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Generating growth for African children and communities devastated by HIV-AIDS and poverty, through the goodwill of people in the UK and elsewhere

GAGA Project - Ithembalihle - Place of Hope - News


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Ithembalihle thanks YOU

Ithembalihle thanks YOU

Our agreed transition period with Spirit of Africa has now come to an end and this UK based charity will now be fully supporting Ithembalihle home and pre-school.

GAGA UK have supported this project for over 5 years and in the past 2 years have begun an agreed transition in partnerhsip with Spirit of Africa.

We're thrilled that Spirit of Africa can continue to provide funding and support to this amazing project. This charity is currently solely dedicated to Ithembalihle and we're sure that their dedication will take the project from strength to strength.

We'll be sure to follow their progress and keep you updated.

Thank you for your support of Ithembalihle over the years, particularly to those who have been heavily involved with the building projects there. Over the past few years, much has been achieved. A GAGA volunteer team helped to build a dormitory block. A pre-school building was also built and you have helped provide for the children living and being educated at the project.

It wouldn't have been possible without you.

You can read more about Ithembalihle here and find out about Spirit of Africa here.

You can also watch a special video here, made just for you, from Ithembalihle children thanking you for your support and commitment.

Spirit of Africa continue the great work you started...

Spirit of Africa continue the great work you started...

Our agreed partnership with Spirit of Africa has now come to an end and this UK based charity will now be fully supporting Ithembalihle home and pre-school.

GAGA UK have supported this project for over 5 years, and in the past 2 years have begun an agreed transition with Spirit of Africa.

We're thrilled that Spirit of Africa can continue to provide funding and support to this amazing project. This charity is currently solely dedicated to Ithembalihle and we're sure their dedication will take the project from strength to strength.

We'll be sure to follow their progress and keep you updated. We wish Spirit of Africa and Ithembalihle all the best in the future, and this is not the end of our support for this project which helps so many children.

Thank you for your support of Ithembalihle over the years, particularly to those who have been heavily involved with the building projects there. Over the past few years you have helped build a dormitory block and a pre-school building as well as provided for the chidlren living and being educated at the project. It wouldn't have been possible without you.

You can find out more about Spirit of Africa by clicking here.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch ( info@gaga-uk.org ) if you've any questions.

Thank you.

St John's Priory, Banbury - Harvest Festival

St John's Priory, Banbury - Harvest Festival

Once again towards the end of 2015, the pupils t St John's Priory in Banbury were all given an envelope. They were asked to decorate it in the 'Harvest' theme and to make a donation to St John's Orphanage, Ithembalihle. 

The total within the beautifully decorated envelopes came to £288.63. 

On behalf of GAGA and everyone at Ithembalihle, we want to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their continued support which takes the fundraising total since their first involved in September 2010, to £5,783.53. Fantastic! 

St John's Priory had a ball!

St John's Priory had a ball!

The Parents Association recently hosted a Charity Ball in a marquee on the outskirts of Banbury with a 3 course dinner and entertainment. They also organised a raffle and an auction which were very well supported and the evening was a great success. 

As a result the Parents Association donated £1,186.40 to GAGA towards our Ithembalihle project. This takes the total for this academic year so far to £1,684.90 and since their first involvement in September 2010 the school have raised a fantastic total of £5,499. 

On behalf of everyone at GAGA and the children and staff at Ithembalihle, a massive THANK YOU for all your support which is making a real difference at Ithembalihle. 

St John’s Priory Banbury

St John’s Priory Banbury

Yes, they’ve been at it again – raising funds for Ithembalihle.

At Christmas once again the staff donated money in lieu of Christmas cards to each other raising £72.50 and more recently the pupils held a cake sale which raised an amazing £100.

This takes the total for this academic year so far to £498.50 and since their first involvement in September 2010 they have raised a staggering £4,313.50.

On behalf of everyone at GAGA and the children and staff at Ithembalihle a massive THANK YOU for all your support which is helping us “make a real difference”.

Better together

Better together

We have had a busy morning, today meeting with Carol from Spirit of Africa, discussing our future collaboration with them and how we will continue to support Ithembalihle together. Currently we have a 50/50 funding partnership and this is set to continue going forward.

 

The Great St John’s Priory Bake-Off

The Great St John’s Priory Bake-Off

Over the past few weeks, all the pupils at St John’s Priory School have been baking, for fun and to raise valuable funds for the school’s chosen charity, the Ithembalihle Orphanage (Zulu for ‘Place of Hope’), near Durban, South Africa, in the first ever ‘Great Priory Bake-Off’.

Using ingredients generously provided by Banbury baking company, Fiddes Payne, the children made and decorated cupcakes which were then judged by year group.

The school’s very own Paul and Mary - Headmaster, Paul Cawley-Wakefield and Deputy Headmistress, Mary Joiner.

All participants received a certificate to reward their efforts and the year group winners were awarded prizes kindly donated by the BBC’s ‘Delicious’ magazine and Kiddy Cook.

Following the judging all the cakes were sold to parents at pop-up bake sales and the pupils raised a fantastic total of £110.

This takes the total raised this academic year to £1,012 and the grand total since adopting Ithembalihle as their chosen charity in September 2010 to £3,945.

On behalf of all the children and staff at Ithembalihle and Goodwill & Growth for Africa UK a MASSIVE thank you to all the children, staff and parents at St John’s Priory for your support.

Amy, 7 gives a birthday gift to Ithembalihle

Amy, 7 gives a birthday gift to Ithembalihle

Amy, a pupil at St John’s Priory in Banbury recently had a party to celebrate her 7th birthday.

She asked her friends not to buy her a present but instead give the money they would have spent on a present to her so that she could then donate it to Ithembalihle.

Last Friday, our Trustee Alan was presented with £100.30 as a result of Amy’s amazingly generous gesture which will “make a real difference” at Ithembalihle. 

St John’s Priory Banbury – the support continues

St John’s Priory Banbury – the support continues

Last Friday our Trustee, Alan attended the school assembly to receive donations to support Ithembalihle (St John’s Orphanage) in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.

At Christmas the staff, once again, made donations instead of sending Christmas cards to each other. Also they offered parents the chance to “shop & drop” – staff supervised the children in the Christmas holidays whilst parents did their Christmas shopping in return for a donation towards Ithembalihle.

In the New Year the school held another cake sale and as a result of these 3 events Alan received a cheque for £253.

On behalf of GAGA and everyone at Ithembalihle we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their continued support which takes the fundraising total this academic year to £882 and since their first involvement in September 2010 to £3,815

St John’s Priory, Banbury cake sale

St John’s Priory, Banbury cake sale

Last Friday the school held a cake sale to support Ithembalihle (St John’s Orphanage) in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa which raised an amazing £136.

On behalf of GAGA and everyone at Ithembalihle we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their continued support which takes the fundraising total this academic year to £529 and since their first involvement in September 2010 to £3,461

St John’s Priory, Banbury “making a real difference” at Ithembalihle.

St John’s Priory, Banbury continues support of Ithembalihle

St John’s Priory, Banbury continues support of Ithembalihle

The pupils, staff and parents at St John’s Priory in Banbury have pledged to once again support Ithembalihle (St John’s Orphanage) during the academic year 2013 - 2014.

A number of fundraising initiatives have taken place since the school first began supporting the project in September 2010 and during this time they raised a total of £2,932

For the fourth year the school held an “alternative Harvest Festival appeal” where the children are each given an envelope to decorate in the harvest theme and are encouraged to enclose a donation towards Ithembalihle.

A GAGA Trustee recently attended the Harvest Festival assembly and after giving a presentation about the project received envelopes containing a total of £388. 

On behalf of GAGA and everyone at Ithembalihle we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their donations which takes the fundraising total to £3,320  and for their continued support in helping us to “make a real difference”. 

St John’s Priory, Banbury – Cake sale

St John’s Priory, Banbury – Cake sale

The pupils and staff at St John’s Priory REALLY love their cakes!!

They recently held another cake sale at the school to; once again, raise funds for the children at Ithembalihle, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.

As a result a total of £120 was raised to support Ithembalihle and this was boosted by a further donation of £50 from The Sisters of Mercy taking the total to £170.

On behalf of Goodwill & Growth for Africa and everyone at Ithembalihle we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their continued support in helping us to “make a real difference”.

Since the school first began supporting Ithembalihle in September 2010 they have raised a total of £2,932.75.

 

Ithembalihle Pre-school

Ithembalihle Pre-school

Ithembalihle is a project that we have spent a lot of time in trying to develop. Because it’s a small rural project, set up because of the need by a husband and wife, we have worked hard to support them. This doesn’t just mean funds, it means support both form ourselves, and our liaison officer in RSA and others who can offer advice and support. The most recent development is the pre-school at Ithemablihle which started informally last year, again due to a need, and has grown since with 35 children now in attendance. Together with specific donors and ‘Spirit of Africa’ we gave the pre-school new equipment and helped create a better classroom environment and this year we have been able again with specific funding and ‘Spirit of Africa’, to properly maintain the school. This means we are now able to provide a teacher and her assistant and help with a modest budget so the children get something to eat when they are at the school. With the help of funders we are sending the teacher to gain further qualifications which will greatly help the children she teaches. A blackboard has recently been installed and we have future plans to build them a separate school building as at the moment they have to use the church building and homework room. We are delighted with how the school has developed so far and we are looking forward with your assistance to making sure it’s an asset to its community for a long time to come. 

St John's Priory, Banbury

St John's Priory, Banbury

As a continuation of their support of Ithembalihle the staff at St John's Priory decided to donate money instead of giving each other Christmas cards. 

As a result £58.30 was raised which will go towards the children at Ithembalihle having a better Christmas than they otherwise might have. 

Thanks to all the staff for their continued support.

St John’s Priory, Banbury continues support of Ithembalihle (St John’s Orphanage)

St John’s Priory, Banbury continues support of Ithembalihle (St John’s Orphanage)

The pupils, staff and parents at St John’s Priory in Banbury have pledged to once again support Ithembalihle (St John’s Orphanage) during the academic year 2012 - 2013.

A number of fundraising initiatives have taken place since the school first began supporting the project in September 2010 and during this time they raised a total of £2,023.45

For the third year the school held an “alternative Harvest Festival appeal” where the children are each given an envelope to decorate in the harvest theme and are encouraged to enclose a donation towards Ithembalihle.

A GAGA Trustee attended the Harvest Festival assembly yesterday and after giving a Powerpoint presentation about the project received envelopes containing a total of £370.55 

On behalf of GAGA and everyone at Ithembalihle we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their donations which takes the fundraising total to £2,394 and for their continued support in helping us to “make a real difference”.

New partners – ‘Spirit of Africa’

New partners – ‘Spirit of Africa’

We are delighted to announce a new 50/50 relationship in the support, funding and development of Ithembalihle. Ithembalihle has grown since GAGA started supporting it two years ago. Through our endeavours we have seen a steady increase in the capacity and improvement of the facilities. We welcome the support of ‘Spirit of Africa’ and hope to continue our success and for Ithembalihle to develop further into a strong, independent project.

‘Spirit of Africa’ will be operating with us on a 50/50 funding basis, which includes general running costs and future expansion projects. We are currently working on the development of a pre-school and hopefully we will see this project start soon.

We will keep you updated with our joint progress.

The 1st Grimsbury Scout Troop

The 1st Grimsbury Scout Troop

The 1st Grimsbury Scout Troop have for the last 3 years been supporting the work of our Trustee Alan with his school projects in Sierra Leone. This year they decided, after a presentation by Alan about his involvement with Ithembalihle, that they would like sponsor money from their 24 hour pedal car event, held in the summer, to go to this new cause. The picture shows Alan being presented with a cheque for £300 at the Scouts recent Christmas concert where Alan gave an update about the new dormitory at ithembalihle. Thank you to all the Scouts, leaders and their parents and sponsors for their support

Ithembalihle is formally recognised as a Charity (NPO 090-698)

Ithembalihle is formally recognised as a Charity (NPO 090-698)

We have just had some exciting news; Ithembalihle has finally received their NPO status.  The NPO status will be a huge benefit in applying for donations of food, blankets, toys and other items from South African organisations and charities, for the children. It will also give Thandiwe, Ithembalihle’s founder the recognition and ability to carry on her great work. When GAGA first stepped in to support Ithembalihle we helped them to arrange the organisation and apply for their NPO, (South African equivalent to the UK registered charities numbers) which, due to endless bureaucracy, they have now finally received.

The Rotary Club of Woodstock – Children Singing for Children

The Rotary Club of Woodstock – Children Singing for Children

On March 8th, Woodstock Rotary Club held its inaugural Children Singing for Children Charity Concert with the Woodstock Partnership of School Choirs at The Marlborough Secondary School, Woodstock and nominated Ithembalihle as one of the 3 beneficiaries for the event.

The concert featured 6 local primary school choirs and the Marlborough School Motown Choir and Marlborough Electric Guitar Orchestra plus 2 guitar soloists also from Marlborough School.  Each choir performed individually or jointly with other choirs and the evening culminated in the massed choir (some 200 children) singing World in Union.

The evening was a great success and congratulations to ALL the children who took part, plus all the teachers involved and a very big thank you to the Rotary Club of Woodstock for organising the event which raised £500 for Ithembalihle

St John’s Priory, Banbury

St John’s Priory, Banbury

The Wine & Wisdom evening held on Friday 11 March at St John's Priory School, Banbury was a jovial and entertaining evening attended by some forty parents and staff.  The wine tasting and quiz was organised by Mrs Debbie Durham and members of the Parents' Association as part of the school's social calendar. Lively debates took place as the quiz master, headmaster, Paul Cawley-Wakefield tested guests' knowledge on wine and food.

The evening ended with the raffle, prizes were kindly donated by parents and staff, which raised £72 for the school's adopted charity, St John's Orphanage (Ithembalihle) Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. There was a display of photographs of Ithembalihle in the foyer on the evening and this was also used for the schools Open Day.

This takes the fund raising total so far this academic year to £564.35 – a very big thank you to all the staff, children and parents for their wonderful support.

 

Ithembalihle mourns passing of Tenjiwe

Ithembalihle mourns passing of Tenjiwe

Tragically, on the 25/01/2010, Tenjiwe, a little girl who had become synonymous with Ithembalihle, passed away. She was only 5 years old and had had an extremely difficult life. There is some solace in knowing that at Ithembalihle she was at least well cared for and loved. Tenjiwe was terribly burnt in a fire and we had hoped to help her with surgery. Tenjwe’s death has once again highlighted the fragility of life in SA and why what GAGA, does along with our supporters, is so important.

The Morrison family raise £900 to go towards Ithembalihle

The Morrison family raise £900 to go towards Ithembalihle

The Morrison family are GAGA Ambassadors in Dingwall in the Scottish Highlands. Their support is invaluable to us and their fundraising ability is incredible. Colin, Karen and their daughter Natalie have managed to raise enough money in the last year to help educate a teaching student, and give us a cheque for £900 to go towards a future project for Ithembalihle. They all work very hard and GAGA is a much better organisation with their dedicated support.

Chistmas party for the children of Ithembalihle

Chistmas party for the children of Ithembalihle

As part of Sylvia May’s visit one of GAGA’s ambassadors to South Africa, she funded a Christmas party for all the children at Ithembalihle and some others from the community. This meant all the children had a present and wonderful meal followed by extra treats.

St Johns Priory donations to Ithembalihle

St Johns Priory donations to Ithembalihle

St Johns Priory who offered a years support to Ithembalihle in the summer raised £120 through a small collection and staff members choosing not to send a Christmas card to each other but rather donating £5 each to Ithembalihle.

Rabbits arrive at Ithembalihle

Rabbits arrive at Ithembalihle

The Rabbits have arrived! As part of our visit in October new plans were put in place to provide a sustainable food programme, rather than receiving money from overseas and going to a supermarket. So Ithembalihle and GAGA established its rabbit-breeding programme along with support from Kwa-Care, another NGO which has piloted this scheme with other projects.

The set up costs, which included the rabbits and cages, were £60. This also covered a 3-day training course which Thandiwe’s husband Sbo attended. Rabbit is considered one of the most nutrient rich meats in the world; it has a low fat content and fast reproduction. Its estimated after a year of a proper breeding programme as much as 1kg of meat can be farmed a day.

The rabbits food source is free, being a wild reed which grows all over South Africa. As you can imagine, such a scheme has many benefits and if successful we hope to roll it out to other projects we support. The surplus meat can be sold, as well as the skins for traditional clothing. Rabbits are not native to South Africa but it’s considered there are enough natural predators to contain numbers if they broke out. Once the rabbits have settled they will be mated in late December and we hope to see the first families of bunnies in January.

Councellor Shabalala signs over land to Ithembalihle

Councellor Shabalala signs over land to Ithembalihle

During the visit from Tony, Alan and Charlie they met the local ANC Councillor. For some time Thandiwe had been trying to get Cllr. Shabalala to visit but had been unsuccessful. After we had had a meeting with him at his office he consented. The reason we needed him to visit Ithembalihle was so he would agree that the land which they were based on would be signed over to them, and that they could expand to allow for some extra building. Once Cllr. Shabalala had seen what was required, and the support GAGA was offering, he was very happy and signed the documents awarding the land to Ithemablihle, which is a huge success.

The Morrison family purchase and deliver mattresses and blankets

The Morrison family purchase and deliver mattresses and blankets

In August, and as part of the a visit to South Africa by one of our Scottish groups of ambassadors, the Morrison Family, they visited Ithembalihle and felt compelled to provide new mattresses and blankets for all the children. The Morrison Family also visited Ithembalihle with Charlie and Alan, where they identified the need. True to form they purchased the mattresses and blankets and delivered them personally before they left South Africa.

St Johns Priory make Ithembalihle its Charity of the Year

St Johns Priory make Ithembalihle its Charity of the Year

Fantastic news St Johns Priory, Banbury, have decided to make Ithembalihle its Charity of the year. Ithembalihle is also known as St Johns and this forged the links between the two. The first fundraiser they held was it a Harvest Festival with a twist. Instead of donating food the children designed Harvest Festival themed envelopes  and  a donation was placed inside. In total this raised £

School Uniforms for Ithembalihle

School Uniforms for Ithembalihle

Alan had collected lots of second hand uniforms and gingham dresses back in the UK. He took them with him during his visit to SA in July and handed them out to all the children. Some of the uniforms can be used for school in SA, and some are kept for best occasions. The girls were very happy to get a dress, and even happier when they got one in two different colours. Donations in kind make a real difference, and at GAGA we believe them to be just as valuable as cash donations.

Ithembalihle Chickens - sustainable food supply

Ithembalihle Chickens - sustainable food supply

During Charlie and Alan's visit to south Africa they built a chicken coop and bought 6 chickens to become resident there. This was part of securing a sustainable future for Ithembalihle food supply. After two days the chickens were laying. We are hopeful the chickens will breed so that the supply can continue. We are using local expertise to help initiate this programme properly. Charlie and Alan built the chicken coop, with the help of everyone at Ithembalihle, and we are told its still standing!

Ithembalihle formerly adopted as a main project

Ithembalihle formerly adopted as a main project

GAGA is very happy to announce that Ithembalihle, based in Sankonthse, Kwa-Zulu Natal, has been formally adopted as one of our main projects. Following a report from our liaison contact Debbie Young, and a further visit from Charlie Homer and Alan Wolstencroft later this month, we hope to have some plans of action to assist them.

Securing a sustainable future for Ithembalihle

Securing a sustainable future for Ithembalihle

During Charlie and Alan's visit to south Africa they built a chicken coop and bought 6 chickens to become resident there. This was part of securing a sustainable future for Ithembalihle food supply. After two days the chickens were laying. We are hopeful the chickens will breed so that the supply can continue. We are using local expertise to help initiate this programme properly. Charlie and Alan built the chicken coop, with the help of everyone at Ithembalihle, and we are told its still standing!

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