Dumela for the last time…..
(Photos will be posted soon)
After a month that has flown by, the end of my time at Tumelong has now come. I have had a great last week and like all the other weeks it has been busy and interesting.
Party planning took up a lot of time and on Monday I spent most of the day at June’s house again, with Jill and Diana packing over 100 party bags, each having fizzers, lollipops, chips, biscuits, chomps, smarties, marshmallow fish and mice (my favourites!!) a bottle of oros drink and other little treats each, some quality control was needed as the packing took place to check that everything tasted as it should.
We also met with Alma Grobler from Wimpy at Woodlands who confirmed the numbers and what she would provide for the party, each child would be getting a Wimpy burger and drink which was a fantastic contribution. So the food and party bags were all sorted, all that Tshego and I still had to do was go out and get an individual present for each child!!
On Tuesday Lucas and I spent the day in Rustenburg with Lorraine who is a field worker for Tumelong and helps with a number of projects for the needy in the area. We visited Mama Tiny who looks after 10 orphan children from 1 year to 11 years old. Mama Tiny looks after the children like they are her own and has made her home theirs, with all of the children living like family as brothers and sisters, I was exposed to 10 of the 1000’s of orphan children, many who are not as fortunate as these who have a roof over their heads and food on the table every day. We visited Lebone 2 school, which was amazing and gave a glimpse of what the future could be like with a mix of all children studying, doing sport and playing together at a wonderful school in great surroundings. The Royal Bafakeng Football Stadium in Rustenburg was upgraded at a cost of millions of rands for the football world cup and the inhabitants live in its’ shadow, it makes you wonder about the wisdom of spending money on a football competition when a huge number of the population are without proper housing and living in poverty? Lorraine is doing great work in the community, there will be a more detailed piece on her and the work she does on the website soon.
Wednesday, Tshego and I spent most of the day at Ga-Rankuwa shopping centre and were able to buy 152 gifts to ensure each child that attended the party went away with something specially chosen for their age and gender. It was quite a day, but we managed to succeed in getting all the presents we needed! Tshego and her team at the care centre then proceeded to label each bag and ensure the correct present went in the correct bag!
Finally the big day arrived and it was party time, however before heading off to Ga-Rankuwa I met up with Lucas at Irene Home first thing in the morning to have a look at the vegetable garden project proposal. We met with Lesley from Irene Home and Henico Alberts from Starke Ayres garden centre to make plans for the use of the 652 planters available for use to grow baby marrow, spinach, beetroot, tomatoes and green beans. The plot is on ¼ of a hectare and has irrigation and is covered with netting to keep warmth in and birds out! Once the initial work of planting is done the plot should become sustainable and will be a great asset to Irene Home and Tumelong, with produce being sold for income to the gardeners, and also providing for the kitchen for the home and as additional food to the needy distributed by Tumelong with the food parcels. This project has great potential and is getting help from Henico in training the gardeners and advising on how to work the plot to get maximum return from the work put in, Starke Ayres are also very generously donating the first seedlings to the project. More on this project on the website soon.
Next off to Ga-Rankuwa for the party. Tshego and her team had worked through the night to get everything ready and prepared for the big day, the jumping castle was up and running and the shade tent had been put up in the care centre, with chairs from St Peters Church set out and ready for the dance performances later in the day. The day started with all the children having fruit and snacks before lunch, then Diana and Ursula arrived with the Wimpy burgers and drinks for the children, it took quite some organisation to get each child their lunch but we managed and as well as feeding over 150 children we also had our lovely Mother’s Union join us, and the Priest from St Peters and a good few others, but there was plenty of food and drink for everyone that joined us. The under 10’s all joined in a few games of pass the parcel which caused great excitement, we ran out of time for musical chairs but Tshego now knows how to play and will teach the children during after school care. The dance performances were all excellent and then the afternoon was rounded off with giving each child their party bag, present and a cupcake before heading home, happy, full and with big smiles all round. It was an amazing and special day and I have promised to make the party an annual event and hopefully expand to give every child in the Tumelong programmes a special party day.
My last day at Tumelong was spent in the office, it was a good time to look back on all that I had experienced with the team, the places I had been, the people I had met and the memories I would take away with me. I very much hope to be back next year and to see Tumelong thriving!
So long and keep up the good work everyone, it is a team effort and Tumelong can’t survive without the support of the Churches and all those who contribute to the various projects