Newsletter April 2018

Hi All,

Daphne and I came to The Cavern at the beginning of the school year to visit the schools and assess their needs for the upcoming year. We also needed to be here to welcome two Belgian university students and introduce them to our schools and to work with Marysia Nash during her visit towards the end of March.

Read on for all the latest news.

Zamokuhle School

This school was very crowded with over 70 children using just the one classroom, but their new school year started well with the new second classroom completed. The teachers have now divided their children into age groups between the two classrooms. This has ensured a much more conducive environment for teaching.

Our thanks go out to the many donors, particularly Afrimat, Denso and Mooney Ford who made it possible for us to build the long awaited new classroom.

Sbusisiwe School

Over two years ago, when we visited this school, consisting of two teachers and 12 children, in their small 3 x 3 meter room, we did not think that at the beginning of this year they would have a new classroom, three teachers and 35 children.

Thanks to our Austrian donors, Georg and Gertrud Rotter, the original two teachers, Sindisiwe and Jemina’s dream has come true.

Belgian Early Childhood Education University Students

For the second year two Belgian students, are doing their university internship here in South Africa. Jana Melis and Evelyn Van Herpe are living, for almost three months, in Amazizi and working in some of our pre-schools

Their help and input with educational play, use of equipment, organizing play areas and store rooms has been of great assistance to the teachers.

We are really lucky to have had them work in the schools mentoring our teachers and we all wish them well in their careers.

Dr. Marysia Nash

Dr. Marysia Nash has come from Scotland for a third year to mentor our teachers in their classroom environment and to hold a second series of classes for “Babyboost”

This is Marysia’s comment on her visit:

“Back in South Africa to take Babyboost forward with our two lovely boosters Fikile and Sibonolelo !

It’s been great to coach a new and enthusiastic group of caregivers and to touch base with some our group from May 2017! Supporting caregivers to provide key interactions with toys and books and watching the fun and learning that ensues fills all of us with joy and purpose! 3 workshops provided and 3 more to go … followed by an individual home visit to help generalise learning to different contexts.

We are all delighted to be working together to give these bonny babies a big boost in their development!”

Jumble Sales

Wow!!! So much jumble awaited our arrival and Daphne has worked very hard sorting and marking the, mainly clothing, before holding the much awaited jumble sales.

There was so much that we have been able to hold four jumble sales. One at the Cavern, for Cavern and other nearby resort staff, and three at our schools in the Amazizi area.

We are so pleased to have raised almost R11000.00 and we still have some left for another sale in May when we return.
Our thanks go to all the guests, friends and family who took the trouble to sort, bring and donate all the jumble over the last few months.


Megan and Daphne with the assistance of Marysia Nash and the two Belgian students Evelyn and Jana held a very well attended workshop for the teachers from our 15 pre-schools.

The theme for this workshop was classroom management which included the setting up of different stations and splitting their classes into smaller groups.

For a couple of hours our teachers took on the role of pupils and enjoyed learning new educational games and how best to use them and the toys and books. They loved the fantasy play and one of our mentors, Theresa, enthralled them all with her storytelling using props to further illustrate the story.
Jana and Evelyn’s supervisors from Belgium arrived at the start of the workshop and were very impressed with the teachers and their students. They even joined in the activities.

UNISA Grade “R” Course

Four of our teachers completed their Grade R correspondence course through UNISA last year. Recently we heard that all the teachers passed the course with flying colours.

We congratulate the teachers and thank Liesje Carter for assisting the teachers with their studies.

Our thanks go to the Rotary Club of Retford, UK for funding this course.

Knitwear / Cushions

Once again we thank the ladies for knitting more clothes, beanies and making more cushions. We have given out the cushions, but we are keeping the winter woollies to give out when we come back in May.

The jerseys, hats, toys, cushions and blankets are always well received.

New School

We have been approached by and agreed to assist another pre-school called Vukani which has 28 pupils. We are giving them the fortified porridge and have supplied them with some toys and educational equipment. The teachers also attended our workshop.

This brings the number of pre-schools we assist to 15.

Project Funding and Donations

As we announced in our February News Flash, the Khanyisela Project had grown to such an extent that last year we applied for and became a registered Non-Profit Organisation in our own right. Further to this we were very pleased to hear from the South African Revenue Service that our application to become registered as a Public Benefit organisation had also been approved.

All donations, be it time or money, are appreciated no matter how big or small. It all goes towards what we think is a worthy cause in the hope that in a small way we are contributing to the improvement of education, which is so desperately needed in our beautiful country.

If you, or if you know anyone who wishes to make a donation to the Khanyisela Project, please visit our website (see link below) or contact Dave or Daphne – – for details on how to donate.

Don’t forget that The Cavern, in an effort to get more donations for the Khanyisela Project, is now linked to “Pack for a Purpose“.

So if you are visiting from overseas or have family or friends visiting from overseas look at the website to see how you/they can help. We have listed our needs on the Pack for a Purpose website.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook

Best wishes to you all,

Dave & Daphne Thurlwell, Megan Bedingham, Jean Carte, Georg Rotter and Liesje Carter

The Northern Drakensberg Khanyisela Project Tel : 083 512 0146

Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) No: 190-132 NPO

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top