I (Sallie) am 5 days into my trip in South Africa. It is so good to be back after nearly 4 years! – where did that time go?
So far,I have visited 4 of the schools our volunteer education programme supports – and Emmanuel Care Centre, the community care programme our volunteers support. I was privileged yesterday to be invited to attended the meeting for the Calabash Trust Schools Cluster so I have been able to catch up with all the school principals.
Where do I start – so much good news and still so many challenges.
The playing field at Tshume – WOW! – Ground that was barren and uninviting ( if not downright dangerous) is now a green and safe place for the children to play – click here a video of them doing just that – I’m not one for tears but I have to own up to having a misty eyed moment as I watched the children running around as children should.
Thankyou to all the volunteers and their friends who fundraised – look at what you went and did! BRAVO!
The perma garden at Tshume is is complete and being so well cared for – hardly any litter at all! – that was true for all the school grounds. The school is having a grand garden opening on Tuesday – I will be in Soweto , so I am disappointed to miss it but Paul promises pictures.
Many volunteers will remember the WCs ( or lack of sanitary loos) for the children – not now! They were clean and functioning!
As ever times are challenging at Emmanuel, The Department of Social Development is determined that they will have a bakery on their site ( the container was due to be delivered the afternoon I visited )and this is placing even more demands on Estolene – she is now expected to run a micro business. Yet again the carers have not received their stipends – which those of you who have worked at Emmanuel will know causes real hardship. The team are supporting eachother as best they can.
I was very impressed to see how well cared for the admin office, loos and creche huts.
Today volunteer Anke arrived, she is working with Calabash Trust – Paul and I picked her up bright eyed and bushy tailed (Anke that is – Paul and I must own to being a little tired – as ever we have to jam so much into a short trip) from 5th Avenue this morning – she is out on her orientation trip as I type. It was so good to be able to catch up with Anthea who sends her warmest greetings to all the volunteers that she has hosted.
So today is an office day …..phew
Next week Soweto…….