In the last few weeks we have said Good bye to Elena, Mary-Ann and Mona who have all returned home to Germany after 9-11 months of serving at iKhaya LikaBaba. It was a bitter-sweet time, since they had started longing for their families, and strong bonds had been developed with the children and staff and it was hard to bid them farewell. For many weeks afterwards the children would all comment on an aeroplane overhead that its destination was Germany!
With that in mind we will be receiving and welcoming 3 new volunteers and an 'old' volunteer Ty Heuser who will be helping us for some weeks. The biggest gift for iKhaya is not only when volunteers contact us to get involved, but it is delightful when they come back for a visit for a second or even third time! Helga Budal filled in the gap of about 6 weeks and spent many hours re-stocking, teaching the children and overseeing activities and being hands-on with the children, along with our faithful local volunteers.
These 'local volunteers' give of their time and hearts and hands without so much as batting an eyelid. It is simply how they live their lives, and very much a part of who they are and iKhaya would not function without their support. Thank you to Bronwyn, Janet and Liana for keeping all the wheels turning at iKhaya.
A big thank you to all of those who were involved in building, painting, planning, dreaming, collections, hanging curtains and who became very much a part of iKhaya 3 during its transition. Thank you for investing into this home and family and into the lives of the broken and vulnerable children. It is a lovely home and fully equipped for the new children and family who are doing really well.
This is a significant marker for iKhaya, as our hearts have been aware of the cry of these little ones for both Mothers and Fathers. It is a privilege to witness this development and to see them grow as they sense the love and sense of belonging.
In the last couple of months we admitted some little children who, after getting all their vaccinations and medical conditions monitored, have settled in well. It has been quite a busy time with some staff being on leave and many clinic and court visits! The new little children also took time getting used to having so many busy siblings!
For the first time in a long time we are dominated by boys, boys and MORE boys! Lots of boy games are happening amidst the children, but the sweetest is when ALL the children play with and 'look after' a dolly. The boys are the cutest and feel no shame to tie the baby on their backs and rock the 'babies' to 'sleep'. They pretend to take their babies for a picnic in the park and we are blown away by their gentleness (as fleeting as it may be for some!)
We reached our capacity number-wise and then it was time to release one of our little boys. This little chap was introduced to his biological Dad and built with him regularly over 6 months and now he lives with him and has an Aunty taking care of him for the day.
It is with much excitement, peace and gratitude that we welcome the new Houseparents and their daughter to oversee iKhaya 3. The iKhaya 3 building is up and complete. The cherry on the top was the final 'touch' - the family - Honest, Ellen and Rachel to iKhaya 3. Ellen is presently undergoing some training and in time our little ones from iKhaya 2 will be able to move into iKhaya 3. They will benefit hugely from the amazing new home, but more than that, from a loving set of parents and older sibling.
The plan is for the current iKhaya 2 home to be able to look after the smaller babies and young toddlers and for the older pre-schoolers and school-going children to find a home and security under the care of their family in iKhaya 3. This means that we will be able to go up in number by about 6 children, in this way growing iKhaya and impacting our Community.
Honest and Ellen have been accepted with open arms by the staff and children of iKhaya, as well as Solid Ground Church. They have spent much time with their new family and on the Property and an amazing sense of family has emanated at iKhaya LikaBaba.