My heart is singing – here in South Africa

My heart is singing – here in South Africa

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I was very impressed to see how well cared for the admin office, loos and creche huts.

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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…….

and a random photo that made me laugh outloud! south Africa 2014 sallie 059


4 thoughts on “My heart is singing – here in South Africa

  1. Great post – lots of fantastic news and photos – thanks Sallie – and love to all from (a currently sunny) ‘head office’ in Faversham !

  2. Lovely reading your report Sallie especially the news from EACC. I often think about my memorable time there last November and the caring staff. Please give them my best wishes and thank them for being so welcoming towards me.

  3. and another lovely response from Brenda & Barry, frequent volunteers in Tshume School:

    “Thank you for sending the video of the playing field at Tshume. The sports field has been so long coming but well worth waiting for. The children at tshume are no doubt using it daily and enjoying every minute. We are always thinking about another visit to SA. We get the occasional email, text even phone calls from our friends at Tshume and the desire to jump on the next plane is strong.
    I am sure the volunteer programme is going well, Rita told me that there are 3 volunteers at Tshume at the moment so it is good to know that they have continual support. “The day they joined the cluster group of schools in PE was a turning point in the life of that school which was really struggling and I do not think any of us had an idea of the impact of that decision.
    “For Barry and me the connection we have made in SA has changed our lives and given us so much. So a big thank you to P&P for helping to make it happen.”

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