International Mandela Day
Jumping for Joy with Transnet this Mandela Day!
Transnet partnered with us to commemorate International Mandela Day. Not only did they arrange to replace the worn out trampoline mat, but they helped clear away piles of pavers that were temporarily stored in the old pit. They worked like machines and got the task done with a smile and loads of fun too! Our children are so enjoying the new trampoline… thanks you Transnet! The groceries you generously supplied us with are going a long way to fill many hungry bellies.
Our hearts overflowed with gratitude as we were showered with blessings by Air Products, Richards Bay Child and Family Car, in.code and the learners from Crossroads Teen Centre. Gifts, groceries, loads of fun playing soccer jumping on the new trampoline and a coding lesson by Terri of in.code and Scharnee from Dark White Creative for taking pics of the lesson. We are blown away once again by the energy and generosity poured out over our kids and our home. Thank you just seems so insignificant when trying to express our appreciation!
You Make a DIFFERENCE!
To express our gratitude to all who press in and meet a need in our lives, we hosted a light hearted social gathering for our sponsors, friends and partners to meet the children they support and to enjoy a little talent show of singing, dancing, music and a short play. The afternoon was very festive as the adults joined in with the singing and dancing too! These gatherings are an opportunity for our kids to shine as they grown in confidence on the simple stage.
Here is a testimony and a story of encouragement that reminds us to to keep doing what we do. Not every social case is a success story but our desire is to make a difference and our prayer is that each child would be touched and transformed as they experience the love of God through us. Luca’s life started out with us at iKhaya as an infant. He was quickly adpoted and knitted into a Godly family who love him and work with him daily as they strive for his complete healing and a bright future and brought him to visit us as part of his journey. He is a strapping young lad, full of energy and smiles! Eugéne, Tracy & Luca you filled our tanks with much joy!
Until We Meet Again…
Johanna, Luisa and Lea dedicated a year to a volunteer program through APCM in Germany. We had them for 11 months of their year, seving at iKhaya LikaBaba. They poured their time, energy and love into each and every day with us. Our children enjoy the fun times but also learn the art of making and growing new friendships while these young ladies invest into their lives through love, entertainment, companionship and general help. To us as staff their dedication and help lightens our daily load and enables us to spend more time investing into thefuture of our kids. We loave and appreciate you girls so very much and your presence is totally missed!
With love and greetings
Loressa, kids and team
Oxytocin is often referred to as the 'love hormone' because it's responsible for the love you feel when you spend time with your baby and that's why spending time with your baby makes you feel happy and the baby secure. Normally babies develop a close attachment bond with their main caregiver within the first months of life. If they are in a situation where they do not receive normal love and care, they cannot develop this close bond. The effect of not having this bond is problems with behaviour and in dealing with emotions and new situations. The end result of this is a set of difficulties which can affect the development of the child. This is known as attachment disorder.
There are two types of attachment disorder:
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)
Children with this type of attachment disorder tend to be socially withdrawn. They do not interact much with their caregiver. They don't seek comfort when they are upset and they don't respond when comforted. They may be aggressive, or may be nervous and anxious. They may appear unhappy and may not grow and develop as well as they might otherwise do.
Disinhibited attachment disorder
This is also called disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED). Children with this type of attachment disorder are excessively and inappropriately friendly towards people they don't know.
How is child attachment disorder treated?
The main treatment is to make sure they feel loved by their primary caregiver and know the relationship is secure. Once this is achieved, most signs of RAD improve very quickly. Children with DSED may continue to have the symptoms even after they are well cared for. Sometimes psychological therapy is used for the difficult behaviours that children with attachment disorder develop. Strategies which may be used include:
At iKhaya we have a number of youngsters who need therapy to deal with their past circumstances. Seeking therapy privately is our heart’s desire as making use of our local government facilities has proven to be ineffective mostly due to irregular appointments, not always seeing the same therapist and appointments often being 4-6 weeks apart. Our caregivers would greatly benefit from support training and psychotherapy too. Child and Youth Care Training for all caregivers and house mothers would be most beneficial.
How can you help?
Luisa’s family came to South Africa from Germany and payed us a visit. They arranged an evening of fun and fellowship where we all braaied sausages on sticks and cooked bread dough over the flames. It has been such a priviledge to get to know our three German volunteers, Luisa, Johanna and Lea) over the last 11 months and to meet their families is always a treat. For the children it is about the fun of being outdoors after dark, cooking their own food and huddling under blankets around the bonfire to keep warm. For us grown ups it is great to join in the kids’ fun and be a share their hearty enthusasim.
Our school going kids joined in on our routine morning playdough time during the June/ July school holidays. Here is proof that there is so much one can do with playdough to make the activity fun and interesting all while exercising those fine motor skills and stimulating the creative juices!
Life is good. Life is full. We are truly blessed!
Our school break was fun-filled. We had 2 girls attend One Conference Christian Camp in Pietermaritzburg. This was an iKhaya “first” as this camp is for grade 7 and up and we have only 2 that qualified to attend... At last! To say they were over the moon to would be a complete understatement! Thoriso, a student and volunteer at iKhaya, hosted a sports day. We invited friends and teen volunteers for a soccer morning and are already looking forawd to having another social sports day soon! The school kids visited Bounce and enjoyed a meal at Mc Donalds. In between all the planned activities the home was abuzz with chatter and laughter, singing and music, bike riding, running about, sliding on cardboard boxes, going for walks and eating fresh sugar cane. Life is good. Life is full. We are truly blessed!
Saint Catherine’s Pre-School Fun Day has become a highlight on our annual calendar. Debby Brink, HOD, and her team do an outstanding job at creating a day for young kids to simply have FUN. Our kids look forward to this adventure with great anticipation and come home having spent every last drop of energy. If your littlies have not attended this event then you better keep an eye out for it next year! Thank you Saints for spoiling our kiddies with such a FUN-tastic morning!
School Sports Day
What a special day! We have 10 learners at Empangeni Christian School and they all participated in the athletics day. It was especially fun for the pre-schoolers who got to do sack races and other fun races. The Blue and Red teams (Team Alpha and Team Omega) cheered their hearts out in support of their paticipating friends. We had a great time, thank you teachers for a lovely morning.
Once again our community has pulled together to reach out and bless those less fortunate than themselves. Our children were each gifted with an outfit, a toy, snacks and a pair of school shoes. My heart is over-joyed to witness these occassions where our children are touched and loved abundantly. iKhaya relies on the partnership of individuals, families, churches, small businesses and corporates to meet around 50% of our running costs, which include groceries, nappies and milk, school fees, uniforms and clothing, educational equipment and pre-school teacher, housing and utilities, transport, daily care (staffing is required 24/7/365) medical and psychological care and entertainment. We are blessed to be a part of a generous community that “gets it” and pours their love into our work. There is nothing too big or too small to make a change and lasting impact in the life of another. Thank you to each and every person who connects with us.
Dear friends of iKhaya
Thank you to our awesome community for your support. We are grateful to partner with so many who catch our heart to care for vulnerable children and to bring hope and healing to the lives we touch.
Loressa, kids and team
Mother’s Day Spoils
This Mother’s Day was extra special for me this year. Not only am I a mother of two gorgeous girls, Bryce and Kaylee but am mother of many at iKhaya. This year I was treated to breakfast in bed by my girls (ok, chocolate cake actually but that’s the way I like my eggs best… in cake ). They stayed up late after begging me to take them to the shop for “something”. They sent me to bed early and got to work in preparation for a morning surprise. It was delish!!! Two of our pre-school boys chose to bless me with their handmade flowers. One added that it is because he loves me; Oh how he melts my heart!! Woolworths in Empangeni supply us regularly with much needed groceries for our home. Occassionally we receive bunches of beautiful flowers and so I was treated, much to my delight, to fresh flower’s just in time to brighten my day too. And as if that was not enough, Solid Ground Church honoured each mom at our Sunday services and gave us each a chocolate too. Taking time to bless our mom’s is a treat in itself but to be on the receiving end is humbling as I realise the enormous role we play in the little lives we touch through love,care and parenting as moms at iKhaya.
Breaking the Rules
Kid’s love camping out whether it in in the lounge, under a table or even in the backyard. Allowing kids to be adventourous and breaking out from the norms can be somewhat liberating for a parent while it is beyond exciting for the kids. I love to let them explore and try new challenges and one of my mottos is “if it can’t hurth them then why not?”. These two decided to camp on my veranda. Dressed in winter woollies and armed with a stack of blankets they made a bed for themselves in a quest to brave the cold. I checked on then before retiring myself and decided they need extra protection from the cold. I added a barracade using my overturned table and a few chairs with pillows and blankets drapped over them. I, needless to say, I never got much sleep but they survived the night oblivious to my interventions and regular checking-up on their wellbeing, so much so that they were thrilled to see the enclosure they found around them in the morning!
Learning or Playing?
Every morning we start the baby program with playdough time. Sometimes they make pretend food and use cutlery to “eat” it with. Making snakes, snails, balls or flattening the dough and using cookie cutters to cut out shapes is all great fun for the kids. Little do they realise the number of lessons they are learning while they play away. Making learning FUN is key but putting a little extra thought into an activity can increase the benefits for our kids. So moms get cooking and make some playdough too. Here our kids got to work on their fine motor skills, exercise hand eye coordination, practise eating with cutlery, learned to hold and cut with a knife, stimulated their creativity and artistic talents and fine tuned their listening skills.
We celebrated in style with our 4 year old Princess. These are heart warming moments as we witness and share in the sheer joy of a child who is made the centre of attention, loved on and adored as we with cake and gifts for their birthday. It is occassions like these that we realise the difference we make in the children’s lives, in partnership with you all. Thank you friends for your gifts of love that make all we do possible.
Daily life for our kids is very eventful and full. School followed by homework, school projects and studies keeps them busy for the most part, while the many outdoor games, walks, bike riding, parties and other activities keep them on the go and active. Here is a little photographic taste of some of life’s eventfulness in our home.
From My Heart
“Either we spend time meeting children’s emotional needs by filling their cup with love or we spend time dealing with the behaviours caused from their unmet needs. Either way we spend the time.” Pam Lee
These are such wise and profound words. Read them and let them settle in your heart for a moment. These words don’t only apply to the parenting of our own children. We can meet the needs of siblings, cousins, neices, nephews, puplis, friends’ kids and so on. But why should it stop there? We all have God given talents, gifts and skills that can be spent by giving our time to others in our community. God called us all to love one another and to care for others in need.
Matthew 25 v 34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” The saying “broken crayons still color” is significant to me as I watch the kids of iKhaya growing up. All of us are affected by our pasts and even been “broken”. But so often we have learned or been been taught to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and to carry on. But, sometimes this is just not enough to bring healing and resolve from the trauma we faced, and deliberate help is required to bring about recovery and change.
And so I feel God stirring in me the need for us to invest ourselves in the lives of others. To be a family and community who cares for one another. Do you have time? Are you a trained preschool teacher, counsellor/ psychologist/ therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, medical doctor, sports coach or have a talent to share? Your free time is our treasure and I would love to have a chat with you.
Kindest regards Loressa, kids and team
Life’s Building Blocks
Children are precious gifts from God. As they grow up, each life experience is like a building block being added to the “project”, with the final goal in mind. To see each child whole, successful, healed, well loved and then to strive daily to meet these goals is us adding these building blocks one by one. When life meets with a challenge we have the opportunity to teach the child how to react in a way that will either aid or hinder their progress and in so doing the the outcome will either add character to the “project” or serve as a broken pillar or missing brick in the final “project”. As teachers, parents, caregivers, child minders, grandparents and even friends we have an impact on the lives around us. Let’s choose to be a positive influence, an encourager, an edifyer and motivator that sees the possibilities not the obstables when guiding our children to strive for their best in all they do and in all God has in store for them!
Until We Meet Again
Julie served as a volunteer at iKhaya for 6 months. She arrived from France feeling a little overwhelmed by the language, cultural and social differences she encountered. She is French and we set her up to stay with our existing German volunteers. They were all faced with speaking to one another in English (second languages all round!) all while trying to bond when the Germans had arrived together and have their home country in common.
But Julie is strong in mind, heart and character and she faced the challenges head on and came out stronger andbraver for it. She is a new person for the time she invested with us. She left her flavour with us and the kids grew to know and love her dearly. We said goodbye knowing this was the beginning, not the end of a frendship. See you again and again dear Julie! We miss you already so hurry “HOME”.
Sonja Swim School
The swimming season has come to a close. Our kiddies enjoyed Learn to Swim Lessons through Sonja Swim School. Sonja and Debi have been super stars as they gave up their free time to teach our kids with passion and care. To end off the season Sonja Swim School held a Fun Day in Meerensee. Our kids won prizes, received certificates of participation and simply enjoyed the morning together. We are looking forward to the new season with great anticipation!
Career day at school created an element of excitement in the home as the kids chose what they wanted to be when they grow up or what would be fun to be for a day. We had a nurse, doctor, mechanic, motorbike rider, farmer, cricketer, 2 chefs, a teacher and soccer player!
He is Not Here, He is Risen
Thank you to the folk who gave Easter eggs to us for our Easter Hunt. St Catherine’s School Early Act made little paper Easter baskets too, which we placed on the kids beds to find on Easter morning. Such a sweet gesture, thank you Saints! We serve a RISEN King and we teach our kids to serve and praise Him too. He is our Father and He meets our daily needs. There is never a day that passes that we are not aware of His presence, His love and His provisions. We are living proof that miracles are real today!
Play and Educate
Children are sponges. They watch and learn. They will copy everything we do and say… yes that means both the good, the bad and the ugly! We are responsible for our own behaviour and need to be aware of the influences we have on the children in and around us. Our German volunteers spend many hours teaching, reading and playing with the little pre-school children each morning. Riding bikes, climbing the jungle gym, taking a walk are all part of our mornings. Playdough, painting, the odd pool of mud or an old cardboard box are awesome for making activities more fun.
Dear friends of iKhaya
“Trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering.” Peter Levine I learn life lessons every day. Some through my family, social interactions and some in the work place. Working primarily with previously vulnerable or orphaned children has taught me that whatever we face in life, whether positive or negative, it affects the way we interact, behave and process situations we find ourselves in. We are more and more aware at iKhaya how past truamas affect so many peoples’ lives. Education, emotions, friendships and behaviour are some of the areas in which we see the effects of childhood trauma. Besides professional guidance and counselling for staff and children the best we can do is LOVE one another and each child through the anger and turmoil they face.
If you are a trained counsellor, or would like to contribute towards psychological treatments we would love to hear from you. Please visit our website for our other basic needs or contact me directly to chat about your partnership desires!
With love and greetings,
Loressa and the iKhaya team iKhaya