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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