Mar 10, 2021

Faith, Passion and Courage

Dr Zolelwa Sifumba
Dr Zolelwa Sifumba

 

On the eve of International Women’s Day 2021, exciting news arrived. A former (parent-supported) pupil at a school supported by this campaign, Dr Zolelwa Sifumba, had been selected to share her experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic in South Africa with their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (watch here). She has since agreed to lend her support to this fundraising campaign and speaks about the financial challenges of accessing a quality, world-class education: My narrative has represented and included many who have attended Epworth. I was fortunate to have a dad who could pay the fees, but they were definitely steep. It's an important narrative to highlight because many parents have worked hard to get the quality education. It's great to be someone who can speak so loudly to assist in funding those who cannot fund themselves. I had friends who I love and cherish that attended on bursaries and I definitely want more girls to get the opportunity I had to go to Epworth. I want that for everyone; the beginning of their journey to greatness, just as I had.

Last year we joined GlobalGiving with the intention of engaging a greater community to complete a circle of care as we, people of worth, invested in the education and mentorship of Young Women of Worth.

The need for high-quality education in South Africa is immense and we select beneficiaries who show the potential to bring inclusivity and diversity to our society. We invest in their potential and partner with the best available educational networks, schools, and professional methodologies to guarantee optimal and measurable outcomes. Beneficiaries are nurtured by a distinctive mentorship program and volunteer professionals. They are closely mentored and in turn become mentors and teachers within their family and peer groups.

As we have seen with Noluthando Nzimande (watch here) the ripple effect of this education can be felt back in a tiny and under resourced village, as well as in the hallowed halls of the United Nations, and on BBC1 in a discussion with members of the British Royal Family!

OUR PROGRESS

In 2020: The LittleXLittle GlobalGiving Campaign enabled us to raise 20% of our target last September. We hope to add to this start during the International Women’s Week campaign week now in March 2021.

Our short-term (5 year) GOAL is to help 30 talented and deserving young girls attend Epworth and since last year, five girls have now received such assistance.

If this momentum can continue, we predict our short-term target of 30 girls receiving a life-changing education in South Africa for them and their communities, can be a reality. And our goal won’t end there, as we strive to enable 10% of every class at Epworth (high school), to 20% in the next three years and then 30% in the next five, being young women of worth who would not otherwise be able to receive such an outstanding education.

Pre 2020: Since 2012, the renowned Allan Gray Orbis Foundation has been another proud partner of our Foundation. Together we are supporting 4 pupils at the school currently, and 12 girls have now matriculated, thanks to our program - just one more successful example of the synergy created by investing in education.

TRUST WELL EARNED

Our valued donors are assured of impeccable due diligence in all matters financial and operational by our trustees, a noteworthy team serving our registered, audited and fully-compliant Foundation, to the highest of ethical standards.

The long-term effect of this program is that we are not only equipping girls for excellence, but we are also fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity, and this is how #TogetherWeCan change the world.

The Duke & Duchess interviewing Dr Zolelwa Sifumb
The Duke & Duchess interviewing Dr Zolelwa Sifumb
Shining a Joyful Light on Education
Shining a Joyful Light on Education

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Mar 5, 2021

Our young KCV men have new 'digs'

What isn't challenging about life for vulnerable young people needing home, stability, and a future, especially as we all dig out from under a grueling, stressful COVID-year?

Our funding goal for the past 3 months has been to complete the Boys Dorm at Teen Independent Living home.  The large, red roofed home all the teens of KCV have been calling home for several years now, is just too small for both boys and girls and the nuclear Mbongwa family in which to live.  Though 6 or 7 of these orphan youth are usually away at tertiary ( not duirng COVID year however!), they come 'home ' during holiday.  

So in October we decided to steer as much funding as possible towards completing the Boys dorm.  It had bene 4 years since we first dreamed of this house and like many buildings in Africa, where capital is hard to come by, we started little by little.  Now a handsome 3 bedroom, lounge, bathroom and study room sits proudly on the sandy , weedy ground.  

No, the boys can't move in yet.   Next week the cement floor is laid, and doors purchased...but the boys are aready dreaming of the beds they'll sleep in the spot to call theirs for the few years they have left with us. 

Oh yes, we have a cut off point for living here, marked by having a job, completing a qualification, finding alternate living place. we're proud of the 11 young adults with meaningful work and  independent lives, the 7 who are still in school acquiring skills and the 3 who are still coming up. 

We find that rural orphaned and vulnerable young people need a longer time towards independence. They are combining Zulu traditional identities with confident social, language and broad world view to which they've been exposed by living with us. 

We heartily thank all our donors for what it has taken to complete this dorm. We are adding on line motivation chunks for our distant kids, to keep us all going in the right direction.  We are planning to extend this project on GlobalGiving. Please meet us at the Donation Button!  

Feb 17, 2021

A time to weep and a time to laugh .....

We remember a true gentleman in Bill Carter
We remember a true gentleman in Bill Carter

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…..Solomon's wisdom in Ecclesiastes 3:4 captures so beautifully our up-and-down life-cycles....

It is difficult to know where to start this report to YOU, our much treasured supporters! Thank you for your faithfulness and loyalty over the past difficult year, when the challenges to deliver on our mandate seemed insurmountable. The reasons were many, but undoubtedly all rooted in COVID 19 and the global pandemic. Who didn't feel in 2020 as if they were in a washing machine spin-cycle?  It was A TIME TO WEEP over lost loved ones, the struggles of our fellow beings and project partners, the embattled health sector, the collapsing economy, the closed gates of schools and the injustices of corruption that plagued emergency efforts. Father and daughter-duo Matt and Samantha Shaw echoed our pain with their beautiful rendition of "The Prayer" ...showing how a simple living room recording with family can achieve 7 million views in just 6 months!! See the link below (Be sure to skip the Ads)!!!!  

So with joyful anticipation, we left the weeping of 2020 behind,and looked to the New Year as  A TIME TO LAUGH! We may have been unable to hold our Siyacula Festival or sing a note in 2020, but we celebrated  our Principal Leadership development..... a highlight being the October workshop at Michaelhouse, covered in our last report. A "Book at a Glance" version of Community Building  – The structure of belonging by Peter Block was recommended in preparation for the workshop. Training was provided by Dr Rama Naidu from 6thdegreeshift, and his helpful slides followed.  We embark on 2021 with new ideas, renewed hope and fresh plans for the voyage. We are learning the "New Normal"!! Schools have only just reconvened, so during the next fortnight, we will map out with our principals the workshop dates and further develop our Child Safeguarding Policy as a focus of Leadership Development this year.  

Just 3 days into 2021,  the Isiphethu Sothukela Legacy Project was plunged into A TIME TO MOURN!! On Sunday January 3rd, sad news of the passing of the Founder and Principal Driver of this project, rocked the Champagne Valley Community. While his incredible legacy will live on, the giant and champion  we had in BILL CARTER is no more. The angels undoubtedly have welcomed him to the Golden Shore, echoing the voices of so many leaders, principals, teachers and children who can attest to the value of his vision in their lives and futures. Farewell Bill .... you will  never be far away when we are doing this work, and we salute you, time and again!! 

No sooner had the messages of condolences started streaming in from principals of our various partner schools, than we were further rocked by the sudden passing of one of these principals, Mr Chris Ndlovhu...a true gentleman, and much-admired principal in the Winterton area. Farewell, Mr Ndlovhu...we will miss your cheerful approach and willingness always. Celimfundo Primary will celebrate you and your enthusiastic participation in this project for many years to come. Your choir was the first to rise to the challenge of the ABRSM Choral Exams, and we too salute your exemplary leadership.

As the year unfolds, we are furiously writing funding proposals, and pursuing exciting  research prospects with the University of Johannesburg. These will focus on  the broader impact of our Principal Leadership Development and hopefully also the literacy improvements we have observed amongst Choristers. Roll on, A TIME TO DANCE!! We hope you will join us .... our deep appreciation for your contributions, once again!!

The Late Mr Chris Ndlovu receives 2018 ABRSM Award
The Late Mr Chris Ndlovu receives 2018 ABRSM Award

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