August saw the start of warmer weather with the odd spat of cold. We have had a mild winter so far. The children broke up from school at the beginning of the month but Lozi and Collin have had extra lessons at school during these holidays. Keturah did really well during the 2nd term, coming 2nd in her class of 43 students. Her overall average was 89%. She was disappointed that she did not come in position 1st but will have to study a little harder to achieve her goal. Collin didn’t do as well as he hoped but he had only attended school for 1 month when he wrote his exams. On the 7th and 8th Robyn attended a government workshop on Autism Awareness, at the Royal Swazi Inn, in which the Queen, iNkhoskati LaMatsebula, was in attendance. It was so exciting for Robyn to see how our country is now embracing children with disabilities, doing something to educate the public in this area and creating awareness for these children. In the past, these children were normally kept hidden, abused and not seen in public but something is now being done to accommodate them and create an environment whereby they can be accepted by society, learn and be developed to their fullest potential.
Lozi and Keturah attended our church ‘Sweet Aroma Girls’ camp on the weekend of the 10th with Lozi going along to help out as a leader. Then Lozi was invited to a ‘Bravegirls’ camp for the following week. This camp was about empowering young women and helping them with decisions for careers. She loved being able to job shadow at Mbabane Private Hospital for one day during the camp, where she worked with the theater nurse, preparing patients for theater and caring for the patients after their operations. She is hoping to pursue a career in nursing.
Our church held a kids’ Holiday Bible Club (HBC) during this holiday break and so Collin, Sam, Josh and Lozi were a part of the leadership and did preparation for it during 15th – 17th. The club was during the week 20th -24th and Keturah had her best friend, Felicia, stay with us during this week. They had a blast, enjoying HBC and going horse riding together, late nights, popcorn and movies and lots of fun together. The HBC ended with a Sunday celebration presentation for the parents, with the kids sharing what they had learnt during the week and all too quickly it came to an end and the friends had to say a sad and tearful ‘good-bye’.
Sam was excused from working from ABC from the 6th to the 10th as he was offered to go and get some job experience at our friend Basie’s Breakdown Repair shop. He really enjoyed the experience and came home every night, exhausted but exhilarated. He has handed in his CV to Basie and is waiting to hear if he has a position with him. Andrew needed a little extra cash and asked to come and work at ABC for a week, so we got him scaping and painting the top of the front verandah wall, to make it look clean and new again. He will also be coming to help Gerry complete the roofing on the back verandah over the nursery room. He is still looking for a job but has applied to a few places and is waiting to hear from them. During this month, Aunty Fezile took her annual leave and Sam was given 2 weeks leave over the HBC weeks.
On the 13th we received a call from the social welfare officer asking us if we could take in another emergency placement. A little boy of 3 years old had been continually locked in a room, by his mother, and she was neglecting him badly. His mother is a ‘traditional healer’ and his maternal grandmother is a drug addict, so there are no responsible adults in the family who can care for him. When welfare went to fetch the little boy, the mother had run away with him and so the police were called in to look for her and him. He arrived in our home on the 29th August, very scared and confused. He has fitted nicely into the home and is now 3 year old – Prince talking and interacting well with all of us.
We applied for our British visas and, on the 30th August, had our interview appointments which went really well. We took a trip to Pretoria for the interview and Dominique joined us on this trip. We stayed in Pretoria for 2 nights at a really nice B & B called ‘Comfort Guest House’, near the British Visa buildings, and had a super time. It was lovely to spend some quality time with Dominique, as it has been years since we did this together. Our home ran smoothly while we were all gone, as Lozi took control, with lots of help from Sam. It was lovely to return to a happy and peaceful home with everything in good order. Thank you to Lozi and Sam.
We are so grateful to all who help us and donate towards this work with the babies, making it possible for us to continue to rescue and help more babies and toddlers in need. A big thank you from all of us goes to:
1. PKF Chartered Accountants, Swaziland, who have sponsored Lozi for her schooling this year.
2. The Honourable Indian Consulate and Honourable Indonesian Consulate, for Swaziland, for our monthly supply of biscuits, baby milk formula and diapers.
3. Prime Bakery, Mbabane, for 20 loaves of brown bread every week.
4. JJ for our continues sugar supply.
5. Woolworths in Mbabane and Ezulwini, for supporting us regularly with food and groceries donations.
6. Eagles Nest for a weekly donation of 15 dozen eggs.
7. Childrens’ Cup Swaziland for their continued donation of ‘Feed my Starving Children’ rice packs.
8. The many others who support us financially and also with other donations such as clothing, etc.
And finally ‘Thank you’ to all of you for all your prayers, support, love and encouragement.
God bless you all
Gerry & Robyn