In recent weeks South Africa has hit the worldwide headlines as the rape and mutilation of 17 year old Anene Booysen hit the international press.
South Africa faces a huge challenge in terms of gender based violence, and has become known as one of the countries with the highest rates of rape of any country not at war.
One of the ways to combat abuse of women and children is to challenge rape supportive attitudes and to teach children from a young age about how to protect themselves.
Jerry Giraffe is one such programme, which in a fun way teaches the children that they are special, that all people must respect their private parts. They learn that there is good touch and bad touch, and identify who they would tell if they felt uncomfortable.
Fikelela recently trained Sunday School teachers from eight churches to run the Jerry Giraffe programme with their children.
Christmas is am unusual time at Fikelela's Children's Centre - it is quiet!
But for the best of all reasons - all the children are enjoying a family Christmas.
December is often the time that school-aged children finally go to live with extended family or foster families, as it is the end of the school year. This year we found 26 children 'forever families' - and took in 26 more! There is a shortage of places for children who have been abandoned or abused, so we are always full.
For the children who can't go to a 'forever family' there is still a family Christmas. Sometimes extended family are able to have their grandchild, neice or nephew for a visit, but are not able to give them a home full-time. Those with no extended family go to stay with staff members and join in with their family celebrations.
Then, just before school starts again in January, the noise levels rise again!
St Anne's is a church in the Diocese of Pretoria (Anglican church of southern Africa) which had a large but vacant plot of land in front of the church. Following a drive by the Diocesan coordiantor, the grounds of the church were selected as a suitable place to plant a number of trees around.
A parish project was undertaken to increase the greenery around the area and to plant the trees in front of the church in order to reduce their carbon footprint and beautify the area.
It is now a month of two on since the trees were planted and they are looking robust and healthy. Even the Dais have been flowering.
A fence was put up to protect the trees from theft. Thank you for your continuous support through GlobalGiving. Pictures from the planting are attached.