For a few years now Megan, Daphne and I have been discussing the way forward for the Khanyisela Project. Daphne and I have been administering the project for over 12 years and obviously could not carry on for ever. The Corona Virus pandemic gave us plenty of time to consider this and plans were made to administer the Khanyisela Project, the BabyBoost programme and the Royal Drakensberg Primary School (RDPS) under one umbrella. Still run as different projects but to employ a Project Coordinator to oversee all three entities.
Daphne and I have been at home in Port Elizabeth, except for two visits to our family in Montagu, since the week before lockdown in March. This has been, for us, a good time to repair and update things in our flat that have needed doing for a few years. So, our positive saying is,” there is always some good that comes out of bad”.
Sitting here, comfortable and well fed in our flat overlooking the beach in Port Elizabeth, Daphne said to me I wonder how our Khanyisela teachers are getting on in the Amazizi village in the Northern Drakensberg?
Well, as the schools are closed and they rely upon the children’s school fees for their salaries, we realised that they would probably be struggling with money to buy food.
So Daphne said to me, “Should we look at giving them a voucher for Spar or Shoprite for food? “.
We emailed all the board members and all thought it was a good idea.
The idea of vouchers did not work out as the transport to and from Bergville to buy the food was problematic.
A few months ago a local farmer opened a depot for vegetables not far from the village. We did not know exactly what they sold, so after a phone call to one of the local teachers, we found out and also got an idea of what food the teachers needed.
We contacted the depot (Natalheim) and asked if they could prepare food parcels? A silly question. They have been very helpful and prepared these “parcels” (not really parcels as each one is approximately 55kgs of food). Maize meal, potatoes, rice, flour, onions, beans, butter nuts and oil.
Some of the food awaiting Delivery The first Delivery for 3 Teachers
Today Day 26 of lockdown, the 21st April, deliveries of the food to the school teachers is starting thanks to Megan and Hilton, (The Cavern) Jean Carte (Montusi Mountain Lodge), Peter Carte (Sungubala Echo Camp) and Loretta and Chris (All Out Adventures).The teachers will have food for a while. Our thanks go to all the people who have donated to our project. We know that we normally only buy resources and use the funds for teacher training etcetera, but we felt that due to these exceptional circumstances our generous donors would approve.
The fortified porridge, which is normally delivered to the school has also been delivered so the parents/carers of the school children in the community can feed it to the children at home.
If anyone would like to donate towards future food to the community, please click this link
Please use lockdown-mobile number as your reference.
We returned to The Cavern at the end of January to welcome two Belgian students who were going to spend their 12 week internship helping in the Khanyisela pre-schools. Little did we know how things would change before those 12 weeks went past.
As 2019 and this decade comes to a close we would like to thank EVERYONE of our donors and friends who have given us support and encouragement over this past year and the previous 10 years that Daphne and I have been associated with the Khanyisela Project.
The project has grown to 18 pre-schools, with almost 700 learners, 53 educators, most of whom we have sent to early childhood development courses, teaching assistants and cooks. Nine classrooms have been built, others repaired and maintained and all equipped with tables and chairs, educational toys, stationery and playground equipment.
Through this, over the past 10 years, over 2500 children of the rural Amazizi area, have been given the opportunity to learn through play, which gives them a great foundation to their educational future. A foundation that we feel is crucial for the development of our country.
So crucial, that we have started the BabyBoost programme, and initiated it in three areas of Amazizi. The programme was suggested and developed by Dr Marysia Nash from Edinburgh. The programme is designed to enlighten mothers and carers of the importance of interaction with babies during their first 1000 days, something we have found, since starting the programme, is not generally understood.
None of this would have been possible without your help and continued support. For this the whole team, Megan, Daphne, Georg, Jean, Liesje and I say a big THANK YOU.
May we wish all of you a Very Happy and Peaceful festive season.
We returned to The Cavern early in September to welcome overseas visitors, Terry Dunmore from the Rotary Club of Retford, England, Marysia and Gemma from Edinburgh, Scotland and Gertrud and Georg from Vienna, Austria.
Children at Sprinkles orphanage in Amazizi were experiencing problems in the understanding of English when doing their homework. George and Gertrud Rotter from Austria noticed this and spoke to Daphne and me about the problem. Daphne sent out a request to the community for someone who could help the children with their English.
Since our March update we have been very busy with the Belgian students, BabyBoost with Marysia and Gail, and Gertrud and Georg from Austria. It has been a hectic but good few weeks and thankfully the last couple of weeks before we return home to Port Elizabeth are a little quieter.