July 2015 Update

Hi All,

On a recent trip to one of our schools with some guests we were asked for our website address!! Daphne and I being of the older generation did not think of a “website” but we then thought that was a great idea and so “yes” our website has arrived. www.khanyiselaprojects.co.za We still have some work to do on the site but it is accessible. Any suggestions will be great!!!

Daphne and I have been at the Cavern, on and off, from April to June, during which time we have been involved in the Royal Drakensberg Primary MTB weekend and Hike4Education fundraisers as well as arranging a workshop for our teachers and generally helping the pre-schools. Read on for the exciting details.

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Rotary Global Grant Teacher Training

Our teachers continue to do their monthly Early Childhood Development, level 4 modules at the Midlands College. An assessor from the College came to the Northern Drakensberg and visited each of the schools where the students are working. We were pleased to receive a very positive report from the assessor on our teacher’s practical progress. On our visits to the schools this time it was really heartening to see how these teachers have become so positive and are using their taught skills. Watching the children play with puzzles, drawing and listening careful to the stories being read to them brings such a lump in my throat. Thank you to the Rotary for making this possible

Workshop

It is always exciting for me to try something new and so we held a workshop for 30 teachers arranged by Singakwenza,which means “you can do it”.

I met Julie Hay and her facilitators early and I was so surprised at all the waste materials they brought with them. All the students were asked to bring a long list of waste products as well so I could not wait to see what was going to happen.

Well the morning exceeded my wildest dreams and was fantastic. Each student was given a good pair of scissors and a marker pen. After a nervous start all the students really enjoyed being shown how to make balls from plastic bags and orange bags. Skipping ropes out of plastics bags. Scoops and spades out of plastic milk bottles. Counting aids and games out of yoghurt containers. Cars using margarine containers and milk bottle tops.

The Teachers learning to make skipping ropes from Plastic Bags
The Teachers learning to make skipping ropes from Plastic Bags

They were also split into groups to make up some games etcetera using waste material and then tell a story about the games they had made up. I was really impressed with the effort that the students and the facilitators made and everyone left feeling as if they had learned a lot.

Julie Hay informed me that this was the beginner’s workshop and she would love to come back to complete the next two workshops.

New Classroom

We are pleased to report that construction of the new classroom at Siqalakahle pre-school has started. Once completed the extra space will much appreciated as this schools attendance has grown to over 70 pupils.

Josaphine is so happy that the new classroom is being built
Josaphine is so happy that the new classroom is being built

Royal Drakensberg Primary School – 2015 MTB Day Fundraiser

Once again the Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge was a wonderful success.
Even a short sharp thunder shower could not spoil the event, although unfortunately it did chase a few of the 50km riders off the mountain. We are sure that most of the participants will be back next year to ride this awesome single track with its magnificent views.

Thanks to the participants and the sponsors we raised much needed funds for our school, Royal Drakensberg Primary. We send a great big thank you to all those who made it possible.

MTB day start
MTB day start

Big 5 Hike

Following on from last year’s 40 days “Walking for Education” Megan decided to hold a Cavern “Big5Hike” to raise funds for the Royal Drakensberg Primary school. This took place on a sunny but chilly Saturday 6th May with 65 hikers, (plus one dog, Moya.) all of whom raised a minimum of R5000 to participate and some raised a lot more.

Big Five Group
Big Five Group

Everyone had a fantastic day, although a few suffered with aches and pains (and a few blisters).

Thanks to the generous sponsors and participants the hike raised over R450000.00 for the school

Jumble Sale

We held a very successful jumble sale early in June at the Royal Drakensberg Primary School raising over R6000.00.

Don’t forget that if you are visiting The Cavern or any of the other Northern Berg resorts that your jumble will be gratefully received for selling to raise funds for our pre-schools.

General

Some of our schools did not have any storage places in their kitchen so we purchased knock down cupboards. After a shaky start (wrong instructions were delivered on how to assemble the cupboards) Dave spent a couple of days assembling the cupboards at the Cavern before delivering and installing them at 6 schools.

Assembling the Cupboards
Assembling the Cupboards

We also supplied face cloths for all the children and put up rails with hooks to hang the cloths on at all the schools.

Face cloths
Face cloths

More educational toys, puzzles, wooden toy vehicles etcetera were purchased and we issued them to all the schools and at the same time delivered the monthly porridge supplies.

Children at Siblisisie school receiving their toys and puzzles
Children at Siblisisie school receiving their toys and puzzles

Gail Wilson kindly donated 50 soccer balls to our schools. Dave had great fun blowing them up before we distributed them to the schools. Thank you Gail. The children (and staff) love the balls.

Daphne giving out some balls at Emseni school
Daphne giving out some balls at Emseni school

On one of our trips to Johannesburg we collected jerseys, hats and scarves from Liz Short of the Rosebank Rotary Anns which she and her colleagues had knitted. These were given to the children at Siqalakahle pre-school, much to their delight. Our thanks go to the Rosebank Rotary Anns and we ask them to keep on knitting!!!

The teachers with the knitwear before giving them to the children
The teachers with the knitwear before giving them to the children

Overall Project Funding

As always we wish to thank EVERYONE for all the donations, big and small, which are helping to improve the early childhood development in this beautiful area of South Africa.

We still have a couple of donors who put R100 into the project monthly and these small donations at the end of the year add up enough to supply many of the schools with their on-going needs. If anyone feels they would like to donate a small monthly amount it would be fantastic.

Without all your generous donations, the ongoing assistance of the 14 pre-schools we now help in the Amazizi area of Northern KwaZulu Natal would not be possible.

THANK YOU

Lastly, it was with much sadness that we learned of the passing away recently of Peter Jervis, a member of the Rotary Club of Retford.

Peter has been a regular donor, along with his family, to our project. Last year Peter and family donated funds for us to build the Vusanani pre-school and we were fortunate to have Peter here to celebrate the official opening of the school.

Peter and the Zulu dancers
Peter and the Zulu dancers

To our readers in the northern hemisphere enjoy your summer and to those in the southern hemisphere keep warm while the days get longer as summer approaches.

Best regards,

Dave & Daphne Thurlwell, Megan Bedingham and Jean Carte.

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