Update November 2014

Hi All,

We have just spent 3 weeks at the Cavern (our forth visit this year) working on the Khanyisela Project and Wow! What a week we have just had with visitors from the Rotary Club of Retford. Read on.

Rotary Global Grant

The Rotary Global Grant funding was received in July and books, jungle gyms and toilets were ordered and delivered to us here in the Northern Drakensberg. Daphne and I came here in August and we welcomed Rex Van Olst and his wife Rosie, from the Benoni Aurora Rotary Club who had been charged with overseeing the grant in South Africa. We took them to some schools to see the installed jungle gyms and showed them the prefabricated toilet sections ready to be delivered and installed at the schools. Rex was very pleased with the progress and reported positively back to the Rotary Club of Retford.

Megan received the English and Zulu books and, with her father’s help, delivered them to all the schools.

The children with their new books
The children with their new books

Whilst here, Daphne arranged for ten of our teachers to attend a Level 4 Early Childhood Development, 2 year course, at the Midland College, Nottingham Road. The students have just attended their third one week module out of eighteen.

The teachers busy on their course
The teachers busy on their course

Terry and Margaret Dunmore, Peter Jervis and Mary Danby from the Rotary Club of Retford visited us during the last week of October. What a pleasure to take them to a number of the pre-schools where they saw the jungle gyms (being well used), toilets and the new books.

Terry and Margaret, who visit us regularly, were very pleased to see the progress in our pre-schools.

It is always such a pleasure to take these wonderful people, who do so much for the Khanyisela Project, to our schools. We do not know how to thank them enough.

Vusanani New Classroom

When the Chairwoman of the Vusanani pre-school heard that the people instrumental for the funding of the Vusanani pre-school were coming to The Cavern in October she immediately said to Daphne that the school wanted to hold a “Celebration” to thank them.

Well, on the Tuesday afternoon we took the English guests on the recently graded (especially for the event) dirt track to Vusanani. We were greeted by the children and staff who escorted us (music blaring) into the especially erected tent and showed us to our seats as special guests.

Special Guests from Retford Rotary Club
Special Guests from Retford Rotary Club

We were treated to rhymes and dancing by the children, gospel singing, Zulu dancing (accompanied by very loud drumming) and various speeches. The parents and governing body presented us with gifts of grass hats and wicker baskets as tokens of their appreciation.

Peter Jervis, who, with his two sons (unfortunately not present) donated the funds to build the school in memory of their mother and wife, made a short speech telling the gathering that it was their pleasure to help the community in this way and especially as his late wife loved Africa.

Peter Jervis with the Zulu dancers
Peter Jervis with the Zulu dancers

We were then invited into the school classroom for food and drinks.
I don’t think I exaggerate when I say that the English visitors were “blown away” by the experience. Daphne and I were.

Drakensville Gap Year Students

Once again gap year students from Drakensville came to help us with our schools. This year they painted the Gugulethu and Ekukhanyeni pre-schools.

The teachers and learners were very happy with their brightly painted buildings.

Myandani Primary School

Earlier this year Helen Horsman and family group (from England) raised funds and came and held a sports (soccer and netball) day at the Myandani Primary School. They bought soccer and netballs and kit for the school teams.


Whilst at the school we saw that there were approximately 80 learners, two grade classes, per room which was very disruptive. Credit Guarantee had offered us some funding so we decided to use this to purchase room dividers for the school classrooms.

The room dividers in place
The room dividers in place

Daphne and I visited the school recently and the teachers say that the dividers have been a great help to them. The pupils are more attentive and much less disruptive.

Royal Drakensberg Primary School – 2015 MTB Day Fundraiser

Don’t forget to book for this awesome weekend in the Northern Drakensberg. This event really puts the mountain into mountain biking!!!!

19 April 2015
19 April 2015

SAVE THE DATE – The 2015 Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge will be held over the weekend 18th & 19th April..

Jumble Sale

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.


Terry and Margaret Dunmore brought 5500 pencils (donated by the Northumberland Pencil Company) from England for us to distribute at the local primary schools. Terry told me before flying out, “We did contact BA who seemed to be OK about the 30 kg of pencils – curious but not alarmed!”

The children are very pleased with their pencils
The children are very pleased with their pencils

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.

Children enjoying their new Jungle Gyms
Children enjoying their new Jungle Gyms

It is almost six years that Daphne and I have been involved in the Khanyisela Project and we can certainly see a vast improvement in all the schools being assisted by the Project. This was confirmed by Terry and Margaret Dunmore from the Rotary Club of Retford during their visit.

Without your generous donations, this would not have been possible. THANK YOU!

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. Visit www.packforapurpose.org

The season of giving is almost upon us. Why not SMS “Read” to 40307 and donate R20 to our projects.

As the year end holidays are once again almost upon us, we wish you all a very happy and peaceful holiday break.

Thank you and best regards.

Dave & Daphne Thurlwell, Megan Bedingham and Jean Carte.
The Cavern – Khanyisela Project Tel: 083 512 0146

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