One of the Students Leading Dance
Happy Autumn From New Hope Centre
As many of you are gearing up for summer and the end of school we are just getting into the swing of Fall and all of the activities that attend it. Our pre-school finds itself with twelve new students from the community. Ms. Tracie, the pre-school director, has developed a unique curriculum for the little ones that takes into consideration their rather impoverished educational start in homes run by teenagers or parents with a 98% illiteracy rate. It is our challenge to prepare them to catch up so that they will be ready to move into kindergarten and the first grade of school. It is a new pursuit for most of them to be read to or to begin recognizing letters and words. However, when they do begin to catch on, one can see the lights come on and their excitement build.
This year finds two of our teenage students starting up a dance school for the younger students here at New Hope Centre. The older girls who serve as the instructors have had several years of dance training and are starting the pre-schoolers off with the basics of ballet. We have fashioned little tutus for the children and they are delighted. Since some of the students come from the community there is a minimal fee for the classes that allows the instructors to earn a little income they can apply to their own personal needs.
Two of our older students are going in to the nearby city of Manzini to take vocal lessons weekly with the goal of being able to teach voice and perhaps aid in establishing a choral group. The kids from New Hope Centre have already been featured in a CD, “Hallelujah Swaziland.”
Four of the students are travelling to Manzini weekly for electric guitar lessons and often provide music for the other children. Each morning we gather together and sing while someone plays an instrument. We feel that this gives the kids a sense of family and belonging as well as developing leadership skills.
In addition to musical enrichment, several students from New Hope Centre are actively pursuing excellence in their swimming skills. One of our boys won a swimming medal in South Africa just this month and five participated in a swim gala in Nelspruit. Five of our students are training for the Olympics.
On March 15 we had the privilege of taking one of the girls from New Hope Centre to Army Day where we had lunch with the eldest first born of His Majesty, Princess Si Khanyiso and to eat food from the Royal Palace at Lozitha. We were greatly honored to talk with her about her dreams and hopes to have a foundation for helping young girls in our beloved Swaziland, dreams that we hold in common as we work to reverse the devastation dealt to this country by the scourge of HIV/AIDS.
It is our constant quest to bring enrichment and quality into the lives of the children in our charge. We thought that it may be interesting to you to catch a glimpse of some of the extras that these precious children have been able to experience since we last shared. So much of this is possible because of the generosity and faithfulness of your gifts and love. Thank you again for remembering us in tangible and much appreciated ways.
You may be interested to know that we have books available that will give you more in-depth information about the story of New Hope Centre (A Little Child Shall Lead Them) and stories of 24 of our amazing children (24 Extraordinary Children). You will find the links to these books below.
Front of the Pre-school
Engineers In the Making