Outreach to the thousands of orphans in Swaziland has become a major focus of New Hope Centre. It’s not enough for our 51 kids to thrive. We want the same advantages and hope to belong to others outside our walls. Just this month, June, 2014, our students have launched a large scale plan to transmit the values, talents and survival skills that they have acquired at NHC to as many other orphans as possible.
They have started a program for children ages 4-14 run, planned and created by children that will meet each month on our campus. During our first program launch, 187 kids from our local area came together to learn that they are valuable, that they can excel and that they have a voice. Next month the target group will expand to a larger area with an expected group of 350 children.
Our own kids have benefitted from careful nurturing, proper nutrition, adequate clothing and foundational education. Even our young triplets get up in front and sing or speak. This has given other youngsters the courage to transform from being shy, introverted and alienated to being confident and poised young people.
Msimsi is a good example. When we first encountered him he had difficulty making eye contact and would not communicate. His background had been very difficult and he trusted no one. Gently, our kids have encouraged him and trained him. During our recent gathering he stood before the entire group, announced who he was and did the narration for a play that he had devised for his group to perform.
It is our vision, mission and pleasure to make an impact in the country of Swaziland. We want to embrace your caring sacrifices in support of what is happening here. You can take legitimate pride in the light that is beginning to shine in a place too long in the dark throes of HIV/AIDS. As you plan your giving for July, we would like to make you aware that if you submit your donation on July 16 it will be matched 50% - since you have given us “Superstar” status on Global Giving!
Our big news for this report is that Ten Years ago in March 2004, New Hope Centre was born. New Hope Centre will celebrate our 10 year anniversary March 28th-30th. We want this to be a time of joy, hope and celebration for all of the orphans we have been working with across Swaziland for the past several years. The weekend will begin on Friday with the arrival of 400 double orphans from around the country along with 40 youth leaders and 40 teachers who will accompany them.Saturday, March 29th at 2pm, the official event will take place with Deputy Prime Minister Chief Arliamentariana. The orphans (both mother and father have died) who will be attending will be camping in tents at NHC. They will leave with clothings and supplies they need for survival. The kids from NHC have been personally working with these orphans for several years now, so this will be a culmination of their efforts.
Your generosity continues to make an enormous impact on the lives of the kids of New Hope Centre. It has made dreams possible for education and even the normal activities of teenagers taking on the skills of adulthood such as driving. I'd like to tell you about Philippa. For several years now she has felt called to become a medical doctor. She was a double orphan when she came to us. From the beginning, she has demonstrated wisdom, courage and intelligence. She attended the South Africa All Africa School Convention for students from all over Africa. This year she was accepted tinto Penryn College, one of the top five colleges in South Africa. She has already started there. If it had not been for you and people like you she never could have gotten the foundation of the basics: nurturing, training, education, food, clothing and shelter. Her story is just one of many that should give you joy as you see that you can and did make a difference. Thank you. Our teachers continue to attempt to keep the curriculum up to date and up to standards so that when our kids have completed their education at New Hope Centre they will be prepared to move seemlessly into other schools. One of our teachers, Tracie Hynd, has put together a very unique curriculum that focuses on integrating daily living skills with didacting learning. Since Swaziland is a desparately poor nation, many of the students will go on to rather primitive villages with few of the amenities with which you are familiar such as washing machines and electricity. So, in addition to preparing our youth for scholastic achievement that will equip them to moving into positions of leadership in the country, they will also have to be at home with washing clothes on a washboard. Ms. Hynd has been instrumental in helping these children to integrate high scholastic achievment with primitive living conditions in a way that will assist others in their communities to reach higher.
We want to acknowledge our debt of gratitude to you for making this past ten years possible and extend an invitation to come and visit us sometime to see firsthand the fruits of your investment in the lives of our beautiful children.
You are special to us,
Cherry Brandstater, Project Coordinator
In a little over a year you have contributed more than $50,000 to New Hope Centre. Your contributions have been the life blood to this home of refuge for the fifty orphans of Swaziland sheltered within our walls. We are more than an orphanage; we are a family. Each child has been given a new name, a family name: Abraham. They have a sense of belonging and community and think of each other as brothers and sisters. Within this family they have developed an identity and have been given the hope for bright futures.
With your help we have provided the infrastructure for these children to pursue their individual gifting and dreams. Some are clearly equipped to go on to professional careers. One of our older kids has been accepted into a school where she will direct her education toward becoming a medical doctor. She has felt called toward this path for several years and now is on track to actually begin working toward a degree.
Within the past month one of our sponsors has given another student all of the fees necessary for him to begin training toward his commercial pilot’s license. He has already attained his civil aviation security pass. This was an incredible boost to his possibilities that would not have been possible without the support of people like you.
Some of our kids will take their places in the agricultural and farming industries within our country. One of our older students has attended a training center where he will learn how to manage chickens. He will be able to come back to New Hope Centre and apply those skills toward helping us to become more self-supporting as well. When he reaches adulthood he will be able to go out and run his own business. Along these same lines it is our goal to create a dairy industry here at New Hope Centre, both for the purpose of creating a stream of income and as a training tool for practical skills. You may hear from us regarding this project later.
We continue to educate the children in the history and culture of their surroundings. Recently, one of our students was able to travel to Table Mountain and Robyn Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years of his life. When she returned we had the opportunity to discuss the implications of this powerful role model for our kids. One of our girls has a strong desire to work with the victims of human trafficking. She was given the marvelous opportunity to go to Cambodia and learn from a center that has been successful in retraining women into other skills.
The students continue to pursue sports and fine arts as they remain in training for swimming competitions, dance, piano and other instrumental lesions. We recently obtained the funds to get our own swimming pool functional and received a donation of Fast Track equipment that allows our swimmers to train right here at home. The skills they are learning in their chosen disciplines do not go to waste. All of our students have rich opportunities to share theses skills by performing for others and providing the inspiration that it is possible to overcome the adversity that has darkened this land. They have become beacons of light to hundreds of other kids throughout our nation that they, too, can be survivors, overcomers and conquerors.
Thank you, once again, for believing in New Hope Centre. Thank you for continuing to provide the sustenance that gives life to the goals we laid out to you in this project. Of course, this includes the basics of providing love, nurturing relationships, safety, on-site education, life-disciplines, food, clothing and shelter. These necessities of life provide the springboard for all of the enrichment we’ve shared with you in this update. Without this, without you, we could not continue. Our needs are on-going; we are so grateful that your generosity is as well.
We pray that you will receive a hundred fold blessing from what you have invested this year into the lives of these precious children.
The tiny monarchy of Swaziland has been hard hit by the AIDS epidemic. Much of the population has been decimated leaving a vacuum of leadership for the future. It has been the mission of New Hope Centre from its inception to take the victims of this national tragedy and enable them to transform their victimization into victory. As a part of this process, the children of New Hope Centre are being educated, trained, nurtured and challenged in rich multifaceted disciplines. These include scholastics, sports, music, dance, public speaking and leadership training. We feel that the more exposure the kids have to their fellow nationals, the more they will understand their needs, attitudes and potentials.
In keeping with those goals, four of our girls attended the All Africa Student Convention on the Bloemfontein University campus. Bloemfontein is one of three South African national capitols and the judicial capitol of the nation. Here our girls entered competitions along with 7,000 other high school kids from all over Africa. They entered competitions in dance, checkers, photography, short stories and poetry. Two of the girls finished fourth out of 300 entries in dance. One made it to the finals in checkers and finished seventh out of 1400 students. As I write this report we have not yet heard the outcomes in short stories and poetry.
Back on the home front our kids are actively and happily pursuing their dreams. Thirteen students have been registered to take the Royal College of Music exams; one in violin, two in flute and the remainder in piano. Our kids have always been avidly involved in swimming and soon, one of our own kids will be able to coach them himself. One of the older boys has taken a course in coaching and is training in nearby Mbabane to become a swim coach. He has represented Swaziland on the National Swim Team in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg South Africa as well as in Birmingham, England. It is his intention to a swim coach as a lifetime career. Seven of our kids are registered in four levels of ballet instruction and will be taking exams in November. One of the older boys will soon begin his courses in flight school at the Matsapha Airport where he will seek qualification as a pilot. It is his plan to become a commercial pilot.
Education is a critical foundation for our children. We have on-site education from kindergarten thru high school. Our students have had a good and productive year with much enrichment to their curriculum thru additional training. One of our kids has passed her course in first aid and is now able to intervene in emergency situations. She was also able to go on a field trip to Table Mountain and visit Robben Island where President Mandela was imprisoned. This touched her deeply. She is preparing for admission to law school and plans to become a judge.
Some of you receiving this update have done more than just send us the much needed funding to accomplish, continue and plan all of the activities we have shared with you. Some of you have come to help. We have had some turnover in teaching staff this year because of understandable personal needs and demands. So it has been a godsend to have volunteers who have come to fill in the gaps. Ms. Alana came from Australia for two years to work with our youngest students and has received a two year diploma in early childhood trauma care. She is pictured with one of our girls.
And finally, after one of our donors visited from New England he went back home with a deep desire that each of our fifty kids should have a quilt handmade just for her or him with their favorite colors and special interests such as soccer or butterflies. Since his visit, members of his church group have come to visit with suitcases full of as many quilts as they can cram in. They arrive in fours and fives – little by little. Last month four more kids got their own quilts. Those are pictured here.
It is hard to describe to you the depth of impact you have had in the lives of these children. They come from nothing and even now we struggle to be certain that they have all that they really need. But they are so aware that God has sent you to them to help sustain, nurture and love them in this hurting world. Thank you, thank you from the bottoms of their hearts.
The 2013 school year for New Hope Centre is in full swing. We are fully aware what an advantage our children have over the thousands of orphans in Swailand left to their own devices just to survive. With this in mind we have made a conscious decision to keep our kids in contact with those in need in other parts of the country. One of the ways we do this is to take them to other schools to present plays, talk with the students, encourage them and pray for them. It is one of our highest goals to be preparing our students to step into the leadership vacuum created by the AIDS epidemic in Swaziland. They will not be able to do that unless they are personally familiar with the plight of their people. This happens through exposure. Their leadership must be based on compassion and wisdom. In May we began the process that we hope to complete this school year of visiting 36 schools with messages of hope and caring. Several teams have already been sent out with remarkable acceptance and exciting results.
One of our family members at New Hope Centre, Elijah aged 17, was sent for a two week training session to a chicken farm to learn how to manage the chicken business. While there he will learn how to prepare a business plan with the goal of starting a small business at New Hope Centre that will supplement the income needed to keep things running. It will also serve, of course, as a valuable tool for him in knowing how to run a business of his own in the not too distant future. He will serve as the manager of the business at New Hope which should favorably influence his ability to get a bank loan to start his own farm.
On a lighter note our kids have been learning how to rock climb and build kites and banners. We have a mountain rising up behind us that provides lively winds which set the kites and banners flying gaily in the sky, much to the delight of the little ones.
We also have some struggles. Clearly we are not able to provide as high salaries to our teachers and other staff as other schools and businesses can. Since we live in a subsistence society this is a serious issue. Consequently, we have lost three of our teachers and are in the process of trying to find excellent replacements. We are looking for teachers with high level scholastic qualifications, but also those with sacrificial hearts who see what is being accomplished here in the lives of the children and want to be a part of it.
Your contributions have been such a vital gift to us. Those of you giving thru GlobalGiving represent one of our largest sources of revenue and enable us to have hope for the future of Swaziland. Thank you from the hearts of fifty children who need, love and pray for you.
Cherry Brandstater MD
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