Sunday
May132012

Postponed

Sorry for the delay in getting the newsletter to you. There is some sad news and some great news.

Due to a delay in the screening of Patricia, the prospective housemother, by Badisa, the opening of Thomas house was postponed and the new date is 22 June. Patricia has been cleared and will be the housemother of Thomas house. We wish her well in her new job and welcome her wholeheartedly into our family. Soon we will be welcoming the children too.

The Adam family have generously donated 1 double bunk.

The banister in Thomas house has been completed by workers from the community at a reduced price. Pictures will be up soon.

Diane, a member of CDC Basel has started a small business called Delicious. She sells muffins, cupcakes, etc and all proceeds go to CDC. The first order for a birthday party at the Basel airport was a success. Please keep Delicious in mind as providers for parties, aperos or for coffee breaks for seminars, meetings, etc. Prices are marginally more than similar goods sold at conventional stores, however keep in mind that the proceeds are for a good cause. For orders please email delicious@careanddevelopment.co.za Orders should be made at least 72 hours before the event with a minimum of 5 muffins.

May was a successful month as far as fundraising is concerned. Diane and I, together with our respective families, spent Ascension Thursday and the Saturday thereafter, selling double chocolate muffins, apple and yoghurt muffins, apricot+macadamia nuts+white chocolate muffins, brownies and NY cheesecake outside Martinskirche in Basel where a youth choir festival was being held.  We were able to collect 470 chf in sales and donations. All ingredients were donated by the two families.

I was able to transfer R8000 (933 chf incl bank costs) to CDC Cape Town in April and our bank account is again at a fairly healthy 834 chf. Thank you to the members who have paid their membership fee and to those who have donated and helped with the fundraising.

Some sad news.  Theuns is no longer in the care of CDC.  Unfortunately he was not ready to be integrated into a family and in response to advice from his social worker and psychiatrist after numerous consultation sessions, it was decided to move him to a safe house for boys.

Caylin is still in need of a sponsor or sponsors who is willing to donate R1500 (144 euro or 173 chf) per month to help cover her accommodation, transport, allowance, clothes and other sundry costs.

In order to sustain Thomas house, a comprehensive fundraising strategy is being developed. More about that in the June newsletter.

Thank you to all for your support

Thursday
Apr192012

1 May fast approaching

Some good news, some bad news and some updates.

The good news is that our daughter Layla was born on 30 March. A tad early, but luckily healthy and strong.

The bad news is that CDC Basel was hoping to sell cakes at Gymnasium Oberwil since my niece Cheri had spent 6 months there and the students wanted to contribute towards CDC. Unfortunately, the governing body of the school has decided not to allow us to sell cakes as they perceive that we would be competing with the cafeteria at the school. Thank you to Diane for all her effort in trying to persuade Gymnasium Oberwil other wise.

I will now approach the Catholic church in Oberwil and Muttenz and hope that we can sell cake after mass on Sundays, maybe 2 Sundays a month.  Fingers crossed that they'll allow it.

Patricia, the prospective housemother for Thomas house, is very interested in taking the job and CDC is eager to hire her. She now has to undergo interviews with Badisa Tygerberg. The process of finding a housemother is not taken lightly.

The lease between Mr & Mrs Thomas and CDC has been legally set up. CDC leases Thomas house rent-free for 5 years to be renewed for another 5 years. CDC has first option to buy Thomas house if the owners want to sell at a later date. Any renovations or upgrades made to the house by CDC will be reimbursed if the house should be sold at a later date.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Caylin's sponsors have withdrawn their sponsorship. Please, if you are interested in being a sponsor for Caylin, let me know. This entails financing board and lodging, toiletries, allowance, extra-curricular activites, clothes, transport costs to and from school, school expenses,etc. You could be responsible for part of the costs or all of it, but any help is welcome.

Theuns will hopefully start school soon. Cheryl has a meeting with the psychologist from EMDC (Education Management and Development Centres) on the 20 April 2012. He is optimistic that Theuns will be accepted at Vista Nova school. Theuns too could benefit from the goodwill of a sponsor. When Theuns joined our household, he hardly had clothes. Cheryl has bought him the basics, but he is a growing 15 year old. Again, any help would be appreciated.

Cheryl has calculated that the cost per child per month in Thomas house would be about R3079 (359 chf or 298 euro). This covers everything including the housemother salary, living costs, allowance, clothes, school expenses, etc. Because we will be sending our children to schools that offer better education possibilities and these schools are not within the community (travel costs), the cost estimated by Home from Home of R6000 - R7000 per month for the house, is much lower than the costs we will have.  Offering our children a good education is one of the main aims of CDC.

The banister is in the process of being erected in Thomas house. Mr Thomas has generously offered to pay half the cost.

We are still in need of double bunks or the finances for double bunks, please. 1 May is fast approaching...

 

Wednesday
Mar142012

Nearly there

I know it has been a while and I apologise sincerely. Although things have been hectic - moving, pregnancy, festive season - we have made progress in CDC.

Gail and Cheryl will be meeting with Home from Home (HfH) later this month to sign the affiliation contract. This affiliation allows CDC access to the psychologists, social workers and expertise that HfH have accumulated over the years, thus enabling CDC to fulfill their aims to the best of their abilities.

With the help of HfH, we may have a housemother for Thomas house.  HfH has specific screening methods which makes sure that the children have a responsible, capable and loving housemother to look after them.

Badisa Tygerberg (www.badisa.org.za, the organisation in charge of finding homes for children in Uitsig, the area where Thomas house is situated) already has 2 children that they are eager to place in Thomas house. 

Cheryl, under the auspices of CDC, has been awarded the safekeeping of a 15-year old boy, Theuns. The placing of Theuns was made possible through Badisa Wynberg. Because of the abuse he has suffered, Theuns needs to attend a special school, which Cheryl is trying to organise currently. Theuns was strong enough not to turn to drugs or alcohol to escape his abuse and we hope that by being surrounded by a loving family, he will go from strength to strength.

Badisa would like to start placing children in Thomas house by May 2012. For this to be possible, we need to furnish Thomas house with double bunks and place a banister on the stairway. Our need for funds is urgent, please help.

Monday
Nov212011

We're registered

It took more than 5 months but CDC Cape Town is finally registered as an NPO.

We have also decided to affiliate with Home from Home (HfH) which is an established cluster foster home organisation existing since 1995 (www.homefromhome.org.za). This means that CDC will have access to any resources provided by HfH but will still be responsible for the children and housemother financially.

Unfortunately, donations are slow and far between.  According to HfH CDC will need approximately R6000 (740 chf) - R7000 (860 chf) per month to run Thomas house. But we'll get there

Tuesday
Nov012011

Caylin's experiences thus far

Caylin spent her autumn school holiday with me recently.  I asked her to write a short description of her experiences thus far:

Hi, my name is Caylin. I am 15 years old and I am writing to you from Germany.

My story is really amazing thanks to the people who helped me are still helping me accomplish my dreams.

We planned my stay in Germany for a while before I came here. I honestly swear I also stressed as much as Aunty Dez, Gail and Aunty Cheryl. I was starting to get/have doubts. Well, I thought I won't be coming anymore due to problems with my visa and passport. Cheri Jaftha (Cheryl's daughter) and I sold muffins at school to pay for the passport application. Aunty Dez's son, Luca, paid for my flight by using his baptism money. Many different people helped out. Ma (our mom) took time to drive me where I needed to go, whether it was for the passport photos or to collect my visa. She didn't mind. Aunty Cheryl, Aunty Dez and Aunty Gail also helped by getting my documents and paperwork done. They made it happen. All of the sisters, family and friends were there when I needed them.

Germany is great so far. The school is great, the people are great and simply just being here is great. I have got to say, luck is on my side.

I have been to Belgium and the Netherlands on class trips. And I really had fun. I have gotten to know new people and learnt valuable lessons. I have seen how different people are compared to me. For example, the girls and boys seem very mature for their ages but they know right from wrong. They are big too, as in tall. It seems like the people trust their kids enough to let them go out and have fun and knowing that you should be careful. For me, they, well most of the people, are environmental-friendly. They recycle their glass, paper, tins, etc. They ride bicycles instead of driving so much. Even the elderly in their 50's or early 60's.

I never in my life imagined riding on a bicycle to school and wherever I go. And I mean, I can just close my eyes for a second and open it... and boom, you see a bicycle. Maybe I am exaggerating, but I am telling the truth about seeing many bicycles here.

My host family is really great. We have fun together and I mean great fun. They make me feel like I am part of the family and that makes me love them very much. They really care about me and I wouldn't want to disappoint them or anyone else. All I can do is pray and work hard.

I spent my first holiday in Switzerland with my best friend Cheri, Aunty Dez and Uncle Marc. I had fun and loved every moment of it. Cheri and I went to Zurich for a day and we had our crazy moments. But most of the time I made the most of it.

In life, if you try to have fun and work hard, you will accomplish many things.

For me, itis a great experience to have a chance to come here and see the world. Just because people think that going to another country/continent will change your attitude towards your environment, doesn't mean that it is so. As much as I like it here, I wouldn't want to go a life time without South Africa. Getting to be here is great and to see and know that other kids can have the same chances is a good feeling. It will show the kids/teenagers that you do get different ways of living but it doesn't mean that it will change you. You are who you are adn you make your own choices. And it is good to be able to see places and still know that you have a home to get back to in South Africa and that is the best feeling. Have fun while it lasts.

I just wnat to say thank you to ALL the people who are there for me and who care about me... Thank you

Tuesday
Oct252011

Movement

It's been a busy month, both for the organisation and personally, so please accept my apologies for the delay in getting out the newsletter.

Thomas house was visited by members of BADISA and then later in the month, they were accompanied by members of Home from Home (http://www.homefromhome.org.za) and Rainbow of Hope (http://www.yearoutafrica.com/rainbowofhope.html). All were impressed with Thomas house and we are now in discussions to form an alliance. Although the members of these organisations were impressed with Thomas house, renovations are still needed and Gail has had quotes for the electrical work from H.R. Electrical Services which total R21 136 and renovations to the house from Filprop totalling R150 352. CDC currently has about R10 000 in the bank, so donations are needed and gladly appreciated.

CDC Basel received its first funding refusal.  Stiftung Mercator was very gracious in their refusal and from the email it is clear that their focus is mainly on Swiss children and Swiss projects.

Registration of CDC Cape Town is still pending, but should happen soon as the department of social services is catching up with their backlog.

We are currently looking for a volunteer to translate our English entries to German.  The current translator, Monika, has a full schedule and is unable to continue translating. Please contact me if you are interested and able.

 

 

Thursday
Sep292011

Some progress

Finally there has been some progress.  CDC Basel has been recognised as an NGO by the taxation committee.  Donors to CDC Basel can now have their donations tax deductible which is great news. Ruby-Ann is still in communication with the South African Revenue Services so that CDC Cape Town can be recognised as a public benefit organisation for tax purposes.

I've applied for funding but will only know the results at the end of the month or beginning of next month. Fundraising for an NGO is definitely a different world, I hope I'm up to the challenge.

Since we received no feedback from the department of social development, a friend put me into contact with somebody who then provided me with the contact details of the social worker in-charge of Uitsig (where our foster home will be). We have now made contact with Karen Verwaardt at BADISA (www.badisa.org.za) who is in charge of finding homes for children in need. Karen has agreed to have a look at the house and will be meeting with Gail and Cheryl early in October to discuss further collaborations.

Gail contacted the Department of Social Development again regarding the progress of the registration of CDC Cape Town. She was requested to phone again in two weeks as the department was still dealing with a backlog. This was at the beginning of the month.  Two weeks later, she was told to phone again in another two weeks.

Mr Andrew Cloete of DBL Transport has generously offered to help renovate and fix the house for when the children come. A huge thank you to him and his family.

The search for a housemother continues. I contacted the order of the Dominican sisters in Cape Town, but they seem to have a shortage of young nuns, as the average age at the moment is about 75 years. Although we won't mind having a mature person, 75 is a bit too mature for the job.  I am now in contact with the Holy Cross sisters who have a younger set of sisters. Let's hope they can help.

We have changed the set-up of the website. CDC Basel will now have a completely separate website - www.careanddevelopment.ch This makes management of the websites a lot easier.  A huge thank you to Squarespace for donating a second web platform for us to use.

Saturday
Aug202011

Caylin is in Germany

Everything worked out. The visa arrived the week before Caylin's planned departure. The flight ticket was bought on the same day. Luckily there were seats available. Caylin flew with Emirates which is a longer flight but more baggage is allowed and the flight was the cheapest. She arrived safely in Hamburg on 17 August and is adjusting nicely. School started the very next day. I'll put up the pictures when we get back home.

I contacted Mandy-Anne Berridge, the coordinator for community work at Levi Strauss for some advice. She kindly offered me a few tips which I will implement soon. The main tip was to make a page stating what we need as many companies prefer giving materials instead of cash.

We still have not received the requested information from the department of social development. It is difficult to move forward when we don't have any contact persons. Any advice on how to get the information we need?

We'll be moving soon and we have many books that I'd like to donate to the house. I want to encourage the children to read. The problem is getting the books from Europe to South Africa. Has anybody got contacts at a courier company or the post office who will waiver the transport costs? I thought we may collect old stuff (clothes for 9-10 year olds, books, toys, shoes, etc) and send one big container. If anybody has stuff they want to send, please contact me via email.

Thank you for your support.

 

 

Monday
Jul252011

Slow going

It's holiday time, so everything has slowed down. I'm on holiday with the family too and will only be back in fullswing mid-September. I am still trying to organize and raise funds from the road, though.
Thank you to all who have supported in cash and kind, your donations are greatly valued. The task ahead is not an easy one, especially considering the economic conditions, but I will triple my efforts once I'm back home. I have seen that there are a number of places where one can send proposals. This is my aim.

Some good news, Marc's aunt and her partner have already offered to host the next student we have on the academic exchange program. A huge thank you to them.

While on my holiday, I was confronted with the question - why support CDC when there are poor people in Germany/Switzerland. I realize that there are disadvantaged, poor people everywhere, the difference is that in Germany or Switzerland there are social structures in place to help these people. In South Africa, not. In Germany and Switzerland the education is free and the quality of the education is good at these public schools. In South Africa, the quality of the education is vastly different and mostly inferior in the public schools. The poor therefore are forced to endure an inferior education, which leads to inferior jobs and the poverty continues from one generation to the next. In both Germany and Switzerland it is compulsory to have a health insurance. Those who cannot afford it, are supplemented by the government. In South Africa, if you don't have a medical aid, you have to attend the free public clinics. My neighbors in Cape Town do not have medical aid and they hate these clinics. Firstly because you have to sit there whole day in order to see a doctor, and secondly, the treatment is often under par because often there's either only a nurse or a nurse and an inexperienced doctor (usually students finishing their compulsory social service). The list is endless.

Cheryl and Gail visited the department of social services but unfortunately nothing much came of the appointment except that we were informed of a backlog in registering NGO's and so the registration will take longer than anticipated. We are now awaiting the information by email, that we had intended obtaining at the meeting.

A short description of the house we'll be using since I am unable to upload the pictures properly at the moment:
There are two bedrooms downstairs, a bathroom and separate toilet, a huge sitting room area, a dining room and a large kitchen. Upstairs there is an en suite bedroom, a small study and a game room with a billiards table. The game room will be moved to the second garage outside and the room will be converted into a study area. Although there are beds in the rooms, we hope to replace these with bunk beds, we would need desks and computers for the study. So lots to do before the children can move in.

I hope to have better and more news next month. Until then, thank you for your support and all the best.

Saturday
Jun182011

Hi all,

This will be the first newsletter for CDC and I'll try to write one at least once a month from hereon forwards.

Things are going a bit slowly with CDC Cape Town because the founding members live so far apart and documents are needed in original and signed, but we're moving forward nonetheless.  We have made application to register CDC in Cape Town even though registering with the department of social development is optional and not compulsory.  This process should take about 2 months, and then it is fullsteam ahead. While that is going on, we'll be looking for a housemother.  I spoke to other NGO's and finding a good housemother won't be easy.  Anybody interested in moving to Cape Town and looking after children for minimum pay, but rent free:-)

Below is a streetview picture of my parents' house, which will be a home that CDC can use. This is actually a great tool for you to see Uitsig, the area where CDC will be active and where we grew up. If you want, I can give a small tour. On the picture below, you are facing 13 Magnolia Crescent, Uitsig.


Größere Kartenansicht

Turn left and go down the road till you get to a Stop sign. Across the way is Uitsig Senior Secondary School, the children at CDC will not be attending this school, besides it being an Afrikaans medium school, the pass rate is not very high in matric. Turn left and follow the road.  On the right you will soon see the RDP (reconstruction and development) houses. Follow the road around the corner and you will encounter the flats on the right.  Flats are not like apartments in Europe.  They are low cost housing and often overrun with gang members.  Turn right at the next stop sign.  On the left is what is called Old Uitsig.  On the right hand side is Uitsig Soccer field, this is home to Trinitarians AFC (a soccer club initiated by my grandmother to try and keep my dad and other youngsters off the streets and away from gangs.  The club was started 60 years ago by my dad and is still going strong).  Further on you will see more of Old Uitsig and the area where the children will most probably come from.

The first project of CDC which was to enable Caylin to participate in an academic exchange program to Germany, is progressing.  Caylin lived in the Ark, a place which houses homeless people, since she was 7 years old.  Since 2009, Caylin lives with Cheryl Jaftha, one of the founders of CDC, and her children.  Family Mädler, from Bremen, Germany have kindly offered to be the host family to Caylin during the exchange program which will run from August 2011 to February 2012.  Caylin will be attending the Ökumenische Gymnasium Bremen.  The school was kind enough to waive the school fees.  Caylin's flight was sponsored by Luca Schumann's baptismal guests.  The application for the visa was delayed because of a delay at the Department of Home Affairs in issuing Caylin's passport.  Caylin has now received her passport, and we hope the visa application will go smoothly.  A huge thank you to all for their support and help in this endeavour.  

While looking for funds and possibilities to get the NGO going, I have been amazed at the generosity I've encountered.  Squarespace, donated this website platform to CDC without hesitation.  Friends and family gave generously at Luca's baptism.  People I had never met who worked for other NGO's and that I contacted with questions, were eager to help. Thank you to Monika and the 2 Marcs for helping me to set up CDC in Basel. Of course there were also places that wouldn't help, but hopefully with time they'll change their minds too.

 

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