Build a new life for 12 orphans in South Africa

by Refilwe Community Project

Esther-Hannah Unit
This is a foster care household, known as a God Parent Family, at Refilwe Community Project. Foster mother, Annatjie Cilliers is now living with 2 foster children, Norah and Malekgolta, in the house. She had a 3rd daughter Yonela, who reunited with her biological family in January 2010. Norah is in the process of reuniting with her biological family and Malekgotla is in her last year of school and expressed the desire to study to become a pharmacist. She will commence a career during 2011. The house will always be available for God Parent families at Refilwe.

Involvement of the Brian La Trobe (BLT) foundation and Global Giving

The BLT foundation has been involved with Refilwe for several years. After an assessment of Esther-Hannah unit the foundation decided to support the renovation of the 72m² to make it a more comfortable living environment for the family. Before the renovations the cottage consisted of 3 bedrooms, a huge bathroom, a small kitchen and a living room. The bath room were twice the size of the kitchen taking up about 15m² of the cottage. After the renovations the 72m² cottage has 3 bedrooms, a pantry/storeroom, an open plan kitchen-living area and two small bath rooms. Please see pictures below. The living conditions indeed are much improved which lead to easier working and study conditions for the family.

Please see attachment for more information.

globalgiving sign in Tanau Jewellery display
globalgiving sign in Tanau Jewellery display

One of our donors, SA Gems, has recently patented a new method of marketing diamonds. The company has graciously included Globalgiving into its marketing campaign, as can be seen in the first photograph of a Cape Town jeweller in South Africa. The second picture shows the little girls of Shalom House,Tshepi,Kgatliso,Naledi and Thembi inspecting the the nearly completed Ester Hannah House, where the final installation of electrical and gas equipment is being installed in the open plan kitchen/ dining and living area. My wife, Peggy, has been busy knitting winter beanie hats for the girls of Rerfilwe. THe final picture shows Peggy witrh the girls of Shalom House together with their house mother, Maureen, all wearing their new winter hats. Sis Annatjie Cillier, the new house mother of Ester Hannah house is on the right of the picture.

Inspecting the Ester Hannah House
Inspecting the Ester Hannah House
The girls of Shalom House
The girls of Shalom House

Our latest donor check from Globalgiving is a magfnificent record ! By far the largest amount received since the inception of the Foundation. We are deeply grateful for the generous amount of $ 2,248.07 received. This will go a long way towards the completion of a new home for abused and AIDS related child victims.

Below you'll find an excerpt from a report detailing the building reconstruction of our latest renovation, which my Foundation is funding at Refilwe. The full report is attached to this update.

"La Trobe Foundation has decided to support the God Parent Family Unit of Annatjie Cilliers and her foster children. Annatjie serves in the administration of Refilwe Community Project and has become a God Parent in February 2009. Her house is a home for teenage girls. The family calls their home: Esther-Hannah

"The renovations started on 15 January 2010 by a team of international volunteers who wanted to serve for two weeks at Refilwe Community Project. They were from various countries but all received missions training for 3 months in Davos, Swiss, before coming to South Africa for the practical part of their training. They will be working at various projects in South Africa for 3 months. The Refilwe Site Team continued with the renovations after the YWAM team had left."


Dear Refilwe Partner

Below is a letter of Abel, one of the persons on our skills development program, to Claire who is the Refilwe Health and Welfare program manager. I asked his permission to send it to you.

Abel has been involved with Refilwe for 4 years. Presently he is completing our adult literacy program level 4, had completed the ACAT training (basic life skills and entrepreneurial skill training) in 2008 and this year he is doing a learnership program to become a construction machine operator. Before Abel became literate he was regarded as "dumb/stupid" by the members in his community and by some of his equals. During the literacy training we discovered he is highly intelligent and is able to converse in any of 8 languages. Abel took over the peanut business last year from Refilwe. It is now his business and with dedication he is becoming more successful. He is selling his peanut butter at R15/250g - for orders please contact him directly at 0764542082 or place an order with Hope at 0824091758.

Abel is one of the 120 adults of who are part of our ACAT and Skills building programs. He embraces all opportunities given to him, is becoming more self-reliant and is taking responsibility for his own development.

Thank you for the investment and part you / your organization is playing in the development of people who are affected by the social problems we experience in South Africa. Thank you for supporting our work at Refilwe!

Warm regards,

Annatjie Cilliers

Since the beginning of the learnership Refilwe had been supporting me and I thank you for being my manager in the Home Basic Care. Also about the business, you’ve been helpful, encouraging and thank you. I decided to be partners with Hope, soon she’ll be signing up being a share holder in Peanut Butter Africa. She’ll be Marketing Director.

Protech decided taking 4 people from the learnership and I am one of them. These people will be assessed on sight as operators. They will be assessed if they are fit enough to be on sight.

So Clare, today I’m gonna be signing a new contract, but I am willing to have a new partner to help me with Peanut Butter Africa. Clare, you always said, we should not cling or rely much on Refilwe and Refilwe was just a stepping stone or rather pushing us ahead, I agree. Please understand, I still hope for your encouragement in the business.

Abel (Peanut Butter Africa) 16.9.09

Dear Friends,

My name is Yonela and I am a 17 year old girl. I'm from Refilwe and that's been my home for the past 8 years. I was abused by someone I loved and trusted and I had to move away from home. There was no where I could go because my mother had no stable place to stay. I had to come to Refilwe because it was the only safe place for me to stay. My first few weeks were hard but then I met people like my dad (Jaco) who were ready to listen and care for me.

As time went on I saw that there was no other place that's safer than Refilwe because it's not only a home but it's the only place that you can stay in and not have to watch your back or be worried about what you going to eat. What is really special about Refilwe for me is that even though they have helped so many people they never get tired of anyone coming to say "I need help".

For this is my home - there is no other place I'd rather be, my needs are cared for and my future comes first to me and my family at Refilwe.

– Yonela

The arrival of the group with Rusty taking a picture
The arrival of the group with Rusty taking a picture

This group was lead by Karin & Rusty. They came laden with welcome gifts of warm clothing, games and personal toiletries. The children were thrilled. The Refilwe choir welcomed the visitors with African songs.

To comemmorate the visit our guests planted about a thousand trees in the newly constructed nursery. They were then given a conducted tour of the earthworm farm and the novel waterless sanitation system. The latter supplies non hazardous fertilizer to the adjacent fruit orchard.

The donated games are an added attraction to the children's library from where they may be "borrowed" then later returned for use by other groups. A new and valuable additional asset to the library service which is enjoyed by all.

Our us visitors tree planting
Our us visitors tree planting
The bags of gifts from a group of very generous people
The bags of gifts from a group of very generous people

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Organization Information

Refilwe Community Project

Location: Lanseria, Gauteng - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Refilwe Community Project
Project Leader:
Jaco Van Schalkwyk
Project Leader - Refilwe Community Project
Johannesburg, South Africa

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