Summer 2018 Newsletter


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SAVE the DATE! Postponed until the Spring NICK’S SPECIAL BRAAI!

Nick Short is organizing a special “braai” with roast lamb and pork in the Hillside parking lot! Oh you don’t want to miss this one! And by the way a “braai” is South African for barbeque except in this case the lamb and pork are roasted on giant spits! Delicious! Hope to see you there!

SAVE the DATE! Saturday, October 13, 2018 6:30pm ARBUTUS CLUB DINNER AND ANNUAL FUNDRAISER! Hey we just had so much fun at this event last year we had to do it again! Hope all of you who came last year will come again and bring your friends. Amanda Wood and Diana Lines, celebrated singers in our very own Vancouver community, will be our guest entertainment. And if you all remember the food from last year, it was outstanding!! 

HOPE CAMPS are scheduled again in late November 2018.  Anyone wanting to volunteer for the camps for a life-changing amazing experience please contact Nick Short, Judy Rothwell, or Dan Mitchell. - Ministry report:

There is so much going on with on a daily basis it is impossible to tell you all the good news. However, here are a few of our favorite highlights to give you an idea of who we are and what we have been up to!

*Canadian volunteers did a spectacular job of helping with the Hope Camps and we are so grateful to Travis, Mary, Laura, Clifton and of course our fearless leader Nick!  Two new social workers at the camps learned a lot from their experience and the Hero Book which the campers do during camp, and this helped them with their own lives. They have a passion for helping people and found it a great experience. They both were very actively involved in the camps and gained the trust of the kids. We thank them for their help and we hope one of them will be hired by shortly.

*Travis reports that during the month of July the Grove Spar, a local grocery chain, put on a very generous food drive event for our ministry. We were named the charity of the month and at the end of it we received two full truck loads of donations! Our staff created food parcels which were distributed to 45 families who are struggling with food shortages and living in poverty. The project was supported by 19 staff and volunteers, who went to the store every day to ask for donations which were matched by Spar. One family needed a wheelbarrow to carry it all home! Not too shabby! This was such a generous donation and the children were so stoked! In addition, the youth leaders made some good contacts while at Spar, with government departments such as the Lottery Fund. The Lottery Fund has invited to make a grant application and this is in process. If we are successful, the money will be used for a long term feeding program at our Litsemba Centre..

*Baby clothes were distributed to 15 single Moms.

*Local knitter’s group donated several bags of children’s warm blankets, beanies, and jersey’s. 

*Mandela Day, July 18, our President’s Award team ran a special “Beauty” Day for 80 kids from various schools. A professional hairdresser volunteered and taught the youth how to wash, cut, and style the OVC kids hair to boost confidence. Most of these children don’t have anyone to help them with their hair, as it is a lot of work and cost for families. Great fun was had by all! 

* The President’s Award programme is the youth skills programme that develops individuals through community service, sports, skills, and adventure experiences. It is a huge success. One example is a youth who came to us in 2014, as a young, quiet girl, with little confidence, and was having challenges with her ID, study permits, etc. Now she is a camp leader, in matric and doing well, and one of the members of the committee of the President’s Award. 

* Hope Clubs are for children who are orphaned and vulnerable and we offer support, discussions, help with school work, and mentoring. All the children passed their school terms!  We are running Hope Clubs in 8 schools with 7 youth leaders, who are paid a small stipend. The leaders also do home visits. There are 515 kids attending these clubs weekly, and leaders do 30-40 home visits per month. In addition, there is a full time youth leader at one school, Lugebhuta High School with 400 learners per month. 

* Teen Mother Clubs: There are 12 teen moms and their children. We assist young women who are vulnerable and distressed. We empower one another to look forward to their future and to build skills. One example is a teen mom  who we assisted to take their child to a local day care centre so that she was looked after. Before this the child was running up and down the streets, neglected and dirty. 

* SIMUNYE BOYS TO MEN (Formerly known as Brothers for Life) 

Simunye means “all of us together”. This group began in 2011 with boys who were dropouts into drugs and crime. We started a research programme to find out who the boys were and how we could help them. We now have 3 groups Simunye Boys to Men made up of young men. These boys were not behaving well at school, not good students, and were creating problems. Now they are running a boys club at school, no longer skipping classes, and doing well for themselves and the school. They help the school with latecomers, they wear their school uniforms, in and out of class.  They have run campaigns and participated in events at school. For example, 6 of them painted the school on Mandela Day. These boys have been changed from being a force for bad in the schools to a force for good. 

* The Litsemba Centre is a drop in centre rented at a very low rate to for the kids in the community. There are many programmes that take place there, all of which are supported by our staff and volunteers. It has also been a place where needy boys, who have no other place to live, can have a temporary place to stay. Presently Sipho, an orphan, is living in the centre and working as a paid caretaker. He also participates in the programmes that are held at the centre. There are now 2 churches involved in the centre, running Saturday programmes where they provide food for the kids, do repairs, storytelling, crafts, art, dramas, some sports, and give Christmas parcels to our orphans and vulnerable children.  One company has donated seedlings and clothes to our centre and camps every year since we started running our gardening programme. They have also taught our kids how to plant and do gardening at home. Teachers come to the centre to get help for some of their kids and call us when children do not go to school, so our staff can go to the home of the child to find out what is happening. 

*We have a Clothing Bank at the Litsemba Centre and give away about 100 kg of clothes away each month. 

* Camps: Twice a year, runs psychosocial support camps for 80 orphans and vulnerable children. We train 20-30 youth leaders each time, who come to lead the camps and activities. In July we had 82 kids who came to camp and many kids were followed up after the camps by our staff and 2 social workers. The kids who gave their lives to the Lord at the camps were a highlight. They were encouraged to start going to their local churches, Sunday schools and Hope Clubs at school.  

* EKUKHANYENI Christian Retreat Center:

The team would like to celebrate having the Ekukhanyeni property because we now have a wonderful, well-equipped place to run our camps, train our youth leaders and profitable businesses which will help sustain our ministries in the distant future once we have finishing paying off our bond.  We also want to celebrate Reachout to Africa for their continuous support for and its children and youth. The staff appreciate so much all the help that has been given over the years, all the volunteers who have come to participate and all the people who have contributed to us having a home for the ministry.

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