Newsletter March 2019

Hi All,

Daphne and I have been at the Cavern for the last few weeks working with the Khanyisela Project pre-schools. It has been a busy few weeks and we are now relaxing a little as the schools are on holiday for two weeks.

Read on to see what has been happening at the pre-schools:

School Visits And Porridge Deliveries

Upon our arrival our first priorities were the delivery of fortified porridge and at the same time to assess all the schools requirements for the year ahead.

Spread sheets were drawn up, shopping lists prepared and then quotations requested, orders placed and deliveries accepted.

We have been very fortunate to have donations recently that covered the costs of the majority of our needs.

Rand Merchant Bank donated lots of new toys. Stoves, sinks, wooden toy cars, lego type building blocks, stacking cups, cutting vegetables, bean bags and balls. Thanks to Rand Merchant Bank for becoming involved in our project and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with them.

We have also received private donations which we have used for the purchase of children’s tables and chairs, wooden building blocks, dolls, dolls cots and items of stationery.

Our thanks go out to everyone who has donated to the project..

Over the last week we have been busy delivering lots of the toys and stationery. We have only just received the tables and chairs which we will issue after the schools re-open in April.


Each year we work closer together with the Royal Drakensberg Primary (RDP) school and this year the RDP teachers decided to hold a workshop at The Cavern for all the Khayisela Project (KP) teachers.

This workshop was based upon literacy and the RDP teachers set up eight different stations in the games room. The KP teachers, forty two, were split into eight groups, one at each station and spent 10 minutes there before moving on to the next station. The stations varied from reading and storytelling, to colour identification, to threading, cutting and drawing.

Thanks to everyone for giving up their Saturday to attend and to the teachers of RDP for their work.

It was so good to see how the KP teachers absorbed all they were taught.

We are pleased to report that on a visit to the schools last week we witnessed some of the activities from the workshop being used at the pre-schools.

Belgian Students

On the thirteenth of February we welcomed a further two Belgian Early Childhood Development university students. This is the third year that we have been fortunate to have the students to work in the pre-schools.
We took Anke and Typhaine to see some of our schools and on Monday 18th of February they joined the Samukelokuhle ECD Centre for the first four weeks of their internship. They have worked closely with the Principal, Gabusile, and together have implemented some activities learned during their studies. They have said how different the schools are from Belgium, but are really enjoying the experience.

Anke and Typhaine also attended and helped at the workshop and commented that at home in Belgium they did not think that the teachers would give up their off work time to attend a workshop.

During the two week Government school holidays Anke and Typhaine are working at the RDP school before moving on to Sbusisiwe school on the 2nd of April.

Baby Boost

The next BabyBoost sessions will begin towards the end of April when Marysia arrives here from Edinburgh. Gail Robertson is also coming with Marysia to assist her.

Marysia has been extremely busy raising funds, buying and collecting toys and books for BabyBoost. In fact she has also borrowed two extra suitcases for all the toys and books, AND persuaded British Airways to let her bring them free of charge.

We look forward to Marysia and Gail’s arrival.

Jumble Sales

Wow! When we arrived our bedroom was full of jumble and when we went to look in our storeroom the jumble almost fell out of the door. A Very Big Thank You to everyone who has taken the trouble to sort and bring their jumble to the Cavern.

We have held two jumble sales which have raised over R8000 and still have enough jumble to hold another two in April.

Please keep the jumble coming as we raise much needed funding for the project and the local people are able to buy nice clothes at very reasonable prices. (At the jumble sales I tell everyone that this is Daphne’s discount store.)


We gave out some jerseys and hats soon after we arrived.

Once again the ladies of the Rotary Club of Retford in England knitted jerseys, hats and blankets which were boxed up (4 large boxes full) and shipped to South Africa. These along with jerseys and blankets knitted by Sally Johnson’s team here in SA will be distributed to the children early in May before our winter really begins.

We send our thanks to all the ladies both here and overseas. The knitwear is always well received.

Big5hike For Education

The Royal Drakensberg Primary School’s main fundraiser, Big5Hike for Education, will be held over the 24th to 26th of May weekend.
This is a great fundraising event and is always fully subscribed. So, if you want to participate make sure you contact to reserve your place.

This is not far away now, so get into training

Project Funding And Donations

I know I repeat myself, but all donations, be it time or 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.

Donations can now be made to Khanyisela with your credit card through Payfast. Click on “Lend a hand” on our website.

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

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