency to build a relationship with Zelda who’s naturally shy and introverted, and would need to be an afternoon commitment.
Busi: Volunteers willing to spend an hour twice a week focusing on school readiness activities such as colours, shapes, numbers recognition. As with Zelda, consistency in order to build a relationship as well as an afternoon commitment would be required.
Whatever time you have available on a consistent basis makes an enormous difference to the children’s development.
Thank you again to our supporters for giving financially and/or of their time. Your dedication to the Hearts of Hope project is very much appreciated, and without you we would not be in operation.
We invite you to visit us at I’Themba, view our website, or call any of our Directors; we look forward to sharing an exciting and rewarding time ahead with you.
The Hearts of Hope Team