News from the projects which the GRCT supports in South Africa, as Penny and Patrick have recently returned from visiting 14 schools and nurseries there.
Fantastic New Outreach in Hout Bay
We are indebted to Rotary and in particular Keith Bull for so efficiently managing the new e’Pap feeding schemes in Hout Bay. Penny writes: It was a delight to visit and see the 3 schools there – Wavecrest, Little Angels and Siyazama, where clearly the children were benefitting hugely from their daily bowl of e’Pap. We arrived at Little Angels at breakfast time and Liezl, the principal, told us of one little boy whose head had been covered with sores and who recovered completely after a month of e’Pap. I guess his micronutrient deficiencies had been addressed! The teacher at Siyazama described e’Pap as “the soap that cleans you from the inside” – such were the health benefits she had seen in her children.
The little boy whose sores were better
Keith Bull with Liezl of Little Angels, and Penny
The e’Pap Project in Knysna
Shelley gave us a fascinating tour of many and varied schools over 2 days. Sadly, for the sake of brevity we cannot tell you of them all but will share a few special moments. One such was visiting the small school for deaf children run by the remarkable and quite saintly Andile and Continna (who herself is profoundly deaf). While there Samangaliso taught us some sign language and mischievous Luyolo had fun with Shelley’s umbrella. We are so pleased that those young, deaf children now get e’Pap.
The e’Pap Club
Another highlight was the visit to the Knysna Secondary school where the e’Pap club thrives and the 40-50 teenagers who come for a bowl of it, help with the mixing and serving. They sang its praises telling us how it made them strong and was “good brain food” They were mostly hungry boys there but a few brave girls came and posed, as girls do, for a photo. Linda who helps to organize the club is a splendid little lady whose esteem has grown in leaps and bounds as a result of her helpful role at the school. Not having had the privilege of education herself, she is helping others get that opportunity, and handles the noisy boys with aplomb! Indeed, we frequently saw e’Pap growing people emotionally as well as physically, because of their participation in a caring role.
Boys preparing e’Pap
Pat chatting about football with the boys
Linda serving the e’Pap
Born to Care
Another school which tugged at our heartstrings was ‘Born To Care’ where Emma does an amazing job of teaching and loving little ones in a very dilapidated dwelling. She told us that she had just added a new room to the school, building it with planks, corrugated iron and plastic sheeting! The children were eating huge bowls of e’Pap and Emma and her staff were doing all they could to give them the very best early childhood education.
Sanlam Awards Dinner
We were extremely fortunate in that our visit to Knysna coincided with the SANLAM Awards Dinner (knysnaawards.co.za/winners-2015/) and so we could attend it and see Shelley receive the award, on behalf of the e’Pap project, for the winning local charity. In her gracious acceptance speech, she spoke of the support given by the GRCT. We send our congratulations!
Numicon Mathematics Project
Some of you may remember that the GRCT sponsored Numicon through the Knysna Education Trust. We had the privilege of seeing the Numicon materials in action with strong evidence of well trained teachers using it. This was at a purpose built school (assisted by KET) called Happy Faces.
Flourishing Feeding Schemes in Port Elizabeth
Kathryn Balshaw (the GRCT association chairperson in Port Elizabeth) and her mum, Joyce Wiseman, our treasurer there, took us out to the two Walmer township schools. At John Mazisa, we met the wonderful Valencia for the first time. She was counting the plastic spoons (54) to see how many children she had fed with e’Pap that morning!
Heatherbank was a very special experience. We stand amazed at the resourcefulness, resilience and generosity of Ellen Lovemore, its founder and head. How privileged we are to partner with them in a small way through the feeding scheme. They run a splendid little school!
Another shining light – Missionvale school- where the music department is doing so well; the gift of musical instruments given in memory of Edmund Pirouet, through the GRCT, has contributed to its growth. We heard some beautiful singing and met Janine, the Principal, who is passionate about the children’s education. We also caught the tail-end of breakfast where a small “bowl monitor” was waiting patiently for a tiny girl to eat up her e’Pap! The nutrition which e’Pap provides is of huge benefit to this very disadvantaged community.
We visited two of these; the one in Kwazakele and the other at a school for children with autism. At the latter the teachers spoke highly of how helpful the painted games were, in teaching the children various skills. We are very grateful to Darryl and his team for their work in getting so many playgrounds painted with games.