In September Ingrid and I went to address a public meeting in the small Karoo town of Prince Albert where they had expressed interest in starting a POP youth programme. We spent two days there talking to a wide range of interested parties and meeting the very dynamic Mayor Mr.Lottering.
We spent a morning driving around the poorest part of the village and saw lots and lots of babies and small children who were not being cared for. The Mayor and his council agreed to visit Goedgedacht and will do so later this month. Continue reading
Patrick Woolley is a wonderful friend of POP and is competing in the Roth Ironman triathlon on 10/07/2011 and at the same time trying to raise money for POP. Lots of cheers from us Patrick and thanks for putting your body on the line to give to our rural POP children an opportunity to break out of poverty and achieve their dreams in life. Please support him on http://www.justgiving.com/Patrick-Woolley.
The wonderbag is a modern version of the ‘hay box’ or way our grandmothers used to cook the Christmas ham and put it in a blanket in the sofa. Its a slow cooker which saves money, time and electricity while at the same time reduces carbon emissions.
During the recent POP Easter school holiday programme one morning 100 young leaders from six different rural communities learnt how to make a pot of rice, lentils and curry in a Wonderbag. Each Wonderbag had been donated via Ingrid’s Facebook page over Christmas by friends all over the world and was destined for a poor family. The food was put on the stove for 5 minutes and then popped into the bag and taken with much excitement out to their own families where they are going to monitor how much electricity they save by using the Wonderbag on a regular basis for cooking.
Our pre-school children made a big effort to dress up for Valentine’s Day celebrations. I thought you might like to see our latest batch of babies seen here with their carers –
Sussy, Yvonne and Sannah.
A big thank you to all the people who sent good wishes to little Johannes and especially to Tony and Anne in France who have agreed to sponsor his schooling this year and Aly and Riley in Wales who sent us a gift with which to buy him winter clothes and his first school uniform. He started proper school in Grade 1 in mid January. Here are a few pictures which will surely warm your hearts. The good news is that the school bus now collects him from a spot close to his farm so he does not have to walk all those kilometers with his Mum every day.
We are blessed with such wonderful friends…
My blog about little Johannes had only been up for about 12 hours when I got a wonderful e-mail from Aly Thoma and Riley Williams in Wales who offered to send us R1000 for rainwear and warm clothing for Johannes and his Mum. Really fabulous. Aly and Riley have both visited the Path out of Poverty Programme in the past and they got really ‘hands on’ involved with the children. Thank you both so much for being incredibly generous. I am going to have such fun seeing them back at school on the 19th in warm clothes.
Shortly after that I received an e-mail from Tony and Anne Goodliffe in France. They have also visited us and are very loving and compassionate people . They have promised to give us the money for two bicycles- one for Mum and one for Johannes. !! I must confess I didnt think of bikes as a possible solution to our problem !! Before accepting this fabulous gift we want to just make sure that we can teach them both to ride. So we’ll be getting back to you shortly Tony and Anne.
Here at Path Out of Poverty we constantly hear very sad stories of child poverty, hunger and suffering. Generally we react in one of two ways – either we get discouraged by the endless poverty and feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean ( but its our little drop and your drop and between us we can make a wave !) or we just want to weep with joy at the courage children show in very difficult situations.
The other afternoon I heard the story of Johannes and I share it with you. Earlier in the year, due to the global meltdown and general lack of funding for transport we had to make the tough decision to limit the routes that our school bus travels on bad gravel road to pick up children from farms. 8 breakdowns and financial pressures forced us to do this . 20 pre-schoolers fell off the list but one family made a plan. 6 year old Johannes Nobangola, a little boy in our Grade R class and his mother decided to walk to school each day. The amazing thing is that the farm where they live is 11 km from Goedgedacht !! This means that this little fellow and his Mum walk 22 km each day, just to make sure that he gets a good education.
Johannes was not absent from school once last term and we fully expect him to come back after the winter holidays. We are so proud of his courage and determination. We are’nt proud of our inability to collect Johannes anymore, but we are really proud of him and his mother for their incredible sacrifice.
It’s really cold at the moment and I am worried about them next term as he often arrives sopping wet. If there is anyone out there would be prepared to sponsor a raincoat and pair of wellies for Johannes I would be so very grateful. You can get me on firstname.lastname@example.org ….it would help to make sure that he continues his brilliant record of getting to school each day. Thanks so much.