Khanyisela Project – December Update

Hi All,

It is already the second week of December with Christmas fast approaching and time for another update on our progress with the Khanyisela Project.

Below we highlight some of the projects that we have been working on over the last three months.

Teacher Training

Level 1 – The level 1 learners have just completed their course and are being a big help in the various crèche/pre-schools where they teach. 

Level 4 – The level 4 learners have completed 8 of their 9 course modules. Their last session will be held in January.

We consider the training of the teachers to be one of the most important aspects of the Khanyisela project. Without competent teachers the young children cannot progress. It is therefore very important that we continue sending the teachers and assistants on Early Childhood Development (ECD) courses. The D G Murray Trust allocated us R100 000.00 this year for the above courses and we have approached them for additional funding for further ECD Level 1, 4 and 5 courses in 2011. Our Step 1 Application was successful and they invited us to submit the final Step 2 application which was submitted on the 13th December. (Incidentally Daphne and my 35th  wedding anniversary) Please cross your fingers that our application is successful.

On Saturday the 3rd December we held a Christmas lunch for all the teachers and assistants at Montusi Mountain Lodge. We were fortunate to have had prizes donated by the Bergville Spa (4 x R100 gift vouchers) and the Cavern (Cavern Bags). We bought some fruit trees and plastic roller boxes as additional prizes. Prizes were awarded for the cleanest school, Samokelokuhle, and most improved school, Gugulethu. The four gift vouchers were given as  lucky dip prizes and all the schools also received a prize.

social responsibility
khanyisela project childhood development amazizi creche

Cleanest School

Samokelokuhle

Most Improved School

Gugulethu 

Spa Voucher Winners
All the Teachers

Our thanks go to the Bergville Spa for the vouchers, The Cavern for the bags and the deserts and to Montusi for hosting the lunch and for the delicious food.

Workshops

Over and above the above training we hold half day workshops for all the teachers and their assistants at the Cavern. Over the last two months two workshops were held.

The first was on the subject of health and safety. Stephen Richert from the Royal Drakensberg National Park kindly presented a very informative and useful presentation. Upon completion of the presentation we issued small first aid kits to each of the crèche/pre-schools.

The second workshop was presented by Dr Glenda Hicks and focused on self esteem and how the teachers could recognize problems in the development of the children. We were fortunate that Dr Glenda Hicks could stay for two weeks when she visited many of the schools and gave us a report on the progress of the teachers.  This was a positive report and Dr Hicks feels that the training the teachers are receiving is being put into practice. 
Our thanks go to the Cavern for the use of their conference room and for the tea and sandwiches.

Emseni Pre-School

We have started to build the new classroom, kitchen and storeroom, but this was not without problems. Upon completion of the foundation slab our builder, NET Projects, was approached by an Induna who gave them a letter telling them to stop work as the land was his. Teresa, the head of the Emseni School, has, a “Permission to Occupy” (PTO) letter for the land and was very upset. She went to Pietermaritzburg to get confirmation of her letter and then spent a day waiting to see the local Chief who originally gave permission. He confirmed that the land was allocated to the Emseni School. Meetings were held between the school committee and the Induna and we were given permission to continue building which now has the roof trusses and sheeting erected. However we had then lost two weeks and the building could not be completed before the builders Christmas shutdown. We are hoping that it will be completed for the new school term beginning on the 17th January.

emseni pre school
emseni school
building the school
roof of creche school

The foundation slab

Concrete blocks delivered

Building the shell
Erecting the roof trusses

The Ten Hope Group – Ntokozweni Creche

Paula Ten Hope, the daughter of family friends who have a house at Montusi, visited us a few months ago and said she would like to get a group of school friends to come to clean up and paint the Ntokozweni crèche. This she did and 10 girls arrived after their school, Kingsmead, closed on the 3rd December. Some of the walls were bare plaster and some painted dark blue, but the girls gave the walls (and themselves) a couple of coats of paint and then finished the transformation by painting the sun, trees, flowers, bees, numbers etcetera on the walls. We then put a carpet and some shelving in one of the rooms. When I say transformation, the word does not adequately describe the difference they have made to this small school and the teachers are absolutely delighted. The girls also cleaned their plastic chairs. Our thanks go to Paula and her team.

kingsmead girls
ntokozweni creche
painting creche
ten hope group

The second coat 

Some of the decoration

Carpet fitted andshelves erected

The team and some of theChildren

This school has very little furniture so we have bought them some small plastic tables and chairs which we will give to them at the beginning of the new school term.

Presidents Award Young Ladies – Zamokuhle Creche

Last December some Rhoedean girls came and assisted us in painting the Hlelokuhle crèche as part of their Presidents Award programme. This year 7 more young ladies came and painted the Zamokuhle Creche. The pictures that they painted both inside and outside are fantastic. The Ten Hope group came for a morning and helped by painting the outside walls.

zamokuhle creche
rhodean assistance
painting the creche
paingint the outside walls

The first coat goes on

The Ten Hope group paint the outside
Pictures inside and  interaction with the children

first coat
ten hope group
pictures and interaction

Pictures outside too

The Rhoedean team

Whilst there we installed a rainwater tank

The Zamokuhle teachers have had some of their land ploughed and they are going to plant mealies. The Ten Hope girls brought some seeds for the crèches and decided to give them to these teachers to plant.
Most of the crèche/pre-schools have no trees in their grounds so we decided that they need trees for shade and to improve the outlook of the schools. It was decided that we should plant fruit trees which would achieve our objective and also provide some food. The Hlelokuhle crèche won a peach tree at the teachers Chistmas lunch and we gave them 2 apple trees, 1 plum tree and another peach tree which the Rhoedean girls planted. (With more than a little help from Thabo and Dave.)
The Rhoedean girls also brought some stationary and toys which they decided to split between the Hlelokuhle crèche and the new Emseni school.
The Zamokuhle teachers are extremely pleased with the newly painted school and the fruit trees. Their thanks and ours go to the Roedean girls.

Rainwater Gutters and Tanks

We continue installing rainwater tanks and gutters at most of the schools. At the end of November we received a greatly appreciated donation of R28000.00 from Hamon SA, a Johannesburg based company, specifically earmarked for the installation of gutters and water tanks. The Rotary Club of Retford is hoping to send us another R22000.00 towards water tanks. We will now be able to install two tanks at each of the schools (including the new Emseni school), which will hold enough water to see them through the dry winter months.

Ekhuyeni
Gugulethu
Samkelokuhle
Dave receiving a cheque

Ekukhanyeni

Gugulethu

Samokelokuhle

Dave receiving a cheque from
Richard Carew of Hamon SA

Feeding Programme

With the continued assistance of the Rotary Club of Retford we are able to continue supplying fortified porridge to all the schools. Each of the 350 plus children will benefit from a meal of this porridge each school day. It is so important that the children get this meal to help with their health and concentration. They cannot learn on an empty stomach.  

St Mellons Golf Club Cardiff

Maggie Pierce has completed her duties as the Lady Captain of St. Mellons Golf Club in Cardiff. She has organized several social events during her tenure and assisted the mens section with one event. The money raised over her year in office was R 16748.87. (Incidentally, how much money did the swear box in the bar raise?) We have decided to use the money at the new Emseni Creche and will put it towards buying them some desks, chairs and kitchen furniture and to put up a veranda roof and fence.

Thank you very much Maggie for all your hard work. We look forward to you visiting us so that you can see where the money was spent.

Overall Project Funding

The Cavern’s, “win a 2 night stay” competition is getting quite a good response from quests. The October Draw was won by David Morris from Durban. Our next draw takes place on the 30th February. To enter all you need to do is donate R100 to the project either through Hearts of Hope or through the Cavern. (Contact us for details.) Why not set up a monthly donation.  
Thanks to private donations (and jumble for our regular sales – please keep it coming), we are well on our way to our goal that all the existing crèche buildings be re-painted, have water available from their own tanks and have adequate storage facilities and equipment. All of the above will go a long way to ensure that our schools are healthy, safe and efficient places of early childhood development. 

As this is a time for giving, why not consider assisting the Khanyisela Project on a monthly basis? We are looking for individuals or a group who can commit to a monthly pledge of R 100.00 (or more). You will also go into the Cavern “win a 2 night stay” competition. Email us for details.

Once again our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has kindly donated funds, jumble, books, toys etcetera and for your continued help and encouragement.
May we wish you all a very happy and peaceful festive season and a prosperous New Year. 
If you have any suggestions to help us in our task please let us know
Regards

Dave & Daphne Thurlwell 
The Cavern Khanyisela Project – Administration and Fundraising
036 438 6270/083 512 0146


Hi All,

How quickly time flies. It only seems like yesterday that I wrote the December update and it is already the fourth week in March with Easter fast approaching and time for another update on our progress and the good news about  the Khanyisela Project.

Firstly the good news and there is quite a lot of it.

The D G Murray Trust informed us on the 8th March (a lovely birthday present for Daphne) that they have approved our application for R130000.00 towards this year’s teacher training. 
The Rotary Club of Retford was successful with their application to their Rotary District for a £1000.00 (Approx.R11000.00) matching funding for rainwater tanks and gutters. They have transferred just over R22000.00 towards gutters and rainwater tanks. 
Industrial Water Cooling, a Johannesburg based company, donated R50000.00 to the Project.  
The Cavern, as they do each year, has also given us a large monetary donation.

We are extremely grateful to these donors, as with their donations covering the main needs of the project for this year, we are able to spend our other donations on the day to day needs of the project as well as on some improvements to the schools.

Emseni Pre-School

The building of the new classroom, kitchen and storeroom has been completed and the teachers and children moved into the school towards the end of January. Both teachers and children are extremely happy with their new premises and our thanks go to the following for their help in making the Principal, Teresa Ndawo’s dream come true: 
1) NET Projects who built the school at cost and managed to negotiate substantial discounts on our behalf, including the donation of the window and door frames. 
2) AFRIMAT who donated all the concrete blocks and lintels for the school. 
3) Build-It hardware in Bergville who donated the window glass and putty for the school. 

erecting the roof
building completed
gutter and water tank
children moving in
Erecting the Roof Trusses
The completed building, gutter and water tank
The children moving in

Maggie Pierce, whilst Lady Captain of St. Mellons Golf Club in Cardiff, collected R16748.87 for the Khanyisela Project. This money will be used towards a paved area and a veranda roof at the school. We hope to install these in the next month or so. Thanks again Maggie.

Teacher Training

With the funds approved by D G Murray Trust we can now continue with the Teacher Training. Well trained, qualified teachers are vital for the future of the children and the upliftment of the pre-schools in the area.  
The eleven teachers who completed the Early Childhood Development (ECD) level one course are being assessed in their workplace and once we have received the reports, we will recommend who goes on to do the ECD Level Four training.  
We have earmarked some of the funds to send five ladies on the first part of the ECD level 5 courses. These ladies have completed level four and have proved themselves in their places of work and would like to continue in their training. The level 5 qualification consists of two parts: the first part is the Higher Certificate in ECD, which is a twelve to eighteen month course.  
There are also some teachers assistants who we will send on the ECD level 1 course this year.
Our thanks go out to the D G Murray Trust for making all of this possible.

Workshops

Over and above the above training we hold half day workshops for all the teachers and their assistants at the Cavern. In January Brenda Locke brought Zulu books for the schools and held a Saturday morning workshop at which she issued the books to the pre-school teachers and explained how best to use the books. Thank you Brenda for the kind donation of the books and your time spent at the workshop. 
Our thanks go to the Cavern for the use of their conference room and for the tea and sandwiches.  

Rainwater Gutters and Tanks

Thanks to the donations from the Rotary Club of Retford and Hamon SA we have bought 6 additional 5000 litre water tanks and we are in the process of building additional tank bases. Once complete we will install the tanks and 6 of our schools will then have a 10 000 litre water capacity, which should be adequate to see them through the dry winter months. We are always very pleased to see the difference these tanks have made by alleviating the need for the staff having to fetch their water from pumps, which are often over 200 meters away. Unfortunately some of our schools are still in buildings where gutters cannot be erected and therefore we cannot install rainwater tanks.

Feeding Programme

porridge delivery
children at play
children in classroom
health children
Dave delivering the Porridge
Healthy and Happy Children in the classroom and at play

With the continued assistance of the Rotary Club of Retford we are able to continue supplying fortified porridge to all the schools. R20000.00 of the R50000.00 donated by Industrial Water Cooling (IWC) will be added to the Rotary Club of Retfords donation ensuring that each of our 350 plus children will benefit from a meal of this porridge each school day. This is the second year that IWC have given us a donation towards the feeding programme. It is so important that the children get this meal to help with their health and concentration. They cannot learn on an empty stomach. Recently we took a number of people who had visited the crèches before, but had not been for a while. on our ‘porridge run’ and we are pleased to report that all of them stated that they thought the children looked much healthier. 

Fruit Trees

Most of the crèche/pre-schools had no trees in their grounds so we decided that they need trees for shade and to improve the outlook of the schools. It was decided that we should plant fruit trees which would achieve our objective and also provide some food. Apple, plum and peach trees have been planted in several of the school grounds and are growing well. We are also very pleased to report that two of the schools have also started their own vegetable gardens. We wish more of the schools and homesteads in the area would start vegetable gardens.

Samukelokuhle school

Samukelokuhle School patio with part of their vegetable garden in the background.

Jumble Sales

We are in need of jumble for our next sale. If coming to visit over the school holidays or Easter get into those cupboards and if you have not used it for two years, put it into a bag and bring it to us. We do not make the items expensive that we sell but it benefits both our project and many of the people living in the area. 

Jungle Gyms

We would like to supply steel tubular jungle gyms to some of the pre-schools. We have funding to buy them, but, as they are quite large (over 2.0m square); transport costs from Durban (Queensborough) are prohibitive. If anyone can assist us in transporting one or more jungle gyms from Durban we would appreciate your help. 
We have also been donated a Jungle Gym in Johannesburg which we have to transport here. Can anyone help? Please contact me (Dave – 083 512 0146).

 Royal Drakensberg Primary School – Mountain Bike Weekend

We are holding the third annual Royal Drakensberg Primary (RDP) MTB race weekend from the 13th to 15th May. The event is a fund raiser for the RDP School and all monies raised go towards scholarships for previously disadvantaged children from the local Amazizi village to attend the school. 
As well as the 45km challenge and the shorter rides, a Friday night ride and Sunday family fun ride are planned for the weekend. At the adjacent All Out Adventures exciting activities suitable for the whole family, such as, flying trapeze, tree top cable tour, bungee bounce, king swing and zip line are available, plus food and drinks stalls and a very popular addition last year, the children’s “Play zone”. 
Riders are encouraged to get friends and family to sponsor them to ride a particular event, and money raised will be donated to Royal Drakensberg Primary School Scholarships.

Participants wishing to assist with fund raising for Royal Drakensberg Primary may obtain sponsorship forms from Loretta Mecklenborg or Megan BedinghamSee www.royal-drakensberg.org.za for more information.
Adopt a Pre-School

Why not “adopt” one of our pre-schools by raising funds to supply the stationery requirements of a school. This can be from as little as R600.00 per term. (See attached document for details.) Maybe your children’s school or your sports club or business would like to assist us. Please try and help us in this regard.

Overall Project Funding

The Cavern’s, “win a 2 night stay” February draw was won by Mr/s R B Mills. We look forward to welcoming them here at the Cavern. 
We still have 2 pre-schools that require a building similar to that which we have just built for the Emseni School. The Sigalakehle School has 54 children in two small rooms (see below) and they have been told that they need to move out this year. The school committee is applying for permission to occupy (PTO) a piece of land near the existing school. 
The Vusanani School is housed in a small rondavel (see below) and they are awaiting their PTO for a piece of land nearby. 
The costs are approximately R100000.00 to build each school, so we need all the help with donations that we can get.

sigalakahle pre school
sigalakahle pre school
vusanani pre school

The Sigalakahle Pre-school which has 54 children in this small structure

The Vusanani Pre-school with 21 
children in the small rondavel

Thanks to our major and smaller private donations (and jumble for our regular sales – please keep it coming), we are well on our way to our goal that all the existing crèche buildings be re-painted, have water available from their own tanks and have adequate storage facilities and equipment. All of the above will go a long way to ensure that our schools are healthy, safe and efficient places of early childhood development. 

As always our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has kindly donated funds, jumble, books, toys etcetera and for your continued help and encouragement. You are helping us to help make a better future for the children of this beautiful area and in our small way for all South Africans.
If you have any suggestions to help us in our task please let us know.  

Regards.

Dave & Daphne Thurlwell 
The Cavern Khanyisela Project – Administration and Fundraising 
036 438 6270/083 512 0146

2 thoughts on “Khanyisela Project – December Update

  1. A great big Thank You to Megan for showing my sister and me round five of the beautiful crèches last Friday. We had a ball and were so impressed by the work being done and the facilities that are in place. Will continue to supply goods from time to time when available. What a fantastic project!

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