We were pleased to have Sam join us for two weeks at Ikhayalethemba. Sam came to Cape Town to work on our construction project. Through Sam’s work we were able to build a fence and create a safe play area for our children, particularly one of our children with Special Needs who likes to wander and requires constant supervision.
The plan was to fence - off an alcove that is part of the Special Needs centre. Sam worked with two of our local community members to construct the fence. For part of the day he also worked with the children. It was great that he could build up a relationship with the child the area was primarily designed for. He could see how beneficial this play area would be.
Once the fence was up, Sam worked with some of our other volunteers to paint a mural in the area. Our mural was inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar story. This made the area look very child friendly and is now a bright and colourful place to play. Our plan was to add to the mural as soon as we had the chance.
On Woman’s Day we had all of our volunteers at Ikhayalethemba for the day. This was a great opportunity to complete the mural. Our volunteers who were part of all GVI’s Gordon’s Bay projects made a great team for the task. Of course, the finishing touches were added by the children, with their hand prints adding a great signature to the art work! Most importantly, as a result of this project, we have an area for a child who now has the freedom to explore and play safely.
Every single volunteer makes an important and significant contribution to the success of our projects, no matter how long they are with us. In small teams or in large groups, a lot can be achieved!
In the light of the Easter festivities we decided that it was time for a holiday. Among all of the exciting activities we took the children from the orphanage to Monkey Town. The day started with all of us making ‘enough sandwiches to feed an army’, and dressing the children for the day’s event. After setting off and with everyone in high spirits we arrived all eager to meet the residence. The day couldn’t have been more perfect with the sun beaming down and the children loving every second of the day. The children behaved perfectly, however the same can’t be said for the monkeys who decided that it would be funny to give one of the boys a little present on his head.
As we made our way through the park there were a few hairy moments where the children were a little intimidated by the monkeys, but then who wouldn’t be with a big scary ape climbing all over you. We were lucky enough to watch the monkey’s feeding time at lunch and even decided to serenade a chimpanzee who was supposed to dance, but he was obviously having an off day and decided to throw fruit at us instead. The day ended with the children playing on the jungle gym and the trampoline which was a big hit with everyone. All in all it was an apetastic day.
We would like to share the most recent trustee report from the GVI Charitable Trust. This report covers the six month period from July to December 2011.
We are delighted to share that this has been by far our most successful period, raising in six months nearly as much as we did the whole of the previous year. This increase in funding has brought a corresponding increase in the impact we have been able to create on our programs around the world.
During this period we have invested in sustainable education across Latin America including support for the elderly in Guatemala and income generation schemes to support education in Honduras and Ecuador. In Mexico we have worked with a community to establish a recycling centre and in Kenya our partners in Mombasa will now realise their goal of seeing impoverished students through to completion of the primary education earning recognised qualifications for the first time.
These are just a few highlights of an amazing, productive and rewarding six months. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and played a crucial role in these achievements.
As our staff and wonderful supporters have been working hard to raise funds for this Special needs project in South Africa plans have been advancing after very productive meetings with our local partners at the Ikhayalethemba Village Orphanage.
Our partners are very keen for us to move forwards with setting up a dedicated centre for working with the special needs children which will also to act as a training and respite centre for parents and special needs children from the community.
We will be able to use a current building for which we will focus on converting into a suitable centre with funds raised through the GVI Charitable Trust.
Our team are now busy working on a detailed plan outlining what needs to be done to the building and what equipment we will need to create the centre. This is a very exciting and positive progression for the project. Many thanks to everyone who has supported us and we look forward to sharing news about future developments.
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GVI Charitable Trust Manager