There is an increase in the number of orphans and vulnerable children in our wandering schools. During this term we have been able to dress 500+ children with warm clothes and blankets, donated by individuals, church groups, at home and overseas and some school pupils here in SA. Special thanks to the educators and pupils at Pinetown Senior Primary who always think of us and provide clothing. and our overseas friends who always remember us during our winter season.
The distribution of food parcels is dependent on the food stuffs we receive into Phakamisa. The Pinetown Methodist congregation this term have donated lots of tinned items and vegetables and we were able provide food parcels for 10 families. One of our Caregivers was crying as she received her parcel saying ‘I thank God for Phakamisa today as I didn’t know what we were going to eat with my grandchildren as I had nothing in the house at all but our God provides’.
This could look like a small offering but it made a HUGE difference in someone’s life – TOGETHER WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
Celebrating 21 years of Phakamisa we had displays of all the crafts and home wares that our Caregivers are trained in and then produce to sell both at home and abroad.
Our first quarter Newsletter of 2014 - download here.
Rev Ulinda Pembrooke, part of the ministerial team at Pinetown Methodist Church shares her thanks. ‘Thanks to my Fellowship Group and others for making today a special Harvest Sunday. What a privilege for me to be both your minister and friend’.
Phakamisa also gives thanks for the love and support of our family at PMC
These PHAKAMISA Group 1 Caregivers were the happy recipients of some of the produce from PMC’s Sunday Harvest Festival service. Their monitor (at the back)is Mama Mfeka. Hearty thanks to the PC congregation. In the words of one of the caregivers ‘You are God sent – what a Mother’s Day present!’.
Our Wandering School programme is aimed to assist orphan and vulnerable children within the poorest of the communities we work in. This year we have large numbers of children registered in this programme by their caregivers who are unable to afford the fees of pre-schools and creches.
Phakamisa visitors, Sita and Sue, distirbuted toothbrushes and toothpaste in Thandi’s school.
Pinetown Methodist Church members are encouraged to leave ‘anti-waste’ to be used by Educare in the bin outside the Phakamisa front desk.
At this time of year warm clothes are needed for children – and we appeal to the congregation of PMC to help here also.
We recently had one of our overseas visitors join in one of our Caregivers Gym Classes which start bright and early at 7.30am. Our visitor crept in a tad later than this and found a spare mat so she could quickly join in with the other ladies. It was noted that she tried hard to keep up and follow the sequence of exercises which required concentration and a determination to try and make her body stretch, or flex, or co-ordinate – and whilst we could see she was having fun we note that she didn’t really expect it to be quite so hard. As for our regulars – they as usual threw themselves into trying to work through all the exercises with enthusiasm and effort so that when the unwind and relax part of the class arrived they deserved and benefitted.
Report back for our visitor – ‘Gym Class is brilliant, I didn’t realise how inflexible I was, I will go home and take up this new regime. And the teacher – well she was brilliant.’
This September’s Newsletter features the testimony of two amazing women, Elaine and Margaret, who were both called to serve God through Phakamisa. Download this very special letter here. September ’13
The Sewing Project: the group has now started to market their range of goods. In particular the Wander boxes/Food warmers are very popular and we are delighted that the caregivers are receiving orders of 20+ sometimes. A recent large order was for 50 Wander boxes ! Importantly the caregivers receive the money that they make from these orders.
Our new director (Jan 2014), Thokozani celebrating with Glenda who founded and led the project until the end of 2013.
The street procession of celebration led by Thokozani.
An exciting programme of events has been planned for the Saturday during which we will both reflect on the achievements of Phakamisa over it’s 21 year history, as well as spell out our vision for the years ahead
We are delighted and priveleged that our service of celebration on the Sunday 8th at 9.00 in Pinetown Methodist Church will be led by REV LAUREN MATTHEW. Lauren is currently Youth and Young Adult President of the World Methodist Church.
‘When joining Phakamisa I saw myself as a Servant of God who had been called to serve and I accepted His calling. As I introduced myself to Caregivers and Staff at the beginning of the year, I set a theme for us all – God is Love.
Let us all spread the love of God to one another so that Phakamisa will smell the aroma of LOVE.
At Christmas time a local radio station collects children’s toys and give them to various charities. The Westville Rotary Anns have been a beneficiary and thanks to a congregation member, have donated their toys to Phakamisa.
The children in one of Phakamisa’s Wandering School received they toys with Thandi their teacher and TV our driver.
Many of our Phakamisa Caregivers have to carry water from home or a community tap to fill the water containers in their gardens. This group of women have over a 1km uphill walk to fill these yellow plastic containers their only supply of water for their crops – hard work even before they have begun to garden, made even more difficult in our hot climate.
It’s good to be able to learn any new skill, and sewing is an incredibly useful and potentially economic empowering one to have. Alexia is our devoted sewing trainer, sharing with Caregivers her skills to encourage and enable them to be able to sew. Over time, with practise, commitment and continued training from Alexia her students achieve a higher level of skill and receive from Phakamisa their Advanced Sewers certificate. For everyone concerned there is huge pride and joy in giving and receiving the certificate.
Imagine going through life unable to read or write and what a huge disadvantage this would be! Phakamisa addressed this need for many of our Caregivers at the beginning of 2012 when we introduced Literacy classes. It has been a long, sometimes slow and difficult walk for many of our wonderful caregivers so imagine the day of celebration we had a year later at our first Literacy Graduation day. 31 Caregivers graduated with their Literacy Certificates. After one short year of learning, an 86 year old can read the label on her medicine bottles for the first time ever!
As so many said at their graduation ‘The light has come on in the darkness’.
This story is included in our new and current Newsletter – download here
The link below is a one minute film which tells the story of a class of children from one of our Wandering Teacher school’s first trip to a park. A very special outing.
Morning devotions continue to be powerful each and every day. Through devotions a safe space is being created for our Caregivers and Educare and Childminder students. Phakamisa is seen as a second home and they trust one another so that in this time they share their personal stories without fear. Devotions are very important to us and one Caregiver told me recently - ‘I couldn’t sleep last night because I was looking forward to coming to Phakamisa devotions because Phakamisa prayers are so powerful and our prayers are being answered.
Phakamisa promotes a healthy living lifestyle and physical training classes for our Caregivers are one of their most important activities. Mom Jabu puts it well says about Gym. ‘ever since I joined the gym my knee has stopped troubling me’.
Every birthday party needs a cake. Thokozani and Glenda jointly cut into ours.
After 21 years of work PHAKAMISA has carried out a large scale evaluation on the impact of the project on it’s beneficiaries, the children they serve and the communities in which they live. An independent team of evaluators was appointed to carry out the assessment process and write up the results. The Evaluation Report is an enlightening and uplifting document showing the PHAKAMISA has and is continuing to make a difference. Download and read here.
Pinetown Remedial Unit recently held a fun day to consolidate reading and spelling skills.
Pupils and staff from Grade 1 through to 5 dressed up as one of the characters from the THRASS (Teaching Hand-writing Reading And Spelling Skills) chart.
To participate the children had to take at least one item of clothing to donate to PHAKAMISA and Thokozani spoke to the children about how desperately clothing is needed for the many people who are unable to afford it.
Teacher from the school Dianne Christensen reported that ‘ piles of black bags of clothing had come in and that a lot of learning along with fun was had while supporting a very active worthwhile charity drive’.
The story with Thokozani’s picture together with Stirling and Bjorn made Pinetown’s Highway Mail.
This April 100 women were enrolled on our Child Minder course which will take them 6 months to complete and graduate from.
Graduation Day is a special day for all our students, this group completed their course and received their certificates in March.
Many students continue their training by enrolling on our Educare course which begins in October and lasts 9 months.
National Pharmacy in Kloof wanted to knit scarves for children in need, but in volume and so they decided to encourage their customers to help and join in by providing them with wool and needles. It’s currently winter in Pinetown, and our mornings and nights are cold – scarves for children in poor communities a luxury item. The Sifikile Creche with a total of 140 babies and children has within their staff two Phakamisa trained teachers – and so when Phakamisa received this gift from National Pharmacy we knew exactly where to send it. There was great fun in choosing your favourite colour and texture as we hope these pictures show.
Graduation Day was a great celebration for this large class of 25 women who have just all successfully complete our Early Childhood Development course. The graduates, 95 in total, have met for training one day every other week over the spring and summer school terms. They return to crèches and pre-schools where they care for 0-3 year olds with new skills and understandings of how a child learns. For this group of Childminders theirs was a day of great dancing, singing, much enthusiasm and tears.
Phakamisa provides training through a curriculum based on Early Childhood Development research and specifically developed to South Africa’s Zulu townships and informal settlements. Students have come from one day every other week from 5 different areas within a 50 km radius of Pinetown. We are committed to training pre-school and crèche workers from previously disenfranchised areas to teach in ways that will enable children to succeed and excel in formal education.
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