To our extended volunteer community and supporters from near and far
As the school year draws to an end, I'd like to take this opportunity on one of my favourite American holidays to give thanks to all of you as I reflect on "the year that was" in our final newsletter for 2017.
It's been an incredible year and I've been completely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our volunteer community who are also the majority of our donors or have put us in touch with other donors.
You have all made my first year with Edu Fun a memorable one and one of the best years in my career where I've had the pleasure of being part of an army of amazing people working towards common goals in Diepsloot, including contributing towards teaching Africa to READ!
THANK YOU TO THE EDU FUN BOARD
Thank you to Jeanne (Secretary), Petra (Treasurer) and Sue (honorary committee member), for all their hard work behind the scenes and the support that they have given me and the various programmes within Edu Fun this year.
Jeanne and Sue
OUR VARIOUS PROGRAMMES WITHIN EDU FUN
Edu Fun has several arms and whilst I am mainly involved in the Education part, it is lovely to be part of a group of passionate people who together are able to provide a holistic service to the learners at Diesploot Combined.
No child can learn to read if their basic physical needs are not met (eyesight, dental) and neither can one learn effectively on an empty stomach nor come to school with pride wearing torn school uniforms, broken shoes or no uniform at all.
THANK YOU TO OUR EDUCATION "A" TEAM
Thank you to Meghan, Anthea, Gillean, Memuna and Liza who led the groups this year and to Ogechi, Jutta and Miss Mphaka who filled in for us when a leader was away. Thank you for the time you all took to prepare your lessons, to do the marking and provide feedback and suggestions along the way.
Thank you to all the volunteers who were assigned to smaller groups within each class and were able to give more personalised assistance to the same group of kids on a weekly basis.
"Every child is one caring adult away from a success story" Thank you for being that adult to so many of the children in Diepsloot - whether it was in person, or through a cash or in-kind donation.
We worked with 180 Grade 3 learners and with about 50 children from Grade 2 this year and celebrated their achievements at the yearend parties last week. Thank you to everyone who contributed to these parties and the gifts.
We had a great celebration in the hall with the Grade 3s where some of the Grade 3s put on little performances for us and the Grade 2s decorated their own cupcakes.
Grade 3 Party - 13 November 2017
Grade 2 Party - 14 November 2017
Thank you to the following people for their contribution to the Party by providing the food, gifts and assisting with the preparations.
Tracy Whitfield from the AKA Sorority for providing the food: sandwiches, juice, cupcakes, water and extra gifts including - hygiene packs, magazines, bags and for doing all the décor.
Rebecca Kemp of Hakuna Matata- for sponsoring 100 colouring books for the kids.
Gayle Ouzman for assisting with the shopping and gift ideas.
Meghan, Sachi, Jeanne for assisting with packing of all the gift bags.
Gillean, Meghan, Memuna and Anthea for purchasing the gifts for the teachers on behalf of all the volunteers and education team.
Amberfor donating sweets for the Grade 3 packs and Anthea for the suckers given to the Grade 2s.
Ouma, Maria Magalefa, Ms Mphaka, Ms Dladla and Ms Mphahlele - for assisting with setting up the venue and co-ordinating things from the school side.
Thank you to all the Tuesday volunteers who contributed to the cupcake decorating experience - from the baking of cupcakes to providing the frosting and sprinkles to decorate them with. Thank you for the books that were given by Bev and Louise for the Tuesday group and to Karin, Bev, Priya who have also recently bought (or facilitated the purchase of) school shoes for some of the children that they work with on Tuesdays. Thank you to Mallika who donated some of her daughter's shoes this week as well.
Thank you for the Cash donations that went towards the gifts that we were able to buy for the learners. Judith Wonderschütz II Jeanne Kuhr-Madinane
Memuna Williams Ogechi Nunn Sarah Richmond
FEP- Jeanne and Sue continue to support the past pupils from Diepsloot Combined who are part of the Further Education Programme (FEP). The students are either at University, on internships or looking for gainful employment. They will be having their last meeting for the year on Saturday 2 December.
Thank you to many of you who have donated old clothing and other items to this project. The clothing will be distributed to the learners at this meeting.
If anyone would like to attend this meeting it will start at 12pm. We will meet outside Piatto's at Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre at 10:30am so that we can go through a bit early to help set up.
HEALTH PROJECT Carolien Albers and her team have done an amazing job this year to ensure that children who needed glasses or dental treatment have been referred to the relevant health professional. The team not only volunteer their time every week to screen the children at school, but they also contribute money on a monthly basis to fund most of their activities in terms of appointments with eye specialists and getting new glasses for children who need them.
They now have a dentists and doctor on the team and will be conducting dental hygiene classes with the Grade R, 1 and 2 classes next year.
If you would like to get involved or find out more, please contact Carolien Albers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOOD PANTRY - Meghan continues to provide food to 14 child-headed homes on a monthly basis. Visit her Ngangifisa Facebook page here to find out more and see how you can get involved or contribute to this very worthwhile project.
There will be one more food distribution this year which takes place next Wednesday at 10am.
SEWING / MENDING Thanks to Anthea, Tasha and Meghan, many more children were able to extend the life of the school uniforms this year as the team mended the torn clothes, sewed on buttons etc.
Three past pupils from Diepsloot Combined were enrolled in a "Clothing Manufacturing" Learnership in September this year and the intention is for them to start a co-operative and run a small business in Diepsloot. However, they will assist the Sewing Group with mending of school uniforms initially as part of their work experience.
BABY CLUB - The Baby Club was started this year and has provided a great service to young mums who have had to deal with their new parenting roles whilst trying to stay in school. You can find out more about what Anthea, Sue and Miss Betty have been up to this year by following this link to the Baby Club Facebook Page.
We will send out a Newsletter early in January 2018, but lessons will resume on Monday 22 January.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving today and safe and happy travels over the festive period.
Looking forward to working with you all again in 2018.