Spirit of Africa

Helping to make a difference in Africa

A great big thank you to Lucy, Sian, Grant and George for all of the general maintenance carried out at Ithembalihle in February.
The children enjoyed helping with the French drain and the decorating. Helping gave them a sense of pride and ownership including lots of fun. 
 
The children were all looking well and doing well in school, thank you to First Step Right school.
 
The tiling of the kitchen made Thandiwe very proud. The gutters and the toilets are once again all fully functioning and the dormitory building is looking like new.
 
A few photographs of the February visit
 
   
  
Jo set off on her travels to complete her challenge. Sadly after several days into the cycle Jo came off her bike while travelling down a mountain.
 
She was knocked unconscious and suffered a brain bleed. Jo ended up in Intensive care for several days. For this to happen in the UK is traumatic enough but; caught between the borders of Chile and Argentina proved very problematic. With only a hose for a shower in the hospital was also an experience Jo could have done without.
 
We are very happy to say that, after her nightmare ordeal, Jo is at home making a slow recovery from her extensive bruising and head injury. The guides and her husband Bob remained with her throughout the terrible experience.
 
We wish Jo a speedy recovery and thank you to all of the people who have sponsored Jo, both before the challenge and after her challenging experience. Well done for such a fantastic effort Jo you are amazing.
Jo is cycling over the Andes, 500 miles in total, at the age of 70 years, not because she is super fit, but because she wants to make a statement about how important it is to raise money for the children at Ithembalihle. What a challenge for a young person let alone a lady of Jo’s age. Jo we applaud you.
 
Jo knows we are desperate for funds to replace our vehicle, which is constantly breaking down. Without a vehicle our children cannot get to school. We have 10 children travelling to school in a vehicle which is not fit for purpose.
 
Please help us to replace the vehicle by sponsoring Jo.
 
 
 JoCycling

The toilets have been completed. Thank you to everyone concerned.

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Lorraine was able to spend a lot of time in the Pre-school.

 

  

The children in the Pre-school enjoyed playing with the salt dough.

 

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The toilet's coming along nicely.

    

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The toilet build has been very hard work for our team of amazing volunteers.  In spite of 4 continuous days of rain we are making amazing progress.

   

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Carol and four volunteers, from the area, are off to South Africa on Friday for two weeks, to build some desperately needed toilets.
 
So out with the old long, full up, “Long drop” toilet and in with the new: look out for the new toilets.
 
 
 
Thank you to George, Grant Garry and Lorraine for giving up their time and paying for your trip to provide our children with much toilets that will be attached to the dormitory building.
Thank you also to everyone who has provided us with monetary donations and clothes donations. Your kindness is overwhelming.

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Here are the children enjoying their new clothes which we took out in November.

  

 

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Thank you Margaret for making the new curtains and Steve for putting them up.
 
 
 
 

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New equipment has been purchased for the Pre -school at Ithembalihle with your donations. Thank you.

   

Thank you to all of the volunteers who, on Easter Saturday, braved awful weather conditions to bring a surprise Easter greeting to the people of “Crammy". The trees have brought an amazing response from people who have seen them.

 

To date she has raised £1261 to support the children at our Ithembalihle project.
 
Thank you so much to all of the wonderful people who sponsored her.
 
If you would like to take up this challenge and raise some money for children in South Africa please get in touch.
 
 
 
 
 

We have been busy in South Africa in October and November.

In the October half term Donna and Alan took off to visit the Pre-school and to spend some time helping the new teachers get to grips with teaching Phonics. They were glad to find the classrooms well organised and that daily planning was in operation.

 

 

 

In November two volunteers, Steve (who helped us with the Pre-School build last October) and Keith joined Alison and Carol to do some work at Ithembalihle. They put ceilings in the new Pre-school to block the noise travelling from classroom to classroom. They also tiled the showers, replaced broken windows and painted the bedroom belonging to the older girls.

  

  

  

Tanda and her baby are doing well and thankfully the baby is very healthy. All the children, we are happy to say, are looking settled and healthy.

  

  

 

Thank you to our supporters for the blankets and the black dollies.

Carol, one of our trustees, has not long returned from visiting Ithembalihle, our shared project in South Africa. The pre-school was being well used, the inside had been painted by some Dutch volunteers and was looking fabulous.

  

When we were there, a donation from a GAGA donor allowed us to buy grass for in front of the pre-school building.

  

It was not all hard work and because the children were on holiday, we decided to hire a mini bus and driver and take the children to the beach. Charlie opted to stay behind and tile the splash back on the sinks in the pre-school while Carol played at the beach!

  

Many of the children had never been to the beach and were transfixed by the sea and the sand. Persuading the children that the sea was a place to enjoy was a challenge. The only way to get them in was by example! I had not taken a swimming costume so walking into the sea, fully clothed, caused such amusement to the children that they soon wanted to join me. When I saw the children laughing and screaming with pleasure when all they have known had been pain and sadness then I knew that Spirit of Africa was making a difference. We are only able to make that difference because of you, our very generous supporters.

And of course, no visit to the beach is complete without an ice cream!

Unfortunately Gladys, our House mother, was forced to leave us in October after her Aunt died. This left Gladys with no one to care for her own children and home. We now have Siphiwe. She has come from the farming community. To take the job she had to leave her five year old behind with her family but it was suggested during Carol's visit that Siphiwe brought her child to Ithembalihle and that he could go to our school for several terms before going to the school in the village. She was thrilled with the suggestion, and for the first time her child will be attending school.

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With Carol about to return to South Africa next week, we would like to express our gratitude towards the staff at Phe Zulu Safari Park and Lodge.

(Exterior of the lodge and gardens)

In October 2013, we had the pleasure of staying at the PheZulu Lodge where we were looked after brilliantly by all of the staff. A huge thanks to all of them who showed us such great hospitality.

There is no doubt that Phe Zulu offers a great place to stay with beautiful surroundings and great onsite activities and entertainment, we hope to stay there on many visits to come!

(Zebra photo taken on the PheZulu game drive.) Check out their website here.  

Spirit of Africa has many friends in South Africa today we stand with you as you mourn the father of your nation. Nelson Mandela will always be remembered as the man who fought for freedom by displaying forgiveness and grace throughout his life. He is and will continue to be an example to the world. The world will miss his humility which added to his greatness. Rest in Peace.

Help with our Campaign

 

How you can Help:

You could help by clicking here and making a donation. Or, you could organise a fund raising event yourself, no matter how small.