A baby’s school is the playground
What a joy it is to see babies thriving through daily interactive playtime. We have a host of activities for the toddlers and babies to expose them to music and siging, reading, outdoor play, motor skill development and get to learn language, social skills, colours, textures, sounds, rhythm and position in space all through fun playtimes!
Our very own iKhaya Pre-School runs from the Solid Ground Church Youth Centre. We launched our ECD Centre 2 ½ years ago with the goal of preparing our youngsters for formal education. The school is run by Bronwyn with the aid of an international volunteer. Not only are our kiddies learning here…so are the teachers! Every day is a challenge and opportunity for personal growth and character building and honing their child rearing skills and disciplinary approaches. What an opportunity this is for any young lady to have! We are raising up our volunteers to be great parents!
Horse riding is the latest buzz at iKhaya. The kids are loving taking a walk to the farm, having a picnic and learning to ride and care for the horses. There are many obvious health benefits to riding, including strong core and legs, but there are also many less obvious benefits, such as boost in confidence and sele-assurance. Horses are even used in therapy for mentally disabled children- which only proves further how healthy they are. Horseback riding is an isometric exercise, which means it uses specific muscles to stay in certain positions, in this case, keeping balanced on the horse. ... This exercise helps with good overall muscle tone, posture, flexibility and core muscle strength. Riding improves one’s quick thinking and co-ordination as the rider needs to control a large animal with a mind of its own. There are so many mental benefits to horseback riding. Not only do you really learn about yourself as you experience time on a horse but it can also be a time of self-reflection because for the time being, the only focus is on riding and staying on the horse. While horseback riding is a great exercise, there is a real benefit in the connection with the animal and the peace of mind that comes with every ride. It is just so obvious to us how much value there is in this simple yet fun activity. Thanks to everyone for making another of my dreams a reality!
Nothing New… This is becoming old news… sleepovers at my home in the school holidays! It is always a good ol’ favourite… I guess like going to grandma’s (not that I’m old or anything!). They love to eat different meals (breaking the norm too with treats!), watch movies, play with the pets, sleep on mattresses and stay up late, swim and just have FUN. We ALL love it!
The iKhaya Olympic Games
Each team was dressed up for the occasion with warrior paint and all! Big and small, they all participated with much enthusiasm and excitement. The spirit was apparent but the comepetion was on! The activities of the day were palnned and executed by our French and German volunteers. Their imagination and enthusiasm is just delightful!
Happy Birthday baby boy! This was his first birthday and we had the pleasure of sharing this milestone with him. He LOVED his first taste of chocolate cake and was intrigued with having to unwrap his gift. What a special day.
The pre-schoolers got to sleep over at the volunteers home, helped prepare burgers for supper, pillow fights, a movie and one of course did her own make up!! What kids doesn’t enjoy camping out on mattresses!
Christmas and New Year
Christmas is fast approaching as we see 2018 drawing to a close. Please consider partnering with us to make our kids Christmas and New Year celebrations fun and a time to remember! Our celebratory needs are: Braai Meat, salads and dessert Chips, sweets and cakes Gifts for 28 children.
There is one thing we do know for sure is that this year has been filled with many wonderful memories, times of healing and growth, heartache and joy, birthday celebrations and academic challenges and accolades. Our children have at times stretched us and through this we have grown. We rejoice with their successes and cry and comfort them in their lows and struggles. We are the priviledged ones to walk this journey out with our kiddies with God our Father leading the way. With Him all is possible and through Him we make progress daily! Thank you to everyone for partnering with us. All donations whether financial, goods, time or services all go towards the success of our mission at iKhaya. Without God’s provision and wisdom, His faithful givers’ generosity and the prayers of many our task would simply be a shot in the dark. So THANK YOU to you all! Together we we can do more!
Doing Life… Together!
iKhaya LikaBaba is currently home to 27 kiddies. To provide them with neat clothing, nutritious meals/ lunch boxes, toiletries and a sanitary environment is of great importance to us. Education is vital for their bright futures and careers. Meeting each child’s spiritual, social, medical, psychological and emotional needs is core to inner healing and their future as sound community members of our “future generation”. If it takes a village to raise a child… how much more does it take to raise vulnerable children? Let’s join as one to make the change. No contribution is insignificant in the “big scheme” of things as all the “littles” add up to reach and meet all the needs. We need you. They need you! 14 Children need stationery and uniforms for the 2019 academic year. This is not an quick and simple feat! Besides the cost there is the logistics of shopping for uniforms and stationery, labeling every item of clothing and stationery down to each pen and pencil! And of course our scholars are aged 5 to 12 years and “come in” all “shapes and sizes”… making the task that much more interesting.
We would love to bless each child with a new outfit or shoes and a quality toy/ gift to open on Christmas Day after church. To celebrate on Christams Day and New Year we would love to provide our children and staff with meat and salads for a family braai. If you would like to partner with us please get in contact with Loressa for the kids’ wish lists.
Congratulations and Celebrations!
We celebrated the birthdays of 2 of our tots this month. We played pass the parcel, musical chairs, musical statues and had a dance off with a prize for the one with the “best moves”. Cakes and treats, games and gifts, bubbles and many giggles were the order of the day as together we made them the centre of the occasion, to feel loved, adored and part of a special family. My heart sings and overflows with joy as I enjoy sharing their day and joining in making memories of a lifetime!
We have 4 beautiful young ladies giving freely of themselves as they serve iKhaya and the kids through volunteer work. Johanna, Lea and Luisa are from Germany and will be with us until July 2019. Julie, from France, arrived this month and will stay 6 months. Part of them doing life with us includes us investing social time with them. We enjoyed a fresh Spring evening at Alkanstand together, walking on the beach sand and the pier, a little splash along the shoreline and a sunset picnic for supper.
Ensuring our babies and toddlers develop well physically, socially and emotionally takes some planning and effort from those who spend the most waking hours with them. Children thrive on love, acceptance and a sense of belonging and we can meet these needs through intentional play times and social interactions with youngsters. Besides our very own pre-school for the kids aged 3-5 years, we encourage our volunteers to actively invest themselves each day with the littlies, babies to 2 years old, while their older siblings are out the home attending school. Filling the time with a variety of activities and lots noise and fun helps the caregiver to enjoy the time too!
Spring is in the Air!
Empangeni Christian School grade RR and R held a delightful spring tea with the kids dramatically, or with some reserve, strutting down the catwalk! The morning was a great delight enjoyed by us with our iKhaya preschooler class who went to support their siblings in action. Bronwyn, our iKhaya Preschool Teacher treated the moms to a fun morning too with kids dressed with flower faces especially for the occasion!
Jordan turned 3 and chose to celebrate his day with us! Nishi, iKhaya Assistant, and her hubby Melkom, fostered Jordan as an infant, and are in the process of adopting him. A family made by God and knitted together with His love! They showered us with love and delish food as we enjoyed celebrating together. Happy birthday Jordan!
Friends for Life!
Deep connections is what truly warms my heart more than anything… knowing that while our international volunteers serve us they are being knitted into our local community too. Friendships, that often extend beyond their time with us in SA, are forged through the Solid Ground Church community. Here we enjoy the sight of previous German volunteers, who served at Musawenkosi and iKhaya LikaBaba from as far back as 2015 to those who only left us in July 2018, spending time together back in Germany.
First Aid Training
Sister Madeleen from Medipark Pharmacy in Central Park, Empangeni is a gem! She cares about us and our kids’ wellbeing and never hesitates to be of guidance to us. Her passion shone through in all she shared at the recent training she held at iKhaya. She has a wealth of knowledge that she so unselfishly shares no matter when or where she goes!
From each one of us, to each and every one who plays a part in raising our kids, a great BIG THANK YOU! We could not achieve even a fraction of the excellence we do without your care, love and support. Together we are raising children with mighty and bright futures!
Greetings and love,
Together We Can
Do you want to be a part of our mission? Do you want to see our dreams, goals and vision for our children fulfilled?
At iKhaya we are a family and we do life together. We are a home away from home for previously vulnerable children in need of love, affection and overall care. We reach out and touch these little lives through meeting their educational, physical, emotional and psychological needs with the hope and prayer they are transformed and healed. Our 24 hour care includes schooling, uniforms and stationery, good nutrition, clothing, good hygiene and so on. We can all jump on board to assist in meeting these practical physical needs or we can pledge our financial assistance to cover the overhead cost like transportation, safe and hygienic homes, staffing, administration, medical care, tertiary education, equipment, furniture and toys. Give Loressa a call to see how you can make a difference.
Hospital visits are not something anyone looks forward too. But sometimes they are necessary. Thabiso put on his brave face and underwent his op with great courage. Despite being in terrible pain he managed to muster a grin for me when I gave him a happy “Glove Face” balloon while the nurse stepped out the room! Sara was brave too! She was exposed to our medical care in a state facility. This was a life experience, culture shock and an eye opener for her.
Vibrant, Happy, Beautiful
Sara Rudinski from Germany spent 6 weeks with us. She served with a cheerful disposition and kinda crept deep into our hearts in her short stay. She was a HUGE help to us in the gap between the last volunteers leaving in July and the 3 new German girls arriving late this month. Sara returned home to finish her studies and we hope to meet up with her again sooner than later! Johanna, Lea and Luisa are part of a social program run by APCM in Germany who send volunteers worldwide to partnering organisations. We have been blessed with the help of many young ladies through this partnership and are truly greateful to all at APCM for the role they play in sending us the most amazing volunteers.
Friends from Abroad
Taylor, Karen and their 2 beautiful daughters visited us again from Chicago, USA. Lending a helping hand and reaching out in love is how they roll. 614 Church from Columbus, Ohio had a team with us in August. They quickly became friends with us and both parties joined us at the KZN Equip in Pietermaritzburg before returning to the USA. We squeezed in some social time too... Many happy memories were created and friendships fostered.
Children learn best through play. It is important to note that this kind of play is meant to be unstructured, child-driven play. Free time is vital to build their creativity and ability to come up with unique ideas. It also develops motor planning skills, helping the child to create and carry out ideas, motor actions, and activities while fostering decision-making skills and independence. Free play teaches kids to work in groups so they learn to share and resolve conflicts and helps kids develop social and emotional ties, both within the family and with other children.
Maxi’s Great Taste
Maxi’s Empangeni boast with the re-launch of their 5 Ways Mall shop. It has a new modern finish with great décor and delish coffee… all with GREAT TASTE!
Do pop by and give them a try!
Empangeni High School Choir entertained us along with the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Thank you Taste Holdings and 5 Ways Mall for giving back to our community! We will make great use of the donation made to our home.
Thank you for taking the time to read our news and for remaining in touch with us. We value all those who partner with us physically, emotionally, prayerfully and financially, even if we don’t get to tell you in person that we appreciate you!
Love and greetings from Loressa and the iKhaya Family
“The BEST LOVE is the kind that AWAKENS the SOUL and makes us REACH FOR MORE.”
"He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:9
Partner With Us
At iKhaya we strive to overcome rather than settle as victims of poverty, neglect and/or HIV/AIDS. Our children are given hope and a future as we at iKhaya provide them with the safety, security and love that every child deserves. We desire to see them all grow up to become whole, healed adults who in turn will give back to society one day too. We do this through great education, good nutrition and medical care, clean, quality homes and loads of love and affection from both caregivers and volunteers, who pour out all they have into the lives of the children. Despite the children’s past circumstances, iKhaya is a happy place filled with lots of happy noise and laughter as the children play together as siblings. Do you want to be a part of our mission? Do you want to see our dreams, goals and vision for the iKhaya children fulfilled? Contact us to see how you can make a difference!
Bonfire and Marshmallows
Creating memories through creative thinking… Our German volunteers get up to so much with the kids, ensuring life is never mundane. They commit many hours to planning and preparing activities, crafts, walks and so on. Entertainment need not be elaborate parties, fancy gifts, visiting cool places. Just thinking out the box a little could mean a walk or run on the beach, picking and eating a stick of sugar cane, rolling in fresh mud, making a picnic out of a normal mealtime or in this case making a bonfire to toast marshmallows for a fun dessert! These are all special times that we all cherish for many years to come.
Empangeni Christian School celebrating Mandela Day.
Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela (18 July 1918). The Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to “make of the world a better place.” Many from our community joined us to spend 67 minutes with us cleaning, covering books, serving sarmies, interacting with us all and donating groceries, blankets and other consumable supplies. We also received a beautiful piece of art from Dumsani of Mandela. Thank you to Air Products, Power Factory Shop, Wilhelmsen Shipping, Dept of Labour, Magnet Group, Dumsani & Phindile and Devacka Foundation for blessing us this year. We are super grateful!
614 Church Missions Visit
614 Church in Columbus, Ohio, USA partners with us as we work out our vision and mission at iKhaya every day. They are fully in, committed and one with us to see our goals and vision realized. With this heart, they planned a mission trip to visit us to catch the heart of our home first hand. As they mingled and played with the kids, chatted to staff and leaders we all got to know one another personally. What a privilege it was to have you with us in SA and to have your ongoing support- we love your caring and loving hearts! We look forward to many years investing in our relationship and working towards a brighter future for many children! Caring for vulnerable children and others in need cannot be achieved by those willing or able to be hands on only. Everyone can be a part through their prayers, clothing and grocery donations, financial support, leaving a legacy for tertiary education and so on. Together we can change our world
Parties are fun for us all. But at iKhaya we do your utmost to show the kids our love and acceptance of them and to give them a sense of belonging to a family through activities such as these. Through birthday parties and the gift giving we teach life lessons such as budgeting (monetary gifts), correct social behaviours, manners and safety in public places while shopping (spending their monetary gift), how to carry themselves at a party (manners, sharing, socialising, hosting a friend) and ownership and caring for their belongings. To sponsor a party or a gift thereby being a part of the celebrations, please contact Loressa directly. We would love to hear from you!
Brand It Blue
Express Emplyment Professionals Brand It Blue annual initiative was started in 2013 and was born out of a desire to serve and partner with a variety of nonprofit organizations in more than 800 locations in the United States, Canada, and South Africa. This year their Richards Bay office, together with RBT Gridrod Terminals, collected and donated a vast quantity of groceries, toiletries, baby goodies, clothing and home equipment so desperately needed by us. What an awesome project to reach out to the community. Thank you for choosing to support iKhaya this year. We are blessed!
A Generous Community
July has been a month of plenty as many have been stirred to support the community in celebration of Mandela Day. Rotary Club Empangeni donated bicycles and new plastic tables and chairs to our home and for the kids. GAC Shipping gave us much needed long life milk, nappies and groceries which will all be meeting a great need. Unizul Students joined us for fun and games and a lovely picnic. Richard and Lauren from the UK for baking with the kids. Thore Hopperstad, Norway, heads up Children of Zululand. Thore and his team paid us a visit, donated bicycles and knitted blankets, beanies and jerseys for our babies.Do visit and support their gofundme champaign at https://www.gofundme.com/children-of-zululand-barneheim . Thank you to everyone, not just those I have mentioned here, who graciously give to meet our every need. We truly appreciate you all. The kids had a blast! “
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what dfference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela