What We Did
We are again fortunate, due to funding received for this purpose, to be able to support two more children to Grabouw High School (a fee paying school). Jason Sass (Gr8) and Jason Louw (Gr4) are joining Vuyelwa Shumi (Gr6) and Lorenzo Carelse (Gr7), who started at Grabouw High School last year, 2016. All these children come from our informal settlement and we are privileged to be able to influence their lives positively.
Support Group Outing
The Support Group once again went to Harmony Park in Gordons Bay in February. It was a beautiful hot day and all took to the waters with a little help from friends. Wewe (who maintains our vegetable garden) really enjoyed himself and surprised us all with his swimming skills.
Kids Club Christmas Party & Christmas Buckets
The joy of Christmas!! Once again we were fortunate to receive over 130 Christmas Shoeboxes that we were able to distribute to both the children of the Kids Club as well as those of our beneficiaries. Father Christmas once again came (this time with the help of the elf) to visit and we were entertained by the children. A big thank you to Lien & Dume for putting it all together.
Apart from providing the “normal” monthly food parcels it is always a joy to be able to give that little bit extra over the Christmas time and be rewarded by the smiles of gratitude that are received from the beneficiaries. We calculated that 70 buckets would be needed – AND exactly 70 were provided !! So thank you for providing the produce, money and buckets loaded to the brim, and to all those who came and volunteered to hand them out with the food parcels on the Tuesday 13th December 2016, it is gratifying to know that we can rely on your support!
Siphila Sonke once again hosted a tea garden under the oaks at Francie and Alistair Moodie’s Eikenhof farm garden as well as serving lunches and teas at Elgin United Church. We really are very grateful for Eikenhof, Fairholme and Lothian Vineyards for opening their gardens for Siphila Sonke. We really do appreciate all the work that is put in to making your gardens so beautiful every year and coping with the influx of all the people over the two weekends. Also we would like to thank Elgin United Church once again for the use of their facilities to offer lunches and teas over this Open Garden weekends. We are indeed fortunate to have access to these beautiful gardens and to all those who helped make this a success – THANK YOU!!
Soul Food Girls Camp
“I AM BEAUTIFUL, I AM PERFECT, I AM EVERYTHING GOD INTENDED ME TO BE”
The first camp, of hopefully many more, was held on the weekend of the 7th to 9th October at “Kogelberg Farm Hostel”. This was aimed at girls from the community between the ages of 13-18yrs. They all come from homes with huge social problems and find it difficult to cope, some falling victim to teenage pregnancy and substance abuse, and some just dropping out of school. This was a joint venture by ACVV, Soul Food Harmony, Right to Care and Siphila Sonke. Special thanks must go to all who helped this happen. Although the weather was chilly the girls soon settled down, made new friends and had somebody to listen to and give them guidance.
The camp, a dream of Lynette de Bruyn-Davids from Soul Food Harmony, was led and facilitated by Lynette who quickly gained the trust and respect of the girls. She is a remarkable woman with a great passion for the community and its children. When asked where she got the training to be able to work (and cope) her answer is simple – GOD given. As can be imagined the stories of abuse and hopelessness are very traumatic to the person counselling and this could be seen on Saturday afternoon when visiting there.
It is important that we must now not lose the trust and interaction with the girls and need to build on this and the decision was made that ollow-up meetings with these girls will be held every second month. The first of which will be on Friday 2nd December 2016 at the Baptist Church from 4-9 pm.
An evening with Deborah and Gary Kirsten
On Saturday 20 August 2016 Siphila Sonke hosted ‘an Evening on the Couch with Deborah and Gary Kirsten’. Deborah, who is an accomplished speaker and author of “ Chai Tea and Ginger Beer”, and Gary, who needs no introduction – especially to his cricket fans – spoke about their family, marriage and the juggle of this with their extensive travels and Gary’s career. Their anecdotes were filled with humour and interesting facts and made for an enjoyable Saturday evening out!
Their talk was complimented by delicious food and drinks – hot ghluwine was served as complimentary drink on arrival and was followed by a supper of hearty homemade soups, Peregrine Farm Stall breads and cheese platters and ended with tasty homebaked macrons and cupcakes! Thank you to all our chefs!
Thanks to all those that attended and made this such a successful ‘guest speaker fundraiser evening’ for Siphila Sonke. Thank you to Deborah and Gary for coming to Elgin on behalf of Siphila Sonke, and thank you to Catherine and Selborne Boome for having them to stay for the night. Many thanks to Alistair Smith for being MC for the evening (yet again!). Thanks to all our volunteers who helped before, during and after the event! Our thanks too to all those that sponsored wine and food for the evening; it is always gratefully appreciated as this helps us to keep the costs down and funds raised to a maximum! Last but not least, a very big thank you to Liz Wood and Mike Butt for offering Siphila Sonke use of their wonderful venue and staff at Rockhaven!
Kids Club Outing July Holidays
We decided to do something different these holidays with the Kids Club outing and took them to Ysterplaat Air Force Museum. As can be expected the boys enjoyed it far more with all the planes and guns on show. This was the first time that most of them had seen an aeroplane up close. An added bonus was a visit to their Observatory where they were shown how to navigate using the stars.
The Capespan E & G Met
On the 11th March we hosted our ‘night at the races’ fundraiser sponsored by Capespan at the Elgin Learning Foundation. This once again proved to be very successful and was enjoyed by all. We raised close to R90 000! A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who attended and made the evening so successful!
In particular, we would like to thank the following sponsors without whose support this evening would not have been possible:
- Race Sponsors: Capespan, Kromco, Fruitways, Oak Valley, Almenkerk, Liberty Books, Cape Canopy Tours
- Race Horse ‘owners’
- Nicole Precoudis of Terra Madre for her delicious food
- Peregrine Farmstall for the breads
- Elgin Free Range Chickens for the chicken ingredients in the main meal and pate
- Stephanie Reith for the décor and painting that was auctioned
- Nick, Tam and Ross Heynes for taking care of the bar
- Glen Fruin for olives, tapenade, butternut paste and welcome drink
- Kenilworth Racecourse for the jockey outfits-Anna Du Toit for the flowers
- ELF (hall), Elgin United Church (tables & chairs) and ACVV (crockery)
- Prize donors: Mel and Mike Kreft of Belfield Wines, Harmony Clinic, Fred & Max, Genevieve & David Curl of Chateau du Gaby and Peregrine Farmstall
- Jockeys and tote managers
Support Group Outing to the Beach
The year kicked off on a high note with a Support Group outing to the beach on 2 February. It happened to be in the middle of a heat wave, so this came at just the right time – everyone could take to the waters to cool off!
Kids Club Activities
Elephants on Main Street visited us on 28 January 2016 and donated four Music boards and delicious sandwiches that needless to say, were devoured at speed! The music boards have provided much fun for the children. We would like to thank Stephan Blades and his team for thinking of us.
The children joined in the “Grabouw Beautiful Campaign” and painted a few rubbish bins during their Art Classes on a Tuesday. These bins are to be placed throughout Grabouw to encourage people to keep Grabouw beautiful by not littering!
Christmas Shoebox and Bucket Projects
Our special thanks goes to Applewood Preparatory School and Marion Fogell and friends for their generous contributions to our annual Christmas Shoebox Project. Our grateful thanks goes to Elgin United and the greater Elgin Grabouw Community who contributed our Christmas Bucket Project, and especially to Agrimark for their donation of mealie meal for our buckets.
Our Food Parcel Beneficiaries received their Christmas Buckets filled with food treats together with their December food parcels. The children of the Beneficiaries each received a ‘shoebox’ present at the same time. Our Kids Club children received their ‘shoebox’ presents at their annual end of year Christmas Party, personally handed out by Father Christmas!
Kids Club Christmas Party
Our annual Kids Club Christmas Party was held in December as a celebration of all that the children had achieved during the 2015 year. Book prizes were handed out to those children who had excelled or improved during the year, in Maths, English Reading and Art. Those children who had exemplary attendance records, also received book prizes. The children provided entertainment for their classmates, as well as parents and volunteers who attended the party. Everyone enjoyed some party food before heading home for the school holidays!
Elgin Open Gardens
On the weekends of 31 October & 1 November, and 7 & 8 November Elgin held its annual Open Gardens. Siphila Sonke hosted 2 tea gardens this year – a first for us! After 2 years absence, Francie and Alistair Moodie re-opened their Eikenhof garden and offered Siphila Sonke the opportunity to host a tea garden under their magnificent oak trees. We also served lunches and teas at Elgin United Church, on the Viljoenshoep Road, which had been our home for the previous 2 years. Both venues were a resounding success, thanks to our volunteers who worked serving teas and lunches, selling tickets and prepping food, as well as to those volunteers behind the scenes who made and donated delicious home made eats!
We are also most grateful to Alastair and Francie Moodie for opening their magnificent garden at Eikenhof where we could offer teas and lunches, as well as to Liz and Duncan Henderson from Fairholme, and Gavin and Ewen Wilson from Lothian, for donating their proceeds to us. Our thanks too to all visitors as well as members of the local community who visited these open gardens and our tea gardens. We raised over R100,000!
Kids Club Outing to see the Whales
During the September school holidays they went to Hermanus to see whales which unfortunately were not close in, but out in the Bay and could only see them breaching. The children then braved the cold water and had a great time at the Old Harbour swimming and came back exhausted!
Kids Club Outing to the Aquarium
It was with great excitement that our Kids Club members boarded a Gaffley’s Bus early one morning during the July school holidays, to visit the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. Many of our children have never been over Sir Lowry’s Pass and were thrilled to see the sea – some for the first time! Imagine the further excitement when we reached Cape Town and they saw skyscrapers and the harbour with all the ships and cranes!
We were taken on a guided tour of the aquarium and the children loved the experience, especially the “Nemo” fish tank which is circular. The children were able to climb into the inner tube and watch the fish swimming past them!
After their outing, we asked the children to write an essay or a drawing about their visit. We also showed them the ‘Finding Nemo’ DVD. They were able to recognise and identify many species in the movie from their visit the previous day; this was very exciting for them, and us!
Clem Sunter Fundraiser
We were thrilled to have Clem Sunter as our Guest Speaker at our major annual fundraiser, held on 4 June. Clem is a world-renowned strategist and scenario planner, and we are extremely grateful to him for supporting us. His talk was thoroughly enjoyed by all!
A huge thanks to Liz Wood and Mike Butt for the use of Rockhaven as the perfect venue for the evening, as well as to Joan Lancefield and Nicole Precoudis for the delicious and hearty soups and Louise Moss for her scrumptious macaroons! We would also like to thank our local Elgin Valley wine producers who contributed generously to the evening. It was a great success and we raised in excess of R55 000!
Kids Club Christmas Party
The annual Siphila Sonke Kids Club Christmas Party was held in December just before the start of the school holidays. Our grateful thanks to Applewood Primary School parents and children, as well as members of Elgin United Church and other individuals of the community who donated a Shoe Box of gifts to each child. Thanks to our Treasurer, Stuart Maxwell, who made the childrens’ day by handing out Christmas presents dressed as a very convincing Father Christmas!
Prizes were awarded to those children who had excelled during the 2014 year at Maths, English Reading and Art. Children with exemplary attendance also received prizes. Individual and Group performances from members of the Kids Club – singing, rapping and drumming – kept the children and guests entertained.
Elgin Open Gardens
Elgin Valley basked in glorious sunshine over the first 2 weekends in November, encouraging vast numbers of visitors to the Open Gardens of Elgin. We were happy to serve many of these visitors at our tea garden, which we hosted at Elgin United Church.
Our thanks to the EUC for the use of their facilities and to everyone who helped in making and/or donating food for the tea garden – cakes, apple pies, cupcakes, hams, quiches, salads, coronation chicken etc! Our thanks too, to those volunteers who gave of their time to serve the teas and lunches, work in the kitchen prepping food or out in the front selling tickets. A special thank you to all those Open Gardens as well as the Elgin Valley Fair who donated proceeds from their entrance fees to Siphila Sonke! And last but not least, thank you to those individuals who went the extra mile to support Siphila Sonke through donations towards the building upgrade to the Container at our Siphila Sonke Offices.
E & G Met
After a few false starts our horseracing fundraiser, the E&G Met, was a resounding success! Our grateful thanks to Elgin Learning Foundation who accommodated us at short notice and to Ross Haynes who successfully ran our bar, also at short notice!
Additional thanks to:
- Nicole Precoudis who donated her skills and time as chef for the evening
- Stephanie Reith who painted all our horseracing banners so expertly and colourfully
- Elgin Free Range Chickens, who donated all chicken and chicken livers used in the evening’s meal
- All donations of wine and food
- All local businesses who purchased races
- All racehorse owners
- All our punters
Kids Club Christmas Party
At the end of every year Siphila Sonke hosts a Christmas Party for our children belonging to our Kids Clubs, Shoe box gifts are donated by Applewood Primary School parents and children. During this event our ‘Kids” performed on Drums and the Drum Majorettes (Drummies) also performed for everyone.
Elgin Open Gardens
Visitors to The Elgin Open Gardens found us at our new venue – Elgin United Church. After many successful years of running our tea garden at the Moodie’s beautiful garden on Eikenhof, we moved to the church premises in Viljoenshoop Road. The weather was superb and so was the support we received from both visitors to our tea garden as well as other Open Gardens who donated proceeds to Siphila Sonke! Our thanks too to all Siphila Sonke Volunteers and staff who helped by donating/ serving teas, coffees and lunches.
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.
E & G Met
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.