DECEMBER 2019 NEWSLETTER
It may be school holiday time for the girls but it’s a busy time here at Home of Hope. We use this time to assess our needs for the coming new year. We will be seeing which uniforms can be made to last just one more year, how many girls need what for their studies, and what we can do to cut costs and generate income.
Among our cost-saving ideas is installing new tanks to reduce our water bills. Over the holidays we will also be experimenting and developing our business ideas to make the homes more self-sufficient. It is a time of preparation. It may take time to develop but we are determined to be as self-sufficient as we possibly can.
Key to the Future
We received the Term Three reports and were delighted that everyone did so well. In addition, their overall marks are improving beautifully. We are so proud of them for doing their very best and working towards their bright futures.
Some, aged 12 and 13, went to school for the very first time this year. As you can imagine, they started at a huge disadvantage. They had language barriers to deal with as well. For so long they had hoped for this opportunity which their circumstances denied them. Determined to make the very best of it, they worked hard both during and after school with our homework volunteers and peer educators. Incredibly, they completed grade one in the first term, and grade two and three in the second and third term and will go to grade 4 at the start of 2020. Their drive to overcome their difficulties is inspirational to us all. Go girls!
At the end of November our beloved girls who had attended New Nation School and Bedfordview High School went to their Matric Farewell Dance. These beautiful young women are the pride of all of us in Home of Hope. They are full of hope for the future and are almost ready for the next stage of their lives as independent adults.
The matriculants in our full time care, as well as our outreach programme matriculants, are a total of 18 deeply grateful young ladies. Thank you to each and every person who made their big evening so special and beautiful. To every person who paid for the matric dance tickets - thank you! Thank you to the FNB volunteers who bought new outfits, paid for hair-do’s and came and helped with make-up and hair on the day. We salute the individuals who brought their own gorgeous evening gowns for the the girls to wear. Thank you to Princesa Gown and Bridal Shop for the sponsored outfits. And to crown it all, one of our gorgeous girls was crowned best dressed at the 2019 matric dance.
2019 – what a big year for us! The houses and gardens are really improving thanks to our supporters, volunteers and the girls themselves. Our permaculture work is well on its way to being rewarding. It was also a time for building bridges. Irish supporters, Vawn and Tom, were delighted to host Mam Khanyi on a visit to their home in Dublin in July. Mam had the opportunity to speak about HoH at the events arranged in her honour. Mam Khanyi also began exploring the possibility of establishing a sustainable craft business with advice from Irish craftswomen. More on this in 2020.
We are committed to improving our society. With this in mind, we were part of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Best Practice Market, which shares operating models to reduce violence against children and women. We are always thinking ahead for the girls’ working lives after leaving school, and so there were mentoring and tutoring sessions throughout 2019. Friends from the US provided a learning in Business Mentorship Lesson. The first Female Wave of Change Global Conference took place in September and the senior girls took part in a mentoring session as part of this.
For the girls, it has been a time of great learning, and not just in school hours. HoH has been involved in many activities which helped to broaden their experience and give them confidence and social skills. These included special celebrations, train trips, the two-day yoga camp in Pretoria and fun excursions such as the recent one to the Gold Reef City theme park.
For the role everyone has played in this over the last year a huge THANK YOU!
2020 Happiness Aplenty!
With 2020 just around the corner it’s time for us to wish you and your loved ones a blessed Chrismas. We may all face challenges in the year ahead, but we are looking forward to building on every success from this past year. We hope that you will remain in touch with us and support HoH, so that this time next year we can all have even more to celebrate.