A Year In Review:

What a year it has been! Life is certainly like a rollercoaster…it comes with lots of highs and a few lows and many unexpected twists and turns around each corner. However, as we give all to the Lord, we can throw our hands up high and enjoy the ride!

For Hlanganani, the year has been a fun ride…and has certainly gone by as quickly as a carnival fair ride does! We have had our “lows” as we have striven with the children to take their studies and schooling seriously and given many a talk on working hard. Twists and turns were managed as new cuts had to be made in the budget to ensure that funds were stretched to cover all the children’s food and school transport needs, this coming as a hard challenge to many. Again, teaching us to give all our needs to the Lord, and He will guide our tracks.

The highs have been wonderful… many children have improved in their schooling and learned more about Jesus at our monthly mentorship groups and on their own accord. Children who barely smiled over the past years opened up this year and talked with volunteers of their own accord. Youth Day was enjoyed as we received many blessings from Cosmo Mall, as well as gifts of clothing, books and other goodies from thoughtful donors throughout the year, ending with the fabulous Christmas shoebox parcels (a big thank you to the members of Junction Church for the latter gifts).

Blessings of food parcels in the form of soya mince and breakfast meals were provided to the children each month as well as other supplementary food items. The older children relished the opportunity to try their entrepreneurial skills by selling toilet paper in their communities. An amazing way to help provide them with pocket money and get any extra goodies needed. We watched as two of our girls – one little one and one young lady both received entrance into private schools and higher education to further themselves. They have both excelled this year respectively. Additionally, one of our young Home-based carers received the opportunity to try a new endeavour in the UK for a few months as he pursued his wheelchair basketball career; a lot was learned all around from his experience overseas.
Feel free to read all about his adventure at the end of this newsletter.

As roller coasters have many moving parts to make it successful, we could not have had a successful year without the help and support of all our volunteers, home-based carers, and amazing partners. A huge thank you to all who have given of their time, prayers, finances, and skills to help raise the Hlanganani children and give them a brighter future. To you all, we are truly grateful. We wish you a very happy and blessed Christmas season and look forward to what the Lord has in store for all of us in 2024! 

End-of-Year Celebration

Squeals of delight and awe rose into the air as the park guide brought out a Black Mamba. The children eagerly dashed forward as another snake was showcased, and offers to hold it were announced. We were at our end-of-year party and outing at the Hartebeespoort Dam Snake & Animal Park. An outing that had been well-earned and long-awaited. The children loved watching the seal perform as well as walk around the lovely park and seeing the amazing animals up close. Upon being asked their favourite part? The answers were unanimous… definitely the snake and seal show… and seeing the lions, of course!

Amazing volunteers had helped cook and prepare packed picnic lunches for the children and carers…delicious chicken, fruit, biscuits and other goodies, along with a refreshing cool drink and lots of water on such a perfect sunny day!

Congratulations and awards were handed out to children who had worked hard over the year to improve their grades as well as those who had shown great character development over the year. Thanks were given to our faithful Home-Based Carers and committed volunteers. Last but not least, great excitement was to be had as the beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts began to be handed out. Pure joy. Were they going to be opened that night or saved for Christmas day? Shy smiles went up… can we open them tonight?… We are too excited to wait! The fun day ended with lovely Christmas decorations gifted to each child and a reminder to them to finish off the year strong and keep their focus on Jesus. All in all, it was a wonderful celebratory event. 

School reports

These are definitely showing the general improvement of marks all round.  When we first started Hlanganani, there would be no matrics because of the dropout rates of going to work to support themselves.  This year we have three matrics, and next year four matrics, hopefully, so the wheel of life is getting stronger, and it’s been a long process. If they pass without failing along the way, I do offer them the opportunity to get their drivers.  But they have to pay and pass their learners first.

One of our boys has been offered the opportunity to do a master’s at UCT.  Several of our children are in the laboratory, factory, feed mill, and office of my husband’s (Terry) company, doing groundbreaking research into the chicken industry.  One young lady has a bursary at the Swiss Hotel School for a hospitality course for a year. 

So YES, we have good news and plenty of it when we see the comments of the home-based carers when they write their monthly report.  It brings tears to my eyes when I see the heartfelt, servant love and care of the children taking place.  My one prayer is they will be thankful for the way God has helped them on their road to a greater purpose. “Gratitude plants the seeds of abundance”

A Piece from Sharon: 

2023 has been a great year for the Hlanganani family. The year had its ups and downs, with some of our HBC suffering from poor health, but God being God has seen us all through. The children are great and really excited about the programs throughout the year. As an organisation, we appreciate all the aid and support we received and are still receiving from the well-wishers and donors. It is greatly impacting the Hlanganani family.

May all your travels be happy and peaceful and safe as with your homestays – be blessed SHALOM. From all in the Hlanganani Team.

Thato on his UK trip

I want to highlight on good news

One of the most greatest moment, we have had it is to climb on the flight for the 1st time in history and take off to England, this was the best moment for us.

The moments inside the longest plane Virgin Atlantic was top notch, with all aircrafts and best services on English food and favorite beverages, watched all our favorite movies and traveling from SA 11 hours to England.

On our 1st month of arrival, was very nice.

  • I have learnt new basics wheelchair basketball training skills and development from different aspects : teaching a young men and women how to shoot the ball it is a big key role to legends basketball
  • We exercised/trained daily and we lived more
  • I then started learning a new skill of photography, video making and marketing my player Kagiso Skhosana
  • I have learnt new wheelchair basketball social networking skills and development from different place aspects : how to approach business people with what you can do for them to get interested.

A Players great opportunity

A player which I traveled with, from South Africa to United Kingdom, England , was offered a wonderful scholarship opportunity from university of East London to apply.   Unfortunately our very own player superstar, did not meet the qualifications requirements, to study coach science course and have a great experience. However, another opportunity came for wheelchair racing.  The professional racer hence tested our superstar, to check chest health but did not qualify for wheelchair racing.

Our player Kagiso Skhosana is accepted and he is now an official member of high rollers team in the UK. They sponsor him and it is the greatest experience of all,  that our wheels_islife99 team managed to get a player to overseas. We encourage all players, coaches and managers to be careful who they sign up with.

UK, England has most likely more opportunities to adopt for like greater further studies, touring, and are typically on wheelchair basketball as well.

Finding friends

We went to a sneakerness event and training called “blue cage basketball court community” to learn more about our basketball skills and environment along with high rollers to make new friends and marketing ourselves for basketball.

Therefore, we were focused on traveling to local places in England to meet with other friends and family who sent us wheel chairs back in the past.

-High rollers has linked us with many friends across the world and we were offered holidays.

UK, Experience

I Thato makale was in training for photography and video graphics, editing throughout YouTube with @zermillion nick name on his Instagram page whose from USA I would like to thank each and every one of our sponsors Sasol Cosmo city Branch, and Hlanganani for always been our 1st help when there’s something for contribution, even if it’s emergency. We hoping our sponsor MDNTV will give us an interview soon.