Talhado Childrens Haven began in 1998 in the Greater St. Francis Bay area and the Haven or “Speel Kliniek” as the children call it, sees to the educational, nutritional and emotional needs of some 400 children ranging in age from five to 15.
“Our mission: “ Rather build the Child than repair the Adult”
Another year has passed and we are busying ourselves for what is promising to be a very exciting year ahead for us at the Haven.
2015 has proven to be a year for many changes and developments at the Haven, the most exciting of which are currently taking place with the support of Kouga Wind Farms. Improvements are being made to the school with extensions to the toilet blocks, a new roof over the southern classroom block, a fully upgraded kitchen and electrics, including all new appliances, a slab on top of the kitchen to provide for future second storey for media centre in the near future and improved playground facilities!
And as if that were not sufficient our generous benefactors also donated 900 children’s books for our library – 300 each in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. We are over the moon with these extremely developments and are looking forward to 2016 with great excitement. Thank you very indeed Kouga Wind Farms!
And what a busy year it has been!
We appointed a full-time librarian. Leigh-Ann Mofu, who joins Llewellyn Baadjies in the library and media centre, has already had a wonderful impact on the children. She is seen below introducing two of our young learners to the new Misdela Dolls. Little Mivuyo Zono and Sinexolo Sotafile are seen herewith Leigh-Ann Mofu who read the story of Missdela to the girls.
The story goes that Missdela (named after Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela) lives in a rural village with her grandmother who teaches her honesty, hard work and obedience. Missdela also learns Respect for Self, Others and the Environment. She loves listening to stories on the radio and reading books. Missdela also sings the Thula Thula song.
One of our original Steel Band players, Dean Kalo has joined us at The Haven to provide coaching and lessons for our current steel band players and those who are keen to learn. So we are certain our popular band will continue to play at local events for some time to come.
Our Montessori classes have been a great success under Afrikaans teacher Virginia Brown and Xhosa teacher Laurika Coetzer and we aim to continue to grow this wonderful teaching medium in the future.
Another introduction has been our support for the Revup Christian outreach to youth of Sea Vista. We provide meeting facility for weekly ministry and monthly educational get together. Most recently covered post school options including bursary application process and how to keep a healthy body with correct nutrition.
Many events and outings took place during the year to keep our young learners both informed and entertained. One of the more popular being the celebration of birthdays at our Media Centre! Kristine Johansen and her husband, Jan Bjerved, from Norway, offered to pay for birthday presents and a cup cake for those children attending our Media Centre. Each month we draw up a list of birthdays and when the children attend the Media Centre or Library, they are presented with a birthday present and cupcake! Most of our children have never received a birthday present before so this is a new experience for them and they are thrilled!
On the health care front we had a visit from Tony Yeoll, a retired Opthalmologist who is a resident of St. Francis Bay, together with the help of his wife Mary, Estelle Bruwer , Optician at Humansdorp Hospital and Samantha Stedman and Cindy Main from Essilor S.A., spent the day testing the eyesight of our Grade 0 and Grade R pupils on World Vision Day
And a little later in the year we had St Francis Bay dentist, Dr Michael Jones come to talk to the children on how to take care of their teeth. This event was organised by the Grade 6 learners at St Francis College and their teacher Cathryn Hempel as part of their history studies on democracy and children’s rights.
Perhaps the highlight of our year was participating in the wonderful event staged for the inauguration of the Kouga Wind Farms. Our children took part in the opening ceremony with singing and dancing and our steel band players provided the music. It was such a wonderful day out for the children with an opportunity to get up close to those enormous wind turbines.
Children’s Day on 29 May was celebrated with an outing to Cape St Francis beach organised by the staff at Cape St Francis Resort. The children had such fun playing team games and enjoying the special treats laid on for them. A Big thank you to the Resort!
Another big thank you must go to Lilian Baker and FOSTER, and to SANCCOB for the continued support of the FOSTER Outreach programme. Also, a heartfelt word of thanks to Little Venice for organizing transport for our pupils to the Wild Side, free of charge!. In all, 212 learners, 11 educators and 10 adults participated in 9 excursions since the beginning of 2015. Wow!
The Ukupha ladies group in St Francis once again out did themselves with wonderful shoebox donations for each child at the end of this year. These shoebox presents bring such joy to these children who would ordinarily enjoy very little for Christmas. Thank you ladies!
The annual Haven Outing in December saw our children and staff heading down to the Knysna Elephant Park. What an experience this was for everyone coming up so close to these gigantic and wonderful creatures. A lifelong memory created in these young minds. Well done to the staff and parents who worked so hard to fund this important event.
The end of our year is always marked by our Graduation ceremony for both those learners moving from Grade 0 to Grade R and those of our learners who will graduate to “Big School” next year.
This year we were treated to lovely singing and a wonderful Nativity play – a scene from which was chosen for our Christmas card this year. The children really excelled and our dignitaries and parents alike were all charmed!
Our Learner of the year for 2015 was little Yaseen Madatt who has graduated from Virginia Brown’s Montessori Class. He will attend Sea Vista Primary next year. He is seen below with his proud parents Muneerah and Moegamat. Well done Yaseen – the future looks very bright indeed for you.
And our final snippet of news is that we are once again thrilled to hear that past learner Thandolwethu Njena who received a scholarship to attend the prestigious St Francis College, has been promoted to Grade 6 next year. Despite the fact that she lives in very poor circumstances and has had to cope with overwhelming family problems, she has managed to keep up with the class average and we are very proud of her indeed.
We owe a huge thank you to our Norwegian friends Ingvild and Svein-Erik Stiansen who donated a whopping R50 000.00 on the occasion of their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Our heartfelt thanks to you both and every good wish for your continued happiness together.
And finally. a vote of heartfelt thanks to our regular sponsors Talhado Fishing Enterprises and others who donate on a monthly basis, without which we would not be able to offer the quality of education and upliftment we do, to our vulnerable children. You are the best and make Management’s work so much more easier!
The generosity and warmth of our sponsors, donors and our local community never cease to amaze us and we are so thankful to you all for you ongoing support.
We know that 2016 will be a challenging year for us financially as we face increased running costs of around 40% over the past year. We have big plans which include building up our after care facility to offer more help and guidance for senior school learners and those need to access some sort of tertiary education or skills development. A big challenge indeed which we know we will be able to meet with a little help from you – our loyal friends and supporters!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!
We thank Him for all His many blessings this year and we trust Him going forward to 2016.