Newsletter June 2019

Hi All,

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.

Read on to see what has been achieved:

School Visits, Including Porridge Deliveries And Knitwear Distribution

As usual we have been delivering the fortified porridge supplement and we have also given out the last of the jerseys, hats, scarves and a few gloves.

Gertrud and Georg brought 6 suit cases full of soft toys and other goodies (and some clothes for themselves.), from Austria. The little children were very excited to receive the soft toys, especially when they were told they could take them home.

We have made good progress in providing most of the “needs” that were established when we first visited the schools early in February. An especially exciting time was when we delivered the 30 “black bikes”, which were paid for with a donation from a Cavern guest. There was lots of competition to be the first to ride them at each school.

Painting And Maintenance

When Gertrud and Georg were here last September they said that when they returned in May they would like to help us paint another pre-school in, what has now become, the “Khanyisela Colours”.

We decided to paint the second classroom at Zamokhule pre-school. This we did and then decided to paint their new toilet block as well.

We have also carried out various maintenance items such as, replacing door locks and handles, replacing broken window handles, replacing broken and leaking taps on rainwater tanks, (Dave got wet a few times), hanging fire extinguishers, and putting up rails and hooks. Dave also put up toys (see the crocodile picture below) that one of the Belgian students and her parents donated.

Belgian Students

We have once again been lucky enough to have two Belgium Early Childhood Development students spend their internship with us helping with the schools.

Anke and Typhaine after a long journey from Johannesburg due to a bus breakdown got straight to work. We showed them around and we arranged for them to join Samukelokuhle ECD Centre for the first four weeks of their internship. They spent a week or so there assessing the school and how they could help and my goodness did they make some great changes. The teachers and children benefited from their input and again we feel it is so important for these students to come here as they have really made a huge difference. They then moved on to Sbusisiwe school which is a smaller school with less pupils and they went about their task with the same enthusiasm. They even went on to another school, Siqalakahle, for a week as they felt they could help there.

Typhaine’s parents and Aunt and Uncle then donated some funds so Typhaine and Anke could purchase some toys, games and outdoor equipment which we delivered to the three schools they assisted.


Daphne and I collected Marysia Nash (And her three suitcases full of toys and books) from the airport in Johannesburg and then started two and a half weeks of intense BabyBoost implementation. To say that Marysia is like a whirlwind is an understatement. She was ably joined by Gail Robertson a few days later. What followed was a flurry of sorting toys and books, and training sessions for Irene the local facilitator, in preparation for the BabyBoost sessions to be held at two locations. Here is how Marysia describes her two and a half busy weeks:

So in May …. it was a busy two and a half weeks as we delivered coaching sessions to over 20 carers and their babies in two different locations, standardised our home visiting procedure, mentored and  developed our local staff  and set up the playgroups with toys grouped according to the kind of learning opportunities they provide. Daphne, who did so much to facilitate the programme, has now also set up the toy and book libraries .
In my absence, our lovely local team, Irene, Fikile and Sibonolelo  will run BabyBoost keeping us informed of progress . These women have participated and learned with such enthusiasm and are absolutely committed to giving the little ones in their communities opportunities to learn that they would not otherwise have.

Marysia will return in September with Gemma McDonald to review progress, and no doubt propose some revisions, and to start further BabyBoost sessions.

Jumble Sales

More jumble has arrived since our previous News Update and we have held another two jumble sales. One was held at the Cavern and the other at Hlelokuhle pre-school in Amazizi.

We raised over R5000.00 at the two jumble sales and this will be put towards teacher training costs.

So if you are heading to The Cavern, please try and bring us some jumble.

Big5hike For Education

The Royal Drakensberg Primary School’s main fundraiser, Big5Hike for Education, was held over the 24th to 26th of May weekend.

It was a fantastic day for the hike and over 100 people participated. Glorious weather, lovely people and over R1million raised towards the school funds.

A big thank you to everyone who participated, donated, helped organise and made sure everything ran so smoothly.

Project Funding And Donations

We are now assisting 17 pre-schools (almost 700 learners), along with BabyBoost mothers and carers in the rural Amazizi village and are always in need of donations to help us continue our work. Therefore, all donations, be it time, money or jumble, 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 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
Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) No: 930059368

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