SAVE has started a partnership with the Elundini home for the Disabled and Educare centre. The centre was started in 2008 by Indy. It provides all-day care for children in the Dunoon Township and is the only of its kind in the surrounding area, currently providing care for 34 disabled children aged 18months to 18years. Sanne and Marika from The Netherlands were the first SAVE volunteers to work at Elundini. Sanne said “I truly loved it! Working with the staff at Elundini that are such open and loving people…I wish I could come back every year and keep on working with them.”
Earlier this year SAVE started a partnership with the Wild Cat Farm in Bloemfontein to give the chance for volunteers to work with wild cats. The Wild Cat Farm is developing rapidly and Lizette the manager told us more about the animal crazy days and life for volunteers. “We recently had an outdoor festival with late night horror movies, a spit braai, some shows as well as guided animal tours and a ghost house.
25 June 2012 - With another ISV group comes another two weeks of hard work. This group did a great job cementing poles into the ground to create a sturdy fence to protect the creche. Then they sanded the front of the building and gave it a brand new paint job! They even managed to paint the SAVE logo on the front door! This group worked very hard and even had some fun with the kids while they did. They felt so strongly about their project that they even left loads of donations for the kids of the creche when they left. With holiday clubs starting this week, those footballs, crayons, and toys will certainly come in handy!
Thanks to a consistent supply of international volunteers children in the adventure club have been making huge progress. A new group of grade 6 children have recently started swimming lessons in the pool, with lessons focusing on floating and basic strokes. The grade 7 children are practising for their end of year surf competition in December. But rather than us write about what the adventure club has been doing, read what Full Circle Magazine wrote about it when they featured SAVE in their November issue - .http://www.fullcirclemag.co.za/magazine/articles/12-community-caring/351-south-african-volunteer-experiences
26 May 2012 - The first of five groups for the season at SAVE and it proved to be a very hard working group of individuals! Given the task of building a bike path for pre-school aged children may sound like fun and easy work, but as this group of 10 girls and 1 guy found out... it was quite the opposite.
After days of concreting, heavy lifting and getting filthy dirty; the children of ACVV at Melkbos have a brand new bike path to ride on! Complete with road lines, stop signs and round about, making it look just like a real roadway.
This group has been extremely hard working and pushed on day after day to get the path completed on time for the kids. It has been a pleasure to lead this group and I wish them all the best for their upcoming adventure and trip home. I hope I get to see them all again someday. Thank you guys for all the effort! Awesome 1st group of the season!
(ISV Project Leader & SAVE Project Coordinator)
To build relationships with some of the new educare centres that have been asking SAVE for assistance, we have started running beach days . Every two weeks we will be taking children from a different educare centre for a morning out on the beach with team games, face painting, shell bracelet making, and soccer.
7 June 2012 - Second Term has begun with the TLC Educare playroom in the Wolverivier settlement for children between the ages of 2 and 6 years. Due to a shortage of volunteers during this time, Jen was running it on her own. The children are doing well and Jen is focusing on teaching early childhood development and basic English. This is necessary to get the children ready for school and if their English becomes good enough they could even be enrolled in a Model C school instead of a farm school, creating a better future for that child.
In partnership with the local community SAVE has started township tours in Site 5. SAVE met with the community leaders of Site 5 in Dunoon to discuss the potential of using township tours as a means to generate income and jobs for the community. Stopping in different houses, churches, and businesses, parts of the tourists 200rand fee are distributed to different people in the community.
7 June 2012 - During the school holidays we are busy as ever! All the children are at home with little or no supervision and nothing to do except get into trouble. Due to the fact that the children live in townships there are a lot of negative social impacts on their lives such as gangs, drugs, violence and teenage pregnancies. So that's when we step in and rock and allow kids to be kids! Everyday is something different. We run sports clinics, hike up mountains, and take the kids ice skating. These are all exciting activities they would normally never be able to do or afford.
During the Easter holidays we ran a holiday club at our Dunoon creche where the 80 kids, aged from 2-15 years, painted Easter eggs, went on Easter egg hunts and did lots of arts and crafts 4 days a week. This was the first time many of them had experienced anything like this and they really enjoyed it as well as the hard working volunteers.
Our Adventure Club kids also got spoilt on their holiday program where they went 10 pin bowling for the first time, experienced Muay Thai Boxing lessons, went surfing and baked lots of yummy muffins to take home to their parents.
JOIN US DURING THE NEXT HOLIDAY PROGRAMS WHICH RUN:
22 June 2012 - 16 July 2012
28 September 2012 - 8 October 2012
7 December 2012 - 16 January 2013
28 March 2013 - 8 April 2013
1 August 2010 - Huge thanks go out to the Letterland School and Elton Cilliers and Keiryn Trevethan for their recent drops of donations! They passes out flyers in the children's books asking for old clothing, toys, or anything they were willing to donate and the response was amazing! The saying 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' certainly applies here. We've made a plan to use all the toys with the little ones in Dunoon and the clothes donations are being handed out weekly to deserving children and their families. Even a donation of old tires is going to good use as climbing and jumping steps once they were dug into the ground (Check out Nikolo in the photo)! The generosity of others is what keeps non-profits like ours running smoothly. We couldn't do it without you guys! We can't wait to see what else will come from our budding relationship with Letterland. Thank you specifically to Elton and Keiryn for their commitment to helping us. Let's keep up the great work!
7 June 2012 - Over the last few weeks we have found a steady improvement from all our students at Visserhok Primary School. This project involves teaching the children mathematics and computer literacy through the use of a program created by South African Education Department, "Robo Man", as well as our own input in the form of providing the students with math solving methods and processes.
We have been giving extra attention to the students who have been really struggling, over all year levels, and this has thankfully paid off! We are seeing the students' ability to work independently increase, as well as their ability to self-correct any problems they answer incorrectly.
It's been reassuring for the volunteers to see this steady progression in the children from being math illiterate (in the worst cases) to the children now having a satisfactory level of math proficiency.
The school has also seen the change in the children's skills from our 'one on one' attention and has asked us to help in some of their other classes.
31 July 2012 - From bland to blue! The creche in Dunoon consists of two drab, dirty containers where the children spend the majority of their day. They come to our creche to escape the trials of their home life and take their first steps towards a proper education. Every child deserves a happy and safe learning environment and we are creating that for them, one day at a time. Sarah, our Dunoon Volunteer Leader, saw that even a fresh coat of paint in an uplifting color could make this possible. So we got our volunteers together, purchased a great shade of blue paint, and got to work. After a few hours, some blue spotted volunteers emerged and showed the kids their new creche! They loved the color and the volunteers loved painting it for them. There is still a lot of work to be done for our Dunoon project, but this just shows how even something as small as a coat of paint can make a big difference in someone's life!
2-10 March 2012 - We had the pleasure of hosting an ISV group of 16 students from Texas American University, Qatar.
The "Aggies", as the students from Texas American University like to call themselves, were involved in laying a concrete floor in Wolverivier Settlement, (all mixed by hand!). The floor is necessary to create a clean and dry place for the children to eat, do home work and other projects.
They also built a 2m high security fence in Dunoon Township around the new creche we are assisting. The fence is of the utmost importance as the creche is situated on a main road with no barriers to prevent the children from running into the road or wondering off on their own into the township.
There was a lot of physical labor including digging, mixing, heavy lifting, and also a lot of sweat involved in these two projects. The group worked extremely hard though and even managed to finish a day ahead of schedule!
Many thanks to the students and their leaders, Steve and Rachel, for their hard work. It is greatly appreciated by the community.
23 July 2012 - Every morning our volunteers have been heading off to the Visserhoek Primary School. Their work includes computer literacy and math education. Each day a new class, ranging from grade 4 to grade 7, gets an opportunity to come and work with us. We bring in eight children at a time and match them with a computer and a volunteer. The volunteers then work through a computer program with them that teaches the same level of mathematics that the children are currently learning in their classes. The program we run compliments their current ability and helps to accelerate their understanding. The teachers have expressed a great appreciation for our presence in these kids education. We use a scaled grading system to keep track of the children's progress and we are seeing a steady increase of their abilities! The children are truly excited to have some time outside of the classroom and to get to know our international volunteers. The one on one attention from the volunteers truly makes a difference.
7 June 2012 - Adventure club is a great hit with the children and volunteers. At present the volunteers assist in the computer classes at Vissershok school during school hours and as soon as the school bell goes the kids jump into the bus and head for the beach. We currently have two groups of children attending the program on alternate days. The one group is the children that have passed swimming trials and are now onto surfing lessons. They are all doing really well and standing on the boards. The other group is still in swimming lessons and improving every week, even though some of them will never want to leave the swimming lessons. That's fine with us. We have also picked up our kitesurfing lessons with Best Kiteboarding. Two of the kids are now in level 3-body dragging, and two have just started level 1. This is a real privilege for these kids to try out such an amazing sport!
16 July 2012 - The Holiday Clubs have ended but they ended with a bang! The kids in Dunoon had a soccer tournament and more face painting, one of their favorites. The weather cleared up just enough to have a nice game and a change of pace with a day outside. The Adventure Club kids ended off with a braai and a talent show! A stage was set up in the yard with a picnic bench as seating and two special 'judges chairs' to see who would win the prizes. Each child was told on Monday to have something prepared for Thursday, and they did! The girls danced, the boys rapped and sang or did soccer tricks, and even the volunteers came up with some funny talents of their own. A soccer ball and beauty accessories were rewards for the boy category winner and the girl category winner, which they loved. Then we started braaiing some boerewors and everyone got warm by the fire. A few of the volunteers were great guitar players and wound up teaching the kids a few chords. All in all, we had another successful season of Holiday Clubs!
7 June 2012 - This year we have started to work with a creche in Dunoon Township. On our first day we arrived at a cold container with only a few carpets on the floor and one lady looking after 30 children of all ages. There was no fence or secure area for the children to play and the place was very run down.
With the help of our project leaders Jacob, a Danish volunteer, and Sarah, a Swedish volunteer, and all the other volunteers structured classes teaching the children basic English and school readiness programs were quickly set up.
3 months later and the children are very quickly learning English and loving the time spent with the volunteers. The hugs and smiles the volunteers give them for the few hours they are there in a day is probably all they will get all day.
10 July 2012 - In the past 2 weeks in Dunoon we have been busier than ever! Being school holidays, there are now 100+ kids where there is normally 30-50. Everyday something new and exciting is planned that also helps to teach the children colors, or numbers, and even how to share. One day we did face painting and let all the children chose their own colors and designs. This helped the children distinguish the colors further and was still lots of fun. There were a lot of spider-men, butterflies, and Indians running around the creche! Last week we focused on projects that allowed the kids to create something of their very own that they could keep and bring home with them. One day we collected large flat stones from the beach and used them to paint on. The children loved the opportunity to be creative and turn their stone into artwork! Another day we used bags of uncooked pasta to make jewelry. This was especially exciting because the kids not only got to keep their jewelry, but WEAR IT! How fun it was to see the kids wearing their pasta jewelry all week long. The following day we did Marie Biscuit decorating. So, the kids were not only being creative but also preparing for snack time! With the different icing flavors, the multicolored sprinkles, and the variety of candies to put on the biscuits, everyone was full before lunchtime. Another fun day of snacks was 'play-dough' day. We got mounds of pizza dough and shape cutters and allowed the kids to make their own toys! The best part was that when all the stars, hearts, and snakes had been cut out and enjoyed the kids then got to snack on their toys. The pizza dough was a safe-to-eat dough so even raw it wouldn't be harmful! Also on the holiday club 'to-do' list is beading jewelry. We found that the kids really like to make themselves a piece of jewelry. They tend to take a lot of pride in wearing something that they have made. When the pasta jewelry went so well, we had to try beading jewelry. We think the kids will take to this very quickly. The Dunoon Holiday Club is going very well! I can't wait to see what this last week of it will bring.
28 June 2012 - During this school holiday there are a lot of exciting things planned! The Adventure Club will be hiking up Lion's Head Mountain, going surfing, having a braai, and much more. Just yesterday they went to a gym and spent a couple hours training and learning proper boxing moves. After warming up with some drills, and punching bags they climbed into the ring and took turns sparing in pairs! They had so much fun. Many thanks to the awesome professional boxers who were excellent teachers. Can't wait to do even more this holiday!
13 December 2012 - Takkagat is a settlement that is in the middle of the bush. The closes road to the settlement is an hour walk for the residence. If they need to get to the doctor, school shops etc, they need to walk to this road and then hike.
We decided to assist this settlement with a vegetable garden to provide much needed food to the community and teach them about sustainable living. The ISV volunteers worked hard on the sea sand ground to make it nutritional enough for plants to grow.