I clearly remember the meeting we held in the then “Nursery School”. It was not a happy one as it was held to discuss the possible closure of the Village. Very happy we met.
God has a way.
An approach was made to the Emirates Airline Foundation explaining our desperate situation. After Presentation and thorough investigation of the Village they kindly put us back on our feet. Because of this we have been able to keep our heads above water. Our children have been able to attend both Primary and Secondary school. Hatfield Primary then onto our Home School pending registration of our own school, which you know is now in its 3rd year. St Marcellin Primary School (with small numbers, ie 20 in each class, thereby the ability for teachers to assist the academic and non academic children). We faced many challenges but with a Marist Head it is running very well and smoothly. An example the Year 2015 the Grade 7 teacher attained 4 pupils with 4 units. This year Grade 7 (many of our challenged children in this class), 2 with 4 units and 1 with 5. Quite a feat !
Several of the youngsters and toddlers that you met then are ready to move out as you will have seen from the Presentation. But where to … THIS IS A MAJOR ISSUE … Social Welfare have said they must leave at age 18 years unless still in school !!! We have nurtured them from broken pieces to fine young people (although some of them are lazy .. but that is a teenager! ) Norman has tried very much to teach the boys hands-on skills, but his dream is to have a skilled centre whereby qualified volunteers could teach not only our 18 year olds but others of surrounding areas to avoid them being put back into the streets and no life at all. Just imagine all the hard work in giving them love, morals and a different way of life. Then to be returned to poverty, abuse, drugs, God Help Us !!!! We have an opportunity to purchase a piece of land which would be ideal for this purpose – The Skills Centre – Which could be utilised for both boys and girls ….
Speaking of the Girls. Well the Presentation would have shown you of some of their skills.
IN THIS AREA WE NEED IDEAS AND HELP !
One of our boys, 18 years old, attended Marist Nyanga and has just completed his A Level. Wanting to go to University to study Law, but has congenital Scoliosis and needs surgery. We have been given 3 options; Operate here (which I am not happy about), Cape Town, the Spinal Orthopedic Surgeon works with a Professor in Cape Town or perhaps India. All of this we are faced now with expenses, which we do not have at present..
We will have to put out a public appeal for assistance. In the meantime he is here at loose ends .. very sad….
On the whole we have 9 children who are HIV but the health situation has been pretty good.
Norman has set up Self Sufficiency Projects, ie Chickens, Fish and Veg Garden. We have also cleared and prepared a large piece of ground ready for planting masses of potatoes. This would not only sustain the village but could be sold to recoup and re-plant other vegetables. Only thing is we will lose out as we need the lime and potato seedlings now. Here we do not have the ready cash for it …….
The Italians, (as you know built the Houses, the Office/ECD classes, School) are in the process of maintaining the properties in as much as they are able. We even boast a nearly complete paved driveway !!! Bliss, but maintaining the grounds is something else.
If anyone could help get our potato project off the ground it will be greatly appreciated. It would be a pity if the rains were wasted .
This is not all, but I hope enough for you to follow and I will do my very best to keep you posted more often.