We are into the last month of the year and what a year it has been. A new look website and a bright new format newsletter have done a lot to improve our communication to all of you our wonderful sponsors, funders, supporters, prayer warriors, volunteers and other interested parties. A year with new staff and some amazing people who have joined and brought with them new passions and fresh excitement and a year with old staff who have continued doing the incredible selfless work that they do, finding energies to encourage and motivate those so desperately in need of help. What a great team you are. Don’t forget when doing your Christmas shopping to consider the wonderful beaded items being produced through ThembaTraining as well as music CD’s by two of our students at the School of Hope. I am completely blown away by the Young Soldiers from School of Hope who against what society had labeled them have risen above that and produced their first album, well done guys. To all at ThembaCare Grabouw a very big well done, 133 HIV tests done over the international aids day weekend, a great success in terms of both awareness and removing the fear of being tested. Together we can make a difference. Kind regards, Chris Hinrichsen Managing Director ThembaCare Athlone (TCA): Much has been taking place at Thembacare this past month. We have been blessed with two sets of twin boys. The one set is three and half months old and the other just turned two years old on the 15th and they are just too adorable. We have also started a support group for the moms headed by our trainee social workers which is going quite well. And Gerrida Lange, Adrian’s wife, has started beading classes with the moms. They have caught on quite quickly and thoroughly enjoy it. On Saturday 24th we will be having orientation from 12 – 2.pm for a new group of local volunteers, and look forward to that. We would like to thank all the good Samaritans who so graciously give to Thembacare. ThembaCare Grabouw (TCG) As this year goes into its final month I am just so aware of all that God has done for us throughout 2007. Sr. Joyce decided that Grabouw could not be apathetical and allow World Aids Day to pass without a strong message being sent out to the community. Congratulations to Sr. Joyce on true tenacity, in setting into motion, motivating and exciting numerous role players into putting together a really successful World Aids Day event. The weekend started on Friday the 30th at the Grabouw Day Clinic and ended on Sunday with a candle lighting ceremony. The focus was HIV TESTING on both days. The Day Clinic had 60 tests done and an amazing ‘73’ tests were done on the Saturday morning at the ThembaCare town event. We have to thank the sisters from the Mobile Clinics for bringing their vans and truly getting into the pre and post test counseling. We also want to thank Ruda and Caren from Head Office for their behind the scenes support and help in getting the amazing donations that allowed for a fun and exciting event. Each person who took an HIV test could pop a balloon and receive a prize plus an Appletiser. On the 3rd of Dec the six Palliative Care Community Workers started their work in the community and we are expectant of great results. Josh Walker Tim and Maz’s son has been up in Grabouw for the last few weeks volunteering and it has been great to have him to do all those odd jobs, one was to assemble 24 wheel chairs that were kindly donated to us and distributed to any one in need in Grabouw. Reflecting back on this year I realize that ThembaCare Grabouw has had the hand of God on it, we have been blessed in every way and have seen Gods plans unfold. This can be very daunting but we just have to look back and see the provision and the way He has sustained us to realize that all we need is to be willing and obedient. I want to thank the staff of ThembaCare so very much, as we are no more and no less than those people who make up ThembaCare Grabouw. School Of Hope They fight, but not with the weapons of the street. They use microphones and speakers...using Xhosa, English and Portuguese words...to bring attention to youth who are abusing their freedom and living life with no hope or dreams. They call themselves the Young Soldiers. If you thought the School of Hope is all work and no play, you were mistaken. Some of our gifted guys have been busy developing their talents and influencing society with their words of hope and encouragement. Take the Young Soldiers, for instance. Two learners from the School of Hope who are releasing their debut EP this month. Maninho Diaz (17) came to South Africa from Mozambique on his own, following the footsteps of his older brothers, looking for a place that offered more hope for their future. Maninho's journey towards hope took him through difficult places, including a year on the streets of Cape Town, before arriving at Beth Uriel (home for young men) in 2004. For the past several years, Maninho has been diligent about pursuing his dreams of finishing school and even more exciting is how his musical career has begun to unfold. Masakane Mndende (19) is one of seven siblings born in the Eastern Cape, relocating to Philipi in his later years. Masakane enrolled at the School of Hope in 2006. With a very supportive but under-resourced biological family, Masakane has flourished with the extra care of those around him. Maninho and Masakane's paths crossed at School of Hope, where they decided to put their talents together and form a hip hop group. "It makes me strong to be a soldier," Masakane states, "one who helps people through struggle. I want to share what I know and what I see so we can fight together for a better future." "We can't use hip hop to say aggressive things to people because it is a gift from God. There is a Reason is a track on the album dedicated to telling everyone how important it is to have an education in order to achieve a better life." declares Maninho. Their debut EP "Basic Training" is launching in Cape Town on Friday 30th November. Graceland Pre-school A big thank you to the team from Every Nation Stellenbosch for revamping and preparing the building for Graceland pre-school! We also had a visit from 37 children and moms from Welgemoed Primary school who came to bless the children at Graceland with a Christmas party. The Christmas play and graduation was a huge success this year. 18 grade R children have graduated and will be in grade 1 next year. The parents, guests and volunteers all had a wonderful time as they were kept entertained by the very excited, giggling children. Each child also received a gift bag with three presents each, as well as lots of sweets. Many thanks to the volunteers who helped with the children, as well as those who gave so generously to make this day so special. Themba Training We recently had the joy of awarding 20 start up grants to graduates of the micro MBA training in Phillipi East last month, and assisted them in the buying of items for their little businesses. Most of the graduates bought stock for their businesses and a handful bought beads to produce some high quality necklaces in time for the Christmas season. Our pilot project to award start up funding to our trainees was accepted as a critical success factor for the small business training by the Finnish government, and churches throughout Southern Africa, who are funded by the Finnish government will add this factor to their training programmes in almost every province in the nation in 2008! Well done to all the graduates for working so hard, and persevering through the last 3 months, and we wish them all the success in their small businesses. International Volunteers As we approach the end of the year, it still amazes us what quality volunteers we have received during this year. This month we bid a sad farewell to Riet and Liesselot, occupational therapist students from Belgium. They have truly made a massive difference to the development of our children at ThembaCare. Also a warm welcome to Marjan Van Dusseldorp, a lovely volunteer from Holland with children of her own, and has already made such an impact with her years of experience in compassionate care. And a welcome to Gerrit and Berthy Spronk, a retired couple from Holland, who have also just arrived and are raring to go in Somerset West. We also bid farewell to Joshua Walker who volunteered in Grabouw, Vicki Wooton in ThembaCare Athlone and Gwen Lannaman at School of Hope. Thank you to all of you for making such a tangible difference to all our projects in the last month! Bosom Buddies Good news and bad news at Bosom Buddies this month. The good first of course….we are busy with yet another little fundraiser which is a raffle with a great prize. We are selling 100 raffle tickets to give you a minimum 1% chance of winning a Survivor style reward. On the 9th of December you and a friend get whisked off in a helicopter and flown over beautiful Somerset West. You both will be flown to a secret surprise location where you will enjoy a Woolies picnic lunch and a bottle of bubbly served to you by a BB volunteer. A few hours later you will return with a full belly and a big smile and your happy faces. Worth playing for? Best you hurry up and buy your R50 ticket as you only have a few days left! More good news is a hospital chock and block full of babies. We have decided we are not breaking for Christmas time as if there was ever time to bless these moms and babies with a gift, it would be now! Bad news…. Our volunteer situation is rather scarce over the festive season. If you want to experience the true joy of Christmas and giving as He intended, then come on a visit with us. Blessing others always boomerangs in the most amazing way and we walk away more blessed than those who we give the gift to. To end with more good news… Our clothing stock is a little better due to the kind hearted grade 5 kids from Somerset College. They have been collecting clothing and products all semester and also raised over R800 cash in a hot dog sale organized by one of the boys. No news on our premises yet but it remains on our most needed list and we believe by some time next year, we will have relocated. Featured Thembalitsha Staff Member Elizabeth was our very first teacher at Graceland Pre-school. She resides with her husband and two children in the Devon Valley. We want to honour her for her commitment and faithfulness to the school over the years. “Elizabeth is always willing to go the extra mile to be the best that she can be for the school, and most of all, for the kids. She is always happy and friendly and never complains. She is a pleasure to work with.” – Nadine du Plessis, colleague. ''Elizabeth truly has a heart for the abused and neglected children of Devon Valley, and its amazing to see how through the years, she has just blossomed into a wonderful, caring teacher and principal! '' - Adrian Lange, Themba Training. Post Net Box 41, Private Bag X18, Milnerton, 7435. Tel: 27 21 529 4600, Fax: 27 21 529 7311, Directors: F R Christie (Chairman), C Hinrichsen (Managing Director), B W Griffiths, N Hinrichsen, W Meyer. NPO: 007-490 Reg no: 1997/003064/08 www.thembalitsha.org.za PS: If you would like to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please reply to this e-mail, with the word “unsubscribe” in the subject line.