A Season of Change and Harvesting
It is with absolute excitement that I update you on the changes that are unfolding before us at iKhaya. We serve an awesome God who is guiding and leading us into the season of harvest. We have successfully changed our staff roster and the benefits of having the children cared for by fewer caregivers, as mother figures, has been phenoninal. The children are more secure, loving and less “needy“. The homely feel and peace is tangible. We have fewer occassions of children needing discipline beyond a few corrective words. Children play together and care for one another routinely and the vibe is happy and joyful. Our caregivers have risen to the challenge of being more of an individual mother figure in the lives of the children they are responsible for and have taken on their daily duties with renewed pride and commitment. I am truly overjoyed! What a privilege to be a part of the unfolding changes.
An Early Christmas Treat
Thank you to Dayspring Animal Farm for wonderful facilities and loads of wide open spaces with superb animal petting and interaction opportunities for kids to play freely and safely. Airproducts treated us to a year end party with Christmas gifts and party packs. We all enjoyed feeding the animals and the kids thoroughly enjoyed playing on all the playground equipment, all the farm animals and pony rides. There is no doubt that we all slept soundly that night!!!
We celebrated three birthdays this month. What fun! There were plenty soapy bubbles, slippery slips and loads of laughter as children played together and enjoyed some outdoor treats, birthday cakes, chips, sweets and special birthday gifts. Best of all was having their own invited friends join in their memorable occasion!
Chane’ Cheese Farm
Our grade R kids visited the Chane’ Cheese Farm as a school outing. What a delightful day of adventure and fun they had. The kids were so utterly exhausted from their many activities that some fell asleep on the trip home. Thanks to the teachers for the opportunity to learn about farm animals and experience such an exploration!
Splish Splash I was having a Bash!
Nothing like going to the beach on a fun-shining day! Summer is finally here and outings to the beach are no longer just for a walk to pick up shells. The water is now a refreshing treat on our humid and piping hot days in Zululand. A few of the older kids joined the 4 German volunteers to enjoy some sun, sand and waves!
Playball Prizegiving and Demonstration
Many of our young learners participate in Playball programs that progress from simple sport introduction to mini sport classes running parallel with the school academic year. Each program consists of age appropriate, extensive related skills. The Playball curriculum is maintained by a consortium of professionals compromising teachers, physical therapists, sports coaches, occupational therapists and sports scientists to bring the most current and appropriate sports program to young children. As our academic year drew to a close we attended demonstration classes and had the privilege of watching them receive their certificates of achievement.
Priska and Ursula from Germany are talented dancers and are taking the time to give the kids ballet lessons while volunteering at iKhaya this year. Our children love to dance and express themselves through this art form. Dance Academy continues to teach the kids modern and hip hop on a weekly basis and this is the highlight of their week!
Time to Chill!
Empangeni has a large municipal pool that is used by local schools and clubs for galas and is open for the public’s pleasure. The facilities include shallow kiddies’ pools for the young children who either cannot swim or are still learning to swim. Our children enjoy an outing to the pool whenever possible… and the volunteers too!
Partner with us
To make our work meaningful and for us to reach our goals we rely on a team of contributors to assist us. Our needs include nutrition, medical, education, clothing, OT and Speech Therapy, psychology and councelling, optomotery, building maintenance, transport, staffing and so on. In order to meet these we rely both on helping hands of volunteers and financial support from private and corporate sponsors to bridge the gap between the limited Dept of Social Development funding and the actual costs of running our home. If you would like to be a part of our vision and mission please contact us to discuss how you would like to be involved.
For some time now I have had a stirring in my spirit to make some adjustments to our home and the way we are raising our kids; all with the kids’ best interests at heart.
We strive to raise the children in our care with as normal a lifestyle as possible. To create a home environment that is safe and that the kids feel is their own space and to protect this home space from becoming institutionalized.
So for starters, our birthday parties have taken on a new look. We set a party up a party table of eats, decorations and some fun activities, which is a commonly seen party setup that our kids enjoy at their friends’ parties. We ask the birthday kids to invite friends from school and we invite guests known to the kids. The focus is on making the kids the centre of attention to feel loved and special. The aim of all this is to teach them to share, enjoy party snacks with the freedom to choose their treat without greed, good table manners as well as improving social skills and interactions and building family relationships within our home.
After much prayer, thought, strategizing and planning, we launched our new staff roster. The old had 15 kids being cared for by 8 caregivers who each worked 2 days and 2 nights per week. In essence the kids had 8 “moms”. Our new model sees these children split into 2 family units of 8 and 7 kiddies respectively. Each family has a caregiver filling the role as mom from Monday to Friday and another from Friday to Monday plus each has a caregiver/ domestic helper. This translates into the kids bonding with 2 mother figures instead of 8, which creates a platform for improved love bonds between mother and child, greater control over homework, discipline, medication, overall wellbeing and improved relationships within family units.
Feelings of abandonment and entitlement are common symptoms of children living in homes/ orphanages. Our long term goal is raising emotionally stable, mature teens that will be strong enough to face the big wide world as young adults. So while we seek to continue to invest in our relations with our sponsors and community at large, who play a vital role in sustaining the work we do, and with the children’s best interest in mind, we will adjust the way in which we interact while keeping the children’s environment safe and their home their own personal place, just as we do in our private homes as parents of our own biological kids.
Please pray with us all as we unfold these plans and trust God as He lights our way forward.
Psalm 119 v 105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
Happy Birthday Bo!
Princess Bo celebrated her 1st birthday this month. What a great time with family and friends. She had her first taste of cake, caught plenty bubbles with great enthusiasm and simply had loads of fun. She was the centre of attention as we sang to her and she just knew how special she is!
Croc on a Rock
The little dam is filling up with the lovely, most welcome, recent rains. The croc was spotted basking in the sun on the rock in the water so the kids set off on an adventure to spot that croc! Unfortunately the croc had already moved on. But the walk was a fun-filled time as the kids spent time with the volunteers.
Experiencing Life in the Real World
It’s always a treat to go on an outing! The town library is a great place to escape to the land of make believe and wonder! Story time is simply the best. A swing by the grocery shop for a life lesson and exposure to the real world and to get a sweet treat was the highlight of the trip. With little minds and bodies super exhausted as they saturated their brains with new knowledge the little tots dozed off in the car on the way home… Fun is hard work!
We have the most amazing home with gorgeous views, great playgrounds and plenty open space for our children to play, explore and exercise. Life is full of activity, fun and interactions with one another. We have a happy home and are truly blessed to be raising our children is such a beautiful environment.
iKhaya partners individuals, companies, organisations and schools to make our work a success. We invite you to join us to make a difference. If you would like to assist us financially or with goods or services, please contact us or make use of our baking details on our webpage.
With love Loressa, Staff and Kids
Roll on Summer...
We enjoy a mild winter in SA but it gets cold enough to avoid swimming and going to the beach for a few months. But spring arrived with the feel of summer this year! We have had a great time cooling off in tubs of water and have made a couple of trips to the beach and local pool with the troops too. Sea, sand and water make for the best and most inexpensive fun. It keeps the kids busy, entertained and happy for ages!
Making fun out of nothing at all…
Imagination is all one needs to create a game and loads of fun and laughter out of general household goodies! Who needs fancy toys, equipment and technology when you can turn a hosepipe into the best fun ever?
Growing up way too fast!
Our youngest child turns one next month. It is such a joy and privilege to watch her grow and be a part of her development. Babies seem to make progress daily right before ones eyes! This month we had the utter delight of witnessing her first steps. The excitement in the home was tangible as all the kids and staff gathered around to cheer her on with great enthusiasm! She is also joining the “big kids“ table to eat and play. The sheer pleasure on her face as she interacts with the others is so precious.
How old are you? I’m THREE!
Thando turned 3 and celebrated her birthday with her iKhaya family and a few friends. Just look at the anticiaption as everyone gathered around to watch her unwrap her gifts. A nail polish kit was a huge hit and she was hardly interested in anything after opening it up. A jumping castle is an all time favourite for the kids and much fun was had by everyone! Thank you to everyone who together made her day a memorable and enjoyable one.
Kristin arrived early in September to join her 3 counterparts, Priska, Kathleen and Ursula, from Germany for their 11 month stay at iKhaya. The 4 will serve as volunteers in various areas of the home. They are a huge help to us and a blessing to the kids especially as they get involved in various activities with them from games, homework, trips to school or the doctor, outings and general interactions on a day to day basis. Some of their duties include grocery stocking, cleaning, sorting clothes and food, baby stimulation, basic educational play, general errands, painting, assisting in the holiday program and babysitting. Our lives are richer for knowing you and our jobs made easier with all your help. We love and appreciate you!
Milk and Cookies
What a pleasure to enjoy the fruits of ones own labour! A few of the older kids enjoyed baking biscuits together and then enjoyed munching them along with a glass of cold milk. Yummy!!!
Civvies days are always a hit for us in SA as kids get to dress up instead of wearing their usual school uniforms to school. Springday is one of these occassions when they get to be bright and colourful.
Partnering With iKhaya LikaBaba
Teachers, Doctors, Psychologists, OT and Speech Therapists are some of the skills needed on a regular basis to meet the needs of our kiddos. If you have the expertise and are able to share some of your valuable time with us, then we would love to hear from you!
We currently have 12 school going aged children attending local schools for grade R to grade 5. As you may imagine, homework time is a real challenge especially seeing as some of our kids need extra one-on-one time to improve in reading and maths.
If you are a teacher or mom who would love to invest time in our homework centre, then we need you!
Our bank details are featured on our webpage and for BEE purposes receipts are issued if required. We confirm that the beneficiaries of all donations are natural persons where 100% are Black South African citizens as defined by the Broad Based Black Empowerment Act, 2003.
What better way to stimulate a boy‘s mind, increase concentration levels, improve hand eye coordination and fine motor skills than with real boys toys!? Thabiso gave our preschool boys their first wood work lesson this month. Hammers and nails, screws and screwdrivers and some scrap wood made for a perfect opportunity for the boys to learn while having the time of their lives! Soon these young lads will be making tables and chairs... watch this space!
Barbara introduced the children to a Polish traditional dish. They got to make their very own savoury Polish dumplings.
As you can see they had a blast making a floury mess while cooking up a storm. We most certainly have a few Master Chefs in the making here!
We had much to celebrate this month! Five kids enjoyed a birthday bash together. Cakes with candles, chips, sweets, a castle and gifts were the order of the day. But what makes a celebration the best is who we celebrate with... friends! Thanks to those who joined us to make our party so much fun! Together we make great memories. And a special thank you to our sponsors who make memories like this possible!
International VolunteersInternational VolunteersInternational VolunteersInternational Volunteers International Volunteers International VolunteersInternational VolunteersInternational Volunteers International VolunteersInternational VolunteersInternational Volunteers Families are not always made up of biological ties. We at iKhaya have family all over the globe. Many volunteers have reached out and touched our hearts and connected with us over the years. This is one of those special occassions. Barbara resigned from her job in Poland to serve us for a month when iKhaya most needed the help in August. As a talented, fine woman with a heart to bring restoration and growth to others, she was a breath of fresh air to us. Shelby was visiting South Africa from the USA. She was in SA to spend time at Izulu Orphan Projects and managed to spend some time with us too. Shelby is young but mature beyond her years. She is a wise young lady with a heart after God’s own. Together Barabra and Shelby served with love and complete selflessness. A blessing to the children, staff and all who they rubbed shoulders with. Ursula, Priska and Kathleen joined us from Germany on 23 August. They are serving here through APCM, a partnering agency in Germany, on a year’s program. They arrived with much passion and have drived right into the thick of things as they have accepted the challenge of undertaking their duties. We await their fourth counterpart, Kristin, with great excitement. She will be with us on 1st September.
Many teachers recognise that teaching with music and song makes learning effective and longlasting as it catches the childrens‘ interest and makes learning easier and more enjoyable. When you want to inspire your learners, take time to play an instument or turn on the boom box. If the songs appeal to the children, then they are more likely to have the songs running through their heads away from school too... this beats homework! Our littlies simply love singing, dancing
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With love and greetings, Loressa, Caregivers, Volunteers and Kiddos