Well, after an extremely tough year, the children are now back at school albeit with lots of restrictions in place. Cynthia had a fall and broke her arm but all the children looked after her for a change! She then went on to lose her little guard dog (he was run over) then the garden furniture was stolen!!! We are now in the process of buying her another guard dog and we have managed to replace the smaller children's tables and chairs AND our Cooper Street Golf Day is back this year so please feel free to enter a team.
See below a message from Cynthia. We sent them some money for school stationary and backpacks. Load shedding means no electric at times.
We are all very well and are trying to keep up with this heat when we are having load shedding twice a day .thank you so much for your donation and yes all the children are happy with their school stationary and also with their new school backpacks. Some days I must get up early to cook for the children because this morning our electricity will be off from 8am to 10.30am and then this afternoon it will be off from 4pm to 6.30pm and it is too hot to use the coal stove on this hot days.
Our friends John & Chris Lees who are staying in Knysna for 8 weeks visited the children and had a marvellous day.
The township house for John and his family is we are told being completed this year. Fingers crossed.
John, one of the children we met many years ago is now 16 years old. He lives with his Mum, Dad, 2 brothers and a sister in a corrugated shack with no light and no heating. They have not even been able to move to a township, the reason for this is that to move to a township home, which comprises of a 1 bedroom house with limited electric, requires a one off payment of £350. They have been top of the waiting list for one of these township homes for the last 12 years but have never been able to raise the money for the one-off payment so could never qualify for one! We set up a Just Giving page and between all our friends (one in-particular making a substantial donation) we have managed to cover the cost. When Cynthia told the family they were overjoyed, the kids were jumping up and down and crying - to them it was like winning the lottery, it is a life-changing experience!! Their new home is in the process of being built and hopefully will be ready later this year. (Of course, now all the other kids have put their names down for a new house).
Following our visit last year a major concern was the girls being unable to attend school at certain times because they needed sanitary wear. Cynthia did her best to help but this was a great expense to her. Many friends who have visited our children do take necessities out with them for which they are very grateful. Since this problem came to light, one of our friends, Pauline Vause, has taken it upon herself to help in this area - a problem she feels very passionate about. She has, with the help of other friends, sourced and sent out lots of reusable sanitary items. The parcels have not yet arrived so we are keeping our fingers crossed (post in South Africa is not the best)!!
Over the last couple of years several of our friends have called in to see the children whilst holidaying in South Africa - John and Chris Lees, Steve & Julie Jones, Dave & Jenny Jones, to name but a few. All took badly needed supplies such as toothpaste , deodorant etc. for which the kids are very grateful. When we went out for a visit in 2018 we told the kids we were going to spoil them and asked what they would like us to bring, expecting them to ask for football kits, dollies etc, do you know what the older kids asked for.......deodorant!! Can you imagine that? Well guess what they got - boxes and boxes of deodorant, amongst other things.
If ever you have the fabulous opportunity to visit Swellendam, Cynthia and the children would just love you to visit.
Thanks everyone for your continued support.