What another great year and how fitting to end the year on a high! Our annual Christmas party was once again a successful event.
I am stunned at how the numbers keep growing each year and how each year God blesses us with donations both from corporate and individual households.
Our journey started from Corpus Christi with vehicles loaded with presents, eatables, pottery goodies and lots of elves to assist us with our event of the year!!
What a delight to arrive to the sound of children singing, clapping and dancing to welcome us to their humble abode.
The elves immediately got to work preparing the lovely eats for the kids and caregivers at the Haven….what a spread…
While the kiddies were enjoying the lovely snacks and lunch, our resident Father Christmas Graham Harrington was dressed in his attire to delight the kids and hand over their presents! Oh what joy on the faces when he appeared…followed by more songs of praise and a few tears from children who were afraid of Father Christmas.
Huge and special thanks to the following sponsors for making this Christmas party possible and special:
Woolworths Faerie Glen&Centurion; Susan Ball; Swazi (Pharmacy Direct);Bright Beginnings Pre-School; Staff of CTP Packaging:Parishioners of Corpus Christi
As we open our hearts and pockets for the Christmas party each year, we should be mindful to do so throughout the year, the Haven is in serious need of necessities for their kitchen and well as for the school. The food parcels feed approximately 80 percent of the children’s families at the school, it’s important that we make this part of our monthly giving. As God blesses us we should be a blessing to others.
As we departed our hearts were filled with joy and gratitude to be able to share the most humbling experience with the special children and caregivers of Maboloka Haven.
My prayer is that the Lord will continue to bless the work that our team is doing, which is deeply humbling!
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”
Archive for November, 2012
What another great year and how fitting to end the year on a high! Our annual Christmas party was once again a successful event.
To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Tumelong Mission a 70 brick wall was built in the grounds of the head office building at St Saviours Church, Pretoria West. Each brick is available to purchase for R1000, and the name or any inscription you would like is written on the brick.
Originally a request was made to all the parishes in Pretoria to buy a brick as a remembrance and thanksgiving of the Tumelong Mission to help raise funds towards the work carried out in an effort to “creating a healthy and sustainable society, free from HIV/Aids”. The money for the bricks will benefit all of the Tumelong Mission projects.
For anyone who has not yet purchased a brick it is not too late, parishes and individuals are all welcome to donate or buy a brick.
Please help support Tumelong so Tumelong can help the needy across the Diocsese.
For more information on how to buy a brick please contact Modise (pictured above by the wall) his email is: email@example.com or telephone (021) 327 5129.
Dumela one and all….
The time continues to fly by and it is hard to believe I am only here for 1 more week!
We started the week with an all staff meeting, and everyone was given tasks for the next couple of weeks to keep them busy while George was away from the office. I had some good news about the Christmas Party at Ga-Rankuwa, the Church of St Francis (Waterkloof) agreed to help fund it, which was great news, with R1,100 already pledged and the offer of cupcakes for all the children. I also had friends and family from home agree to help with funding, so all is coming together well for the best Christmas Party ever. We are going to be able to have a “jumping castle” each child will have lunch, this has kindly been donated by Alma from Wimpy at Woodlands and will include burgers and hot dogs, as well as some healthy options. We will be catering for around 100 children between the ages of 2 – 18 years old. There will be games like musical chairs and pass the parcel with lots of prizes and each child will go home with a party bag and individual present! The older children are going to do a music and dance performance for everyone and in the mean time all the children have been busy making decorations for the big day, out of painted toilet rolls and painting old newspapers! A lot of time this week seems to have been spent on planning for the party, but I have managed some other work as well.
I spent a day with the HCT (HIV/Aids Counselling and Testing) New Start team in Sammy Mark Square in the centre of Pretoria. I joined Tshidi, Lesego and Madikgang in the mini bus full of equipment for the day, including 4 tables, around 14 chairs, 3 tents and all the equipment and paper work to carry out the testing. We set up in the square and before we had finished putting up the tents people were wanting to be tested. Forty tests were completed in around 4-4 ½ hours with a steady stream of people registering to be tested. It was constant work for the two testers who did not stop the whole time to get through as many tests as possible. There were a variety of people, both male, female, young and old all wanting to be tested and receiving the results there and then.
I joined June for morning tea again and after the tea party we had a planning meeting for the Christmas party. At tea I met up with friends and former parishioners from my Dad’s era of working in Pretoria in the 1950’s which was interesting. I also got to meet Phyllis Kraft who I had just been typing about in the history of the Mother’s Union, so I was able to remind her of the day she had been at the Lady Day Celebration with her husband Bishop Kraft and received a dress in the same pattern as the shirt that was presented to her husband, not surprisingly she was impressed with my knowledge and a little confused until I explained I was doing a special little project for Bishop Seoka which was the typing up the history of the M.U of Pretoria.
I rounded off the week going to the tennis for the finals day of the South African Open Nationals and watched the men’s and ladies singles matches.
The weekend will be busy again with the tennis camp at Hammanskraal at the Nelson Mandela sports centre on Saturday and a visit to St Francis Church in Waterkloof on Sunday.
The weekend turned out to be super busy and lots of fun!
The tennis camp went well, 17 children turned up which was a relief as it was a manageable number, specially considering we were on a space with no lines and no nets and only had 16 rackets!! Those that played loved it and are all coming back next weekend, when we are going to a different venue which actually has courts and hopefully may have nets as well.
The wedding was a real experience, it took place in the Pretoria City Hall and was a big occasion, just as well I splashed out on a new dress! I left at 6pm when the party was in full swing to get home in daylight, but it was lots of fun till then. I was quite a novelty with the little ones being the only white face in the building, but I am getting used to it now.
Church on Sunday at St Pauls (George the acting Directors church)was full of singing, dancing and music and lasted 3 hours compared to last week which was done exactly in 1 hour. I have now been to a service all in Afrikaans, one all in Tswana, I think it is time I went to a service in English, so will join June at St Francis next weekend. The choir festival was fantastic, the singing, dancing and music was all wonderful.
Tennis rounded off a great weekend perfectly!!
Click on the links below to see the dance rehearsals at Ga-Rankuwa:
Hi and dumela my friends!
To start with I had a prang in the hire car when a bakkie shunted me into a flatbed truck, so Monday morning Modise and I spent most of our time at the police station reporting the accident, we also visited a few panel beaters to see if they could repair the damage for less than the excess but it was not to be, so I will be taking the hit on the excess, no one was hurt as far as I could tell, which is the main thing!! Well I didn’t actually hang around too long once I realised my car was still fit to drive, as I didn’t think a discussion as to who was at fault was going to be of any use specially as it was me versus the truck driver and his buddy and a bakkie full of men. The afternoon was spent in the office carrying on where I left off with the website and trying to upload some pieces on Tumelong, as already mentioned it is a slow process with the internet often going down or not quick enough to upload photos, but I am trying to be patient and go at its’ speed! I have now also started work on the History of the Mother’s Union, this is a 40 page document detailing the entire movement from its’ beginnings in Winchester in 1876 by Mary Sumner to the present day, it too is a slow process with some hand written and some typed pages all with amendments and changes, but so far has made interesting reading. By the end there will be nothing I do not know about the Mother’s Union of South Africa!
Day 9 Tuesday was spent with Lucas going to Ga-Rankuwa again to help Tshego and the team with the after school care, it was a hot food day and Tshego had cooked a curry and rice which was enjoyed by all the children. I was very relieved to find the kittens had survived and are still alive and well, the children have named them Bontle (Beautiful), Lerato (Love) and Botlhokwa (Precious). I left some kitten food and bowls for them and will check in again next week and have given the task of their welfare to 3 of the older children who must make sure the water bowl is kept full and they are fed every day. I had fun playing with the children and attempting to help with maths homework but failed miserably on 68 x 37 without a calculator, hopefully next week it will be a subject I can help with like English. The family I am staying with had an old scooter and a pushbike that their children had grown out of which I took along with me, they were a hit, with all the children having a go and loving it (see photos). They also gave me some swings that will be put up soon. There is a good size plot of waste ground to the side of the building that Tshego and I talked about getting cleared up and in a fit state to make into a vegetable garden. It will need a good, strong working gang but it could be done in a day, so we are going to try and organise a group and the tools we will need to help on a day before I leave. Another mini project before I leave is also to try and help organise a Christmas party for the children of which there are about 60-80 regulars, to have a special lunch, play some games and each to go home with a small present.
Day 10 Wednesday I had the day off from Tumelong and had a glimpse of how the other half live when I went to Crawford School in Lonehill (a suburb of Joburg) to give a talk to school children on my experiences at the Olympics and Paralympics. Iain came with me as he had arranged the talk and also talked to the students, we both wore out Olympic uniform, I had my Games Maker outfit on and Iain, as he was an International Technical Official wore his full formal outfit including jacket and tie! It was the most amazing school I have ever been to. The talk was given in an auditorium with cinema style seating and a big screen for the power point presentation with full video and audio (that worked perfectly), there were around 100 students from Grade 4 (+/- 10 year olds) and one of the classes had specific interest as their class project was on the Olympics and Paralympics. We visited their class afterwards to see all the work on the project it was very impressive, some of them possibly knew more about the Olympics than I did??
The afternoon was spent with Iain visiting the Arthur Ashe tennis centre in Soweto where in April 2013 there will be an ATP Challenger and a women’s ITF tournament, it is a great facility with 16 hard courts ready and waiting to be used.
Day 11 Thursday, Lucas, George and I all went for morning tea with June van de Merwe from St Francis, Waterkloof. June was a parishioner from when my Dad was the priest and still 60 years on regularly attends the church. Lucas and I then headed off to Maboloka where Corpus Christi Chuch, Garsfontein were holding a Christmas party for the children of Tumelong Haven, bouncy castle and all. It was amazing to see the joy on the faces of all the little ones each receiving a personal gift that Leezal Pietersen had made possible with great organisation, effort and support from all the parishioners in her church. There will be more details on the day itself and photos from Leezal very soon, but well done to her and all that helped contribute to making each and every one of the children at Maboloka feel special for the day.
Day 12 Friday, a day in the office with all the staff, to catch up on some admin and work on the website. For lunch I treated myself to a meat pie from the tip top bakery round the corner from the office and a fresh passion fruit yogurt from the dairy next door. We are nearly all up to date for the week and have a busy weekend ahead with the first tennis camp in Hammanskraal tomorrow morning, a wedding in the afternoon, Church in Saulsville on Sunday morning and a choir festival in the afternoon!!
So the week has flown by and I am now half way through my time at Tumelong, it is a great experience but I fear 1 month is not going to be long enough to make a difference, but I will give it my best shot.
Family of 7 Phake
Maria and her 3 childrens’ home
The back of Maria’s home
Hi and dumela my friends!
My name is Clare and I was born in Eshowe, Zululand, many years ago. I lived in South Africa for the first 10 years of my life and have always felt a strong connection to Africa. I am currently between jobs and thought it was an ideal time to do something I have thought about for years, and never got around to doing, and that is volunteer work. I am here for a month, happy to do anything to help and hope that no matter how small the contribution is from me to the work at Tumelong it will make a difference to someone’s life.
I am lucky enough to have friends that live in Pretoria who I am staying with for the time I am at Tumelong, they are Iain and Bettie Smith and their three children Jayden, Kaylie and Luhane and they have made me feel like home from home (oh yes and not forgetting their 3 cats).
What an interesting and different week I have just had here at Tumelong, it is a big change from life in London!
My first day I found my way with the help of a sat nav to St Alban’s Cathedral in Pretoria, for a meeting with Bishop Jo Seoka, he was very welcoming and wanted to ensure I had a good experience during my time in South Africa.
I headed back to the head office on Frederick Street and as it was the first Monday of the month there was an all staff meeting which was perfect for me to meet everyone I would be working with in the coming weeks. The rest of the day I spent sharing the office with George Mahlaela (the acting Director) and finding out more about the work of Tumelong and what I would be doing and how I could be of most help to the organisation. Lucas Mthemba heads up the care and relief section and we worked on a daily plan for the month.
Day 2 was spent on the panel interviewing for the new post of Director of Tumelong, with George, Puthi (from the Governing body), Father Mishak and Keba (the former Director). The final 2 names were given to the Bishop and it will be his decision who will take up the post starting in January.
One area I felt I could help with was updating the website, when I am in the office I am going to try and spend some time (internet connection permitting !!) uploading some current and hopefully interesting information to the blog page, which is the only page at present I can make changes to.
There is also other admin work to be done and a small project from the Bishop to type up the History of the Mother’s Union, a 40 page document some pages typed and some hand written, by the end there will be nothing I do not know about the M.U. (from what I have typed already it is a great organisation and the history has been very interesting)
Days 4 and 5 I spent with Lucas travelling out into the field to Pankop and then to Ga-Rankuwa. Before leaving we went to 3 Churches in Pretoria (St Francis, Waterkloof, St Anne’s, Equestria and Holy Trinity, Lynnwood) to collect the food parcels, there were a total of around 80 to be distributed over the next couple of days to those in extreme need. When we were going through St Francis Church in Waterkloof I saw a picture of my Dad on the wall from his time as the priest back in the 50’s, it was completely unexpected and exciting to see the photo from so many years ago.
Pankop was around 2 hours from Pretoria and very rural the people there receiving the food parcels were in dire need, a granny with 7 orphans and many other stories of poverty in the community. Another drop off was to a mother Maria Mashata with 3 children who lived in a one room shack that was falling apart and any rain flooded her space. The food parcels are a welcome relief but as we all know it is not the answer to the long term plan to eradicate poverty. To me it looked like everyone could do with a food parcel, even if we went with 1000’s it would not have been enough. Not all were delivered to individuals most were left at schools or care centres for collection, only the most extreme cases were delivered individually. Tshego Moname is working for Tumelong in the Phake area and doing an amazing job helping with those who are in need, but it is not easy work and there are constant requests for more aid every day. It is almost impossible to decide who should and should not receive help.
In Ga-Rankuwa I met the lovely Tshego Medupe , with her volunteer helpers, on Friday it was Orateng (who helps every day), Mosa the dance teacher, Tebogo the drama teacher and Emily who teaches Bible study and other subjects (more about all of them on their own page). They provide after school care for orphan and vulnerable children from age 2 – 18, this consists of a cup of hot tea (made with powdered milk not fresh) and 1 sandwich each, either peanut butter, butter or jam and once a week they get a hot meal. Because the urn for hot water broke Tshego has to keep boiling the kettle to make enough tea for the children, this takes a lot of time while she is also trying to make the sandwiches and organise the children. There can be up to 50-60 a day. It was my lucky day as Mosa was preparing all his dance groups for a dance competition at the weekend so I got to see the final rehearsals, it was amazing to watch the children, all looking so happy and smiling and dancing their little socks off, what rhythm and movement!! As it was my niece Meryems’ Birthday all of the children sang a wonderful Happy Birthday to her, it was very touching to see how much enthusiasm they all showed and how beautifully they sang! We also found 3 kittens hiding behind a mattress, they looked very young and frightened, we gave them some water and a few small pieces of bread and peanut butter (that was all that was available) I am hoping when I return next week they will still be there and I will take some milk and kitten food, who knows they could become pets for the children to enjoy and bond with.
Saturday morning I met Lucas in Hammanskraal for a radio interview with DJ Wickey on Moretele Community Radio, once we found each other outside the right Pick n Pay, I was at one and Lucas was outside a different one, we went off to the studio. DJ Wickey was a real character and was happy to announce “Clare Wood is in da house” which made me laugh. He had SP and Maureen co presenting with him and it was a lot of fun, as well as getting the Tumelong message across.
As my first week drew to an end it was a time to look back on all the places I had visited and people I had met, the warmth from everyone is tangible with friendly greetings, handshakes of all different kinds and plenty of hugs and contact, all very different to London, I like the African way!
Clare and Tshego with sandwiches and tea
What’s in a food parcel?
Clare with George Mahlaela
Tumelong offers volunteers an opportunity to experience a variety of work on different projects run by the Mission.
Clare Wood from London is spending the month of November doing voluntary work with the team based in the office in Pretoria and out in the field in Pankop, Rustenberg, Garankuwa and Hammanskraal.
The work will include helping with admin in the head office in Pretoria West, going out into rural areas delivering food parcels, visiting schools and ECD (Early Childhood Development) Centres, taking part in the HCT (HIV/Aids, Counselling and Testing) programme, as well as a variety of other different tasks and activities.
Due to the strong sporting background Clare comes with to Tumelong we are holding two special tennis camps in Hammanskraal over two Saturdays 17 & 24 November, which will give local youngsters between the ages of 10 – 25 the opportunity to have a go at something new and different and discover the benefits of what being involved in sport can bring.
Clare will be updating her own page on the website with photos and some short written pieces on her experiences while working with the Tumelong Team.
Tumelong welcomes Clare who has recently had a very busy summer working for London 2012 on the Olympic tennis and Parlaympic wheelchair tennis events. She is also an assistant referee at the annual tennis Championships, Wimbledon. Clare also competed in 3 Olympic Games and was the number 1 ranked tennis player in Great Britain for many years before retiring from professional tennis in 1997.
Tshegofatso Medupe (Coordinator Ga-Rankuwa)
My name is Tshegofatso Lesenyeng Medupe and I live in Ga-Rankuwa. In March 2010 I had a meeting with children in Zone 1, Ga-Rankuwa, asking them what would they like to do if I opened this centre for them. Ideas came flowing and we didn’t waste any time,on the 25 March 2010 we opened for children to start coming in everyday after school.
I like what I do with children because I love children and I also want to see children safe. I like children who makes positive & right choices in their lives,I also like to guide them to be able to focus on education and future. My main goal for starting this project: was to take children out of the streets and provide them with a safe and open environment to learn and play. My fear: was the way children are so exposed to drugs, technology that shows negative influences and loss of interest in Education.
I have always believed that God created each one of us for a purpose and I am glad that today I am serving my purpose in life. We are brought into this world to be stewards of God’s creation and our project is doing exactly that.
We have children who comes in everyday after school;to be assisted with homework and projects from school. We give them meals,they play games,they do Bible study,health education, dance,drama,art,computer and peer education.
I am blessed to have volunteers at Tumelong ECD Centre who works tirelessly and with passion to make sure this project is a success. Emily Everson (joined in February 2011)she teaches Bible Study & Health Education,Orateng Moche (joined in October 2011)teaches Art & Computer. And both of them also helps with homeworks,projects,preparing meals, compiling reports, do admin work and filling attendance register.
We also have 2 part time volunteers who are also passionate about keeping young children away from streets. And with their specialities they are also helping in building and shaping the future of these young ones. Tebogo Mogapi teaches Drama,she joined us in June 2010 while Mosa Mahlangu teaches Dance & Music and he joined us in August 2012.
Hi! I am Lorrain Maseko, I started working with Tumelong Mission and Development in September 2008.
I am working in the Rustenburg Archdeaconry covering from the Rustenburg CBD into the far west of Rustenburg, Dwarsberg- Letlhakeng area as a field worker. I really enjoy what I am doing, “working with the needy”. It’s a dream come true because it has been my passion to be a social worker and this is something related to it. “Advocacy for the needy.”
Hi! I am Modikgang Rakgoasi, and I live in Atteridgeville. I started working in Tumelong Mission on 1 March 2010 as a counsellor / tester. My passion is working with people. I like helping people who are in need. I get satisfied if I help teach people who are HIV positive about positive living.
I enjoy working at Tumelong it gives me a chance to change lives of people who need help.
Heita! I am Maria Manthati Mfeka aka “Ria Mfeka”
I reside in Mabopane. I am jolly, merry and a hard working person. My duties here at Tumelong are being a counsellor / tester in an HIV / Aids programme. I sometimes volunteer myself in the care and relief programme where we provide food parcels and clothes to needy and vulnerable kids since 2009.
Working at Tumelong is challenging but fulfilling, as we can make a difference in people’s lives.
Hi there! My name is Lesego Matseke well known as C. I have been working for 3 years as a counsellor / tester for HIV / Aids, as a Tumelong Mission employee. I enjoy what I do which is serving the community and making a difference in someone else’s life.
Hey, not forgetting my vibrantness and ambitious personality I present.
I have been working at Tumelong now for 4 years, I am from Temba where I live with my wife and young son. I am the Siyafundisa (Peer Education Programme) coordinator, this involves working with issues related to sexuality, risky behaviours, gender, the advantage of abstinence, consequences of sexual activity, HIV and Aids, substance abuse and basic decision making. I also run the Care and Relief programme, assisting the poor and deprived with food, clothes, blankets, school uniforms and other basic needs, with an aim to ensure these people become self sufficient in the future.
I really enjoy working with young people, it is my passion to make a diffenrence to their lives. Working for Tumelong Mission gives me the opportunity to impact the future of our young people in the community and I find the work at times frustrating but always in the end rewarding.
I have been with Tumelong since 2007, as an HIV/Aids programme officer. In 2009 we entered into a partnership with the Society for Family Health and I became the team leader for the New Start programme dealing with HIV counselling and testing. Recently now in 2012 I was asked to do fund raising and coordinate Friends of Tumelong which is a group of Parish representatives looking at the best interests of Tumelong – you too can be a friend!
If you need help dealing with gender challenges, I am here!
Tumelong “Place of Faith”
Hi! I am Modise Maseko and I live in Mabopane. I started work in Tumelong in 2009 as a receptionist / driver, then was promoted to outreach coordinator, then in 2012 as HCT coordinator, that deals with HIV counselling and testing. I am self driven and a team player. Under HCT I have 3 staff that report to me.
Ayoba Tumelong Mission Ayoba
George has been the acting Director of the Tumelong Mission since June 2012. He is also a member of the Tumelong Governing Body, as well as a member of the Pretoria Diocesan Standing Committee and a Lay Minister at St Paul’s Parish in Saulsville.
“I am passionate about working at Tumelong Mission and being involved in the Governing Body. For me development work and ministry in the poor communities of the Diocese of Pretoria is enriching and fulfilling.”