Hi All,

Another year has begun and Daphne and I have been at the Cavern for the last few weeks during which time we went to Johannesburg to purchase goods for the pre-schools, visited the schools to deliver porridge and school supplies, sorted jumble and held two jumble sales. Please read on to see what else has been happening here in the mountains since our last news update.

Teachers Christmas Lunch

The annual Christmas lunch hosted by Montusi Mountain Lodge assisted by The Cavern has become an event enthusiastically looked forward to by all our pre-school teachers.

Teachers at Montusi

The teachers that attended the Lunch

Our thanks go to Montusi, the Bergville SPAR who donated gift vouchers, The Cavern and all the people who donated gifts for the teachers

Teachers Awards

Teachers with their prizes

Teresa from the Emseni Pre-school showed the teachers what can be made with waste materials. She hopes to hold a training workshop for the teachers in the near future.

What can be made from Scrap Materials?

Teresa from Emseni school shows Jean and the teachers
what can be made with scrap materials

Samkelokuhle Pre-school – New Classroom

The second classroom classroom at the Samkelokuhle ECD Centre was completed before the end of last year and is in full use now the new school year has commenced.

Samkeleleko New Class

Samkelokuhle’s new Classroom

Our thanks go to Denso SA, Credit Guarantee for their generous donations and to our many smaller donors who made this possible.

Samkelokuhle Early Childhood Development Centre

The Samkelokuhle Early Childhood Development Centre at Busingata

This school has developed in leaps and bounds in the 5 years since we built them a classroom enabling them to move from their small church building.

Vusanani New Classroom

This small pre-school, in an inaccessible (after our frequent heavy summer rainfall) area of Okombe, has been asking for a new building since before Daphne and I started assisting with the Khanyisela project some five years ago. Finally last year part of the roof of their old building roof blew off and it was fortuitous that at that time a member of the Rotary Club of Retford in the UK, Peter Jervis and his sons came to our rescue.

Peter and family offered to fund the building and fitting out of the new school building in memory of their late wife and mother, Barbara.

Vusani Old Classroom

From this small Rondavel which lost some of its roof to the new building below.

Vusani New Classroom

We still need to install the Patio Roof & Paving

We wish to thank the Jervis family for their very generous donation and hope to welcome them here in the Northern Drakensberg later this year to show them this lovely little school in full operation.

Donations from around the World

We are very fortunate to receive donations to our project not only from South Africa, but, from all corners of the world. From England to Australia,from Canada to Holland and many other countries.

Last year Shelly and Horst Oldach from Germany visited the Cavern for a couple of days and Megan took them to see a few of our schools. They were, to quote Shelly, “very impressed with what Megan Bedingham and her people are doing for the Schools in that area”. They were so impressed that they made a large donation to the project. We decided to spend this money on equipping the schools with more educational toys and equipment.

So, early in January, Daphne and I drove to Johannesburg and purchased pin boards, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, crayons, glue, paper, wooden puzzles, large lego type blocks, wooden cars, fire engines, ambulances and trucks, posters and charts, black girl and boy dolls, hoola hoops,and other toys for the 11 pre-schools we help.

Educational toys and equipment

Some of the toys with pin boards in the background

Over the course of one week Daphne and I distributed the goods to the schools and erected their pin boards and fire extinguisher. I must add that by the end of the week Daphne had developed into a very good apprentice. (When she wasn’t distracted and playing with the children.)

Daphne doing puzzles

Daphne doing new puzzles with the children

A great big thank you to Shelly and Horst. The children and teachers were delighted with all their new goodies.

Megan’s 40 walks

February this year marks Megan’s fortieth birthday and on Good Friday she will begin her “Big Walk for Education” She will walk in these beautiful mountains on 40 consecutive days. The walks, to raise awareness for Education, will be of different lengths and levels. She will do short walks each Sunday with her children, half day hikes, day hikes and a couple of on the move hikes from local resort to local resort. Megan will track her kilometers and hopes to raise money through sponsorship. Daphne and I will join her in May for some of her hikes and she hopes to get other friends, family, Cavern guests and maybe even some high profile people to join her.

Megan on Sugarloaf

Megan at the top of Sugarloaf on her 40th Birthday

If you would like to sponsor her for this worthy cause please email projects@cavern.co.za

Royal Drakensberg Primary School – 2014 Fundraiser

Save the date – The 2014 Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge will be held over the weekend 28th to 30th March.

MTB weekend

Don’t miss this exciting weekend in the mountains and help
us to raise money for this lovely school.

Jumble Sale

We held a very successful jumble sale at the Cavern at the beginning of this month which raised over R6000.00 for the project. We had so much jumble left over that we decided to hold another sale at Hlelokuhle Pre-school in Amazizi, where we raised almost another R2000.00

Don’t forget if you are visiting the Cavern or other resorts in the area please bring us some jumble towards our next sale.

Also welcome, for issuing to the schools are your no longer required toys, children’s books etcetera.

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 at play...

Children at play

The Rotary Global Grant application, submitted by the Rotary Club of Retford, is progressing and we keep our fingers crossed that it will be successful and we will be able to continue our teacher training, install toilets, playground equipment and supply much needed educational materials.

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.

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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