May the following news bless your socks off – here comes summer!

Empowering Guardians

As Hlanganani, we care – not only for our orphans but the guardians too. Understanding that people are faced with economic hardships and high unemployment rates in the country. We noticed that most of our grannies are not employed.   They struggle to provide the basics for their families. As a result, Hlanganani decided to empower them with entrepreneurial skills training.

The first training was theoretical and included information on how they can start their own simple businesses. Ideas on marketing their products and how to save their profits included. There was a turnout of eight grannies. We later gave them practical training on how to make and sell cleaning chemicals. The products included: dish liquid, pine gel, bleach, and petroleum jelly. 

The idea was to empower them with a skill to help them start their own businesses, address the dependency syndrome, and introduce them to a world of producers. It is indeed working thus far, as two of the grannies have already started doing business. Others are still working on raising capital. They are all grateful that Hlanganani is indeed lending a hand to their families.

A Glimpse into Our Children’s Lives

Our children have one common challenge of being orphans; however, their needs differ in some areas. At Hlanganani, we strive to meet them where they are at regarding their differing needs. We are delighted that we have recently managed to intervene in two of our kid’s accommodation situations. One youngster is living with his brother and sister-in-law; however, as they occupied one room, it was a real struggle for him to have space for studying, and his marks at school were negatively impacted. Hlanganani sorted out a larger home for the teenager and his guardians. We have been paying his rent for four months now. It has been the greatest decision ever, as most significantly, his marks greatly improved in the past term. The family are most appreciative of the support. 

On the other hand, another teenager stays far away from school, and his home environment is not very conducive to a healthy, safe lifestyle. This causes him not to attend school as regularly as required. It has negatively impacted his school performance greatly, with him often only going to school once per week. Hlanganani took the initiative to move the child to a safer place and one closer to his school. We are supporting the child with food and tutoring. The family is so grateful.

News about another of our grown-up children: My name is Nimrod Phakula. I grew up with both parents, my mother and father, together with my elder sister and my little brother. My parents then separated in 2013. My father relocated, and my mother became ill with cancer. After a long fight, she passed on in 2015.  My little brother and I were left with my elder sister. Things were bad, but thanks to Hlanganani, they helped us. Not only did they help us with food parcels, but they also helped me with school and made me feel like the other kids, with gifts for Christmas.  I had the best matric and matric dance all because of Hlanganani and Bonnie.  Today I’ve passed matric, and I’m well employed.  I don’t know how to extend my gratitude… I’m very thankful for Hlanganani, together with Bonnie.

The Pre-school we support – Ebenezer Hope- Lion and Safari Trip Adventure!

When I hear, I forget. When I see, I remember.

When I do, I understand.

This old Chinese proverb shows the significance of the five senses in the learning process. The five senses of hearing, touch, smell, sight, and taste are the primary needs we use to gain more knowledge. On our trip to Lion and Safari park, we were helping the kids to further explore the five senses, using both their physical and cognitive development. Albeit the children use their five senses at home and at school.

The trip presented a special occasion in which they used their five senses. At school and at home, they do not usually have that experience and feel of the wild and wild animals. They only see wild animals in drawings and a few on videos. At the Lion & Safari Park field trip we took on the 9th of September,  they had the rare opportunity not only to see real lions, giraffes, cheetahs, jackals, hyenas, etc during the fun game drive but to smell the animal’s inhabitants, droppings, hear the sounds, and feel the environment. They also used their sense of taste when having their lunch in the wild environment. This was such fun, and the children thoroughly enjoyed it.

On the nutrition side:  We have been given little packets of vitamins to feed our pre-school children by Headstart kids and have been measuring their growth and progress.  Nurses have made two measurements this year 3 months apart.  So far all graphs show children growing well and noticeable skin and health changes.

Thato (another of our grown-up children) and Wheelslife: 

Basketball is not just a sport, it is an art, a way of life, and with every shoot, dribble and rebound, the Wheelslife team grows and inspires many. Wheelslife has taught many to believe in themselves and reach their full potential, and to not focus on adversities. We recently participated in the Jomo Khumalo Shield (JKS) competition games. They were not easy! They featured all seven Provincial Clubs in the South Africa Wheelchair Basketball (WBSA) organisation; next year, the plan is to have all eight provinces be included. 

The WBSA organized a camp that included transportation and meals for the entire tournament for each team from different provinces. However, each team still had to figure out its own accommodation. There was not enough guest houses at first for Wheelslife, but thanks to sponsors all issues were resolved and everything ran well. 

Although Wheelslife did not win, we were excited that our other Gauteng team won the 1st JKS Championship! As part of Gauteng, we feel like champions too! This win has caused huge excitement in Gauteng; every team is now looking for new competitions. As teams, we are so pleased to have good relationships – working together on one goal. Additionally, it was really good and a big blessing to have games & a coaching technical program during the camp. I would like to say thank you very much for the priceless support that we have had from the generosity of our sponsors and everyone at large who has participated in his or her part.

The team has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and continues to do so with the help of generous sponsors. Contributions are vital and keep us going; with sponsors by our side, we can become the best versions of ourselves. Already our lives have been positively impacted; we have become friends, brothers, and inspirations to many youngsters. 

Thank you for sharing this exciting journey with us; we look forward to the future, and with your help, we’ll keep the light shining for wheelchair basketball in South Africa and beyond!

Thato is asking for the sponsorship of three flights to the UK, which has offered him and his best players the opportunity to link up with Highrollers in the  UK basketball team!!! Please contact us if you see your way forward to help here!

(Well done, Thato, for caring for others, establishing the team and still giving glory to God.)

Final thought

I don’t know about you, but I get very despondent when I watch the news!  I trust that this news lifted your spirit!!  Matthew 6 v 19 to 21.

Kind regards