Newsletters

October 2014

Siphila Sonke – Who Makes it all Happen?

May 2014

Dear Friends of Siphila Sonke

Thank you
for making a difference.…

Our heartfelt thanks to Melissa van Zyl, a professional photographer
and friend of Siphila Sonke who captured these moments (www.melissavanzyl.co.za)

Food parcels – ready for distribution….

We deliver food parcels to up to 60 beneficiaries each month….

…. come rain or shine!!!

A monthly meeting to review existing and potential new
food parcel beneficiaries

untitled

Download our Latest Newsletter

December 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Siphila Sonke,

It’s only a few weeks until Christmas and as the year draws to a close, we are extremely grateful for the wonderful support we have enjoyed this year.

In particular, we would like to thank the Wright Memorial Trust for their generous donation that enabled us to erect a good fence and a proper gate around the Imizamo Church complex and to level and re-grass the Kids Club Playground. Despite all the rain this work was completed during July and August.  The children in the community now have a safe green area to play in, and both ABBA and Siphila Sonke make regular use of this lawn for various outdoor activities.

a b c
Before ..  During .. After .. 

The fence has secured the area, which has prompted us to move our vegetable garden from the late Suzie Adonis’ house to the office.  With the help of Liz Henderson, who grows seedlings for us, this garden is now growing well and we hope that our three garden beneficiaries will be able to reap a good harvest soon.

d e

Beneficiaries working in the ‘relocated’ vegetable garden

Lucinda Petersen, our new Kids Club co-ordinator has settled in and these clubs continue to be a success. Our annual Christmas Party and prize giving is around the corner and we are busy preparing a special programme with the kids for this event.

Our annual Open Gardens fundraiser took a slightly different form this year – Siphila Sonke hosted 4 days at the Elgin United Church where volunteers and staff sold teas, lunches and other refreshments.  A special acknowledgement to the EUC for allowing us to use their facilities and to everyone who helped and/or made donations.

We are very proud of Mrs Amsterdam, one of our Support Group women, who successfully took on the challenge and made 30m of bunting for the above event, thus earning extra money for her family.

9 8

Open Gardens fundraiser at EUC – hard work, but fun!

Mrs  September  completed a sewing course at Siphila Sonke during 2012. She also made aprons which were sold at the Open Gardens event.Siphila Sonke is helping   her with the promotion of her skills.

Our Food Parcel service continues ‘come hail or shine,’ and our loyal volunteers never fail to pitch!  It is always a pleasure to meet everyone each month.  A big thank you to Houw Hoek Farm Stall, Andre Du Toit and Marianna, and Carien Cherry who donate fresh soup to include with the parcels every month and also to Nicole Precoudis who provides us with a nutritious parcel of meat on a monthly basis.  The number of food parcel beneficiaries is peaking again and we are delivering more than 62 parcels and feeding up to 173 people each month (as a food parcel usually benefits the household.)

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Meeting and collecting food parcels at the office and then delivering to beneficiaries

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we sometimes receive thank you letters from beneficiaries – below is an extract from one received recently….

I want to thank the staff of Siphila Sonke for supporting my family with the food-hamper they have sent to my house. I never knew there were people who care, my son has recovered from his sickbed thanks   to   the   soup   and   vegetables   and   food.   The   food   hamper   made   a   huge   impact in our home. It was like a light shining through in our darkest hour…

As usual, our last food parcel of the year will be delivered early and will include a Christmas bucket of food.   We have buckets for this purpose available at the office – if you and your family would like to fill a bucket, please contact Rachelle.

The  office  will  be  closed  from  23  December  2013  and  re-opens  early  January  2014.

We wish you and your families a very blessed festive season.

Download our  December 2013 Newsletter here.

August 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Siphila Sonke,

The fierce winter storms that we have recently experienced are always a great reminder of how blessed those of us are who have solid homes, warm clothes, hot running water and food on our tables. As you can imagine, winter is a particularly challenging time for many people in our community and we are doing our best to support those who are desperately ill and/or in need. We are currently supporting 62 beneficiaries and their families.

Every now and then we receive letters of thanks from those we support, or see examples of how Siphila Sonke has really been able to make a difference in the life of one of our beneficiaries. We’d like to share some of these with you in our next few newsletters. Below is a letter we received from a beneficiary who lives in Rooidakke….

I just want to say thank you Very, very much to Siphila Sonke for their help and patience, for what they did for me. They visited me and I was so deeply ill. I can do nothing for myself. I just fell over, could not eat or wash myself. Then…. Siphila Sonke helped me. I was sent to Caledon Hospital….. I got a drip and oxygen. The doctors then said there is nothing they can do for me. When I came home again, Siphila Sonke gave me E-pap in a feeding bottle to drink because my stomach was empty. I could not eat anything, just the E-pap. I want to say thank you very, very much thank you for what was done to help me. They did not get tired of me. They came to see me. Thank you very very much Siphila Sonke for your help, I appreciate it a lot. From xxx, 26 years old, no children and I live with my mother in her house. Thank you very much Siphila Sonke, may God bless my love for you. Thank you Jesus you saved me from death. I can now walk to the day hospital with my own two feet. Thank you dear Jesus for your strength, you keep me alive, without you I can do nothing.” Letter of thanks from a beneficiary – directly translated from Afrikaans

This kind of feedback makes our work seem worthwhile. However, none of it is possible without your support. We have recently received some generous donations for which we are most grateful and we would also like to thank everyone who supported our recent fundraiser – the E&G Met – a night at the races! Wow – what an evening it was! This was a first for Grabouw and by popular demand, we will be hosting it again next year during April. See below and the attached collage for some photos of this fun event….

a

Read more?

Download our August 2013 Newsleter

April 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Siphila Sonke,

A belated Happy Easter to you all!

We hope that it was a blessed and happy time spent with family and friends.

bIt’s been a while since our last update with many blessings, and a number of sadnesses in between. February in particular was a very distressing month for us – 3 of our current food parcel beneficiaries passed away as well as Jack Simons, one of our longer term beneficiaries. Jack worked in our vegetable garden for a number of years and you may recall the story and photo that we published in one of our previous newsletters of him and his wife Sabina getting married in Bev’s garden.

We were also devastated by the passing of one of our previous extremely committed fieldworkers, Jennifer Nkoli, as well as the terrible rape and murder of one of our Support Group women in March. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to all their families and loved ones.

 

 

July 2012 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Siphila Sonke,

Well, Christmas has come and been, and now it is already Easter!  Where does the time go?! 

We ended 2011 with some wonderful events…

The Elgin Open Gardens in November were once again a great fundraiser for us.  Our sincere thanks to the Moodie family who made this possible by allowing us to host 4 days in their beautiful garden on Eikenhof, and also to the other OpenGardens who donated proceeds to Siphila Sonke.  Special thanks too to Carin Malan, who organised the Botanical Art Exhibition which was a significant drawcard and to all Siphila Sonke volunteers and staff who helped by donating/ serving teas, coffees and lunches.

Our annual Kids Club Christmas Party at the end of November was also a great success!  Cake, chips and cooldrinks were enjoyed by all, while Bruce Green played Father Christmas and handed out the beautiful ‘shoeboxes’ from what has now become our annual Shoebox Christmas Project.  Thanks again to Carin Malan and Charmaine du Toit for all their assistance with co-ordinating this project.   

This year we received more than 200 shoeboxes filled with gifts for children of all ages.  A huge thank you to members of the Elgin/Grabouw community, schools and churches, as well as Capespan, Fruitways and the AGSChurch in Bellville, who donated these amazing gifts of love.  Not only were we able to provide all our own Kids Club and beneficiaries’ children with a shoebox, but we had enough to give to the children of beneficiaries of Thembacare and ACVV as well as to children in two foster homes in the community and to HIV positive children at the Day Hospital.  We wish you could have seen the delight on all of the children’s faces as they received these!

On 1 December, we combined World Aids Awareness Day with a special lunch for our Support Groups and our vegetable gardeners at the Elgin Grabouw Country Club.  Everyone wore a beautiful Aids ribbon made by the ladies on the day.

A week later, Driefontein Farm Restaurant again very kindly hosted a Volunteers Lunch to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and commitment during the year.  We are extremely grateful to Herman, Philippus and their staff for this extremely generous contribution to Siphila Sonke.

During December we also held a Kids Club Holiday Program – three (noisy!) days of fun and games for our Kids Club members. Thank you to Di McCullough and Felistus for their dedication to this club and to Simon van der Merwe and Victoria for their help.

To end the year, we delivered the last food parcels to our beneficiaries, together with wonderful Christmas buckets, donated by the Elgin United and AGS (Bellville) Churches and Capespan.

Our Christmas present last year, was a beautiful letter of thanks and an 80cm high Christmas card from one of our beneficiaries to thank Siphila Sonke for helping and supporting her.  Working in a poverty-stricken community can be very taxing for our fieldworkers and receiving a letter/ card like  this goes a long way to motivate/ reassure staff and volunteers that their work does make a difference!

1 2 3 4

Father Christmas giving out shoeboxes at the annual Kids Club Christmas Party

A Siphila Sonke beneficiary receiving a Christmas bucket and a shoebox

A Siphila Sonke beneficiary receiving a Christmas bucket and a shoebox

Some of the more than 200 Christmas shoeboxes we received last year!

We also received a significant donation from the Stormont Presbyterian Church in Ireland at the end of their 3 year commitment to Siphila Sonke.  We will forever be indebted to this parish for their generosity and support, without which we would not be where we are today! A million thanks Stormont!

… and so far, 2012 has gotten off to a great start…. 

2012 kicked off with some good news – after many phone calls, emails, snail mail and wrong registration numbers (from Government), we finally received our NPO Certificate of Registration, without which official funders will not consider our funding applications.

The second bit of good news is that the Deciduous Fruit Industry Development Trust has agreed to support our Kids Club financially for a year, from July 2012 onwards.

And the third great piece of news is that the Rhu Parish Church in Scotland has also committed to helping the Siphila Sonke Kids Club for a year.  This commitment stemmed from a visit to Siphila Sonke by Jim Rogers – a British Airways pilot who visited us and attended our Kids Club Christmas Party last year.

These additional funds will enable us to achieve our plans to extend the Kids Club.  In addition to our Wednesday club under Di McCullough and Felistus’ capable leadership, we have also started:

  • Art Classes run by Stephanie Reith, in partnership with the Elgin Learning Foundation
  • a Reading and Literacy group that meets every Monday afternoon and aims to improve reading and literacy amongst our Kids Club children.  Volunteers read stories to small groups of children.  If you would like to read a story to a small group of children once a month, or if you have any children’s books that you are willing to donate, please contact Rachelle at the office
  • plans to introduce a children’s choir this year – another longstanding dream.

5
Monday pm Reading/Literacy Group

6 7 We are thrilled that Ann Bradford has again become involved in our Support Groups and the Craft Group has commenced this year with great enthusiasm.The ladies were taken on an outing to visit Strand beach during February 2012. For many of them this was a memorable experience, as it was their first visit to the seaside.

Support Group outing to Strand Beach – Feb 2012

We are also very pleased to have the following internships being completed with Siphila Sonke:

  • two Nutritional students from HAN University in Holland are doing a 3 month internship and will host various workshops with the Support Groups to teach them about health, food hygiene and nutrition.
  • Lucy Delport who has just completed her Honours degree in Psychology, will be doing a full year Trauma Counselling internship through Unisa.  As part of this, she will do individual counselling related to bereavement and other trauma, as well as working with the Support Groups.

Our food parcel distribution continues to go well.  Village Supermarket still makes up and delivers the food parcels to our offices every month and we thank them for their service.

On average, 115 people are supported by these parcels each month and we continue to be extremely grateful to you all – our donors, volunteers and staff who make this possible!

Wishing you all a very Happy and blessed Easter!

Download our April 2011 Newsletter here

SAVE THE DATE !!!! 28 AUGUST !!!

SAVE THE DATE !!!! 28 AUGUST !!! TIM NOAKES IS COMING TO TALK ABOUT HIS NEW CONCEPT OF FAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT !!! BE SURE NOT TO MISS THIS FASCINATING TOPIC. DETAILS TO FOLLOW

4 Ladies belonging to the Support Group and who learned how to use a sewing machine and then to make all sorts of things from cushion covers, to quilts, to clothing over a 3-year period of faithful attendance, were recently rewarded with a gift of a brand new sewing machine each !

Download our April 2012 Newsletter here

April 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Siphila Sonke,

Well, Christmas has come and been, and now it is already Easter!  Where does the time go?! 

We ended 2011 with some wonderful events…

The Elgin Open Gardens in November were once again a great fundraiser for us.  Our sincere thanks to the Moodie family who made this possible by allowing us to host 4 days in their beautiful garden on Eikenhof, and also to the other OpenGardens who donated proceeds to Siphila Sonke.  Special thanks too to Carin Malan, who organised the Botanical Art Exhibition which was a significant drawcard and to all Siphila Sonke volunteers and staff who helped by donating/ serving teas, coffees and lunches.

Our annual Kids Club Christmas Party at the end of November was also a great success!  Cake, chips and cooldrinks were enjoyed by all, while Bruce Green played Father Christmas and handed out the beautiful ‘shoeboxes’ from what has now become our annual Shoebox Christmas Project.  Thanks again to Carin Malan and Charmaine du Toit for all their assistance with co-ordinating this project.   

This year we received more than 200 shoeboxes filled with gifts for children of all ages.  A huge thank you to members of the Elgin/Grabouw community, schools and churches, as well as Capespan, Fruitways and the AGSChurch in Bellville, who donated these amazing gifts of love.  Not only were we able to provide all our own Kids Club and beneficiaries’ children with a shoebox, but we had enough to give to the children of beneficiaries of Thembacare and ACVV as well as to children in two foster homes in the community and to HIV positive children at the Day Hospital.  We wish you could have seen the delight on all of the children’s faces as they received these!

On 1 December, we combined World Aids Awareness Day with a special lunch for our Support Groups and our vegetable gardeners at the Elgin Grabouw Country Club.  Everyone wore a beautiful Aids ribbon made by the ladies on the day.

A week later, Driefontein Farm Restaurant again very kindly hosted a Volunteers Lunch to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and commitment during the year.  We are extremely grateful to Herman, Philippus and their staff for this extremely generous contribution to Siphila Sonke.

During December we also held a Kids Club Holiday Program – three (noisy!) days of fun and games for our Kids Club members. Thank you to Di McCullough and Felistus for their dedication to this club and to Simon van der Merwe and Victoria for their help.

To end the year, we delivered the last food parcels to our beneficiaries, together with wonderful Christmas buckets, donated by the Elgin United and AGS (Bellville) Churches and Capespan.

Our Christmas present last year, was a beautiful letter of thanks and an 80cm high Christmas card from one of our beneficiaries to thank Siphila Sonke for helping and supporting her.  Working in a poverty-stricken community can be very taxing for our fieldworkers and receiving a letter/ card like  this goes a long way to motivate/ reassure staff and volunteers that their work does make a difference!

1 2 3 4

Father Christmas giving out shoeboxes at the annual Kids Club Christmas Party

A Siphila Sonke beneficiary receiving a Christmas bucket and a shoebox

A Siphila Sonke beneficiary receiving a Christmas bucket and a shoebox

Some of the more than 200 Christmas shoeboxes we received last year!

We also received a significant donation from the Stormont Presbyterian Church in Ireland at the end of their 3 year commitment to Siphila Sonke.  We will forever be indebted to this parish for their generosity and support, without which we would not be where we are today! A million thanks Stormont!

… and so far, 2012 has gotten off to a great start…. 

2012 kicked off with some good news – after many phone calls, emails, snail mail and wrong registration numbers (from Government), we finally received our NPO Certificate of Registration, without which official funders will not consider our funding applications.

The second bit of good news is that the Deciduous Fruit Industry Development Trust has agreed to support our Kids Club financially for a year, from July 2012 onwards.

And the third great piece of news is that the Rhu Parish Church in Scotland has also committed to helping the Siphila Sonke Kids Club for a year.  This commitment stemmed from a visit to Siphila Sonke by Jim Rogers – a British Airways pilot who visited us and attended our Kids Club Christmas Party last year.

These additional funds will enable us to achieve our plans to extend the Kids Club.  In addition to our Wednesday club under Di McCullough and Felistus’ capable leadership, we have also started:

  • Art Classes run by Stephanie Reith, in partnership with the Elgin Learning Foundation
  • a Reading and Literacy group that meets every Monday afternoon and aims to improve reading and literacy amongst our Kids Club children.  Volunteers read stories to small groups of children.  If you would like to read a story to a small group of children once a month, or if you have any children’s books that you are willing to donate, please contact Rachelle at the office
  • plans to introduce a children’s choir this year – another longstanding dream.

5
Monday pm Reading/Literacy Group

6 7 We are thrilled that Ann Bradford has again become involved in our Support Groups and the Craft Group has commenced this year with great enthusiasm.The ladies were taken on an outing to visit Strand beach during February 2012. For many of them this was a memorable experience, as it was their first visit to the seaside.

Support Group outing to Strand Beach – Feb 2012

We are also very pleased to have the following internships being completed with Siphila Sonke:

  • two Nutritional students from HAN University in Holland are doing a 3 month internship and will host various workshops with the Support Groups to teach them about health, food hygiene and nutrition.
  • Lucy Delport who has just completed her Honours degree in Psychology, will be doing a full year Trauma Counselling internship through Unisa.  As part of this, she will do individual counselling related to bereavement and other trauma, as well as working with the Support Groups.

Our food parcel distribution continues to go well.  Village Supermarket still makes up and delivers the food parcels to our offices every month and we thank them for their service.

On average, 115 people are supported by these parcels each month and we continue to be extremely grateful to you all – our donors, volunteers and staff who make this possible!

Wishing you all a very Happy and blessed Easter!

Download our April 2011 Newsletter here