Home Affairs Day

Today we have the Department of Home Affairs at our Community Centre.

We were joined by six representatives from Home Affairs who were able to take information from Community Members who would like to replace a lost or stolen ID book or perhaps apply for an ID for the first time.  They were also able to help with parents applying for a Birth Certificate for their child as well as correcting spelling errors in peoples ID books

Isibani team members assisted with the process of directing people and helping with copies of ID’s and other relevant documents.

Home Affairs also brought a photographer meaning people who did not have ID photos were able to get one right away.

The ward councilor also came along and was available to hand out proof of residence forms and answer questions from the community members who have problems.

Isibani Crèche? Khethani Crèche? Any Crèche?

Our Volunteer, Julia, has been working on a daily basis with the old Isibani Creche, now Khethani Creche…. or any name Creche…..

We would like to share some feelings, changes and emotions Julia had around the Creche changes and how we are involved now:

It was on a Tuesday, when I get to know, that the Isibani Crèche will close. I was really shocked, sad and I was fearful of what will happen now.
After my first shock I was speaking a lot with nearly everybody about the advantages and the disadvantages. A few days later and especially when I was thinking about all the chances for the Community, I was quite happy. It was a big decision that Isibani was making by closing our “Isibani Crèche”, but it was a new beginning for the community.
We had parents meetings to explain why we are closing our Crèche and why we want to give the Crèche back to the community. They can run a Crèche on their own and we are really happy to help them to build up a new Crèche.

The last day of our Isibani Crèche was the 12.12.2014. Our Crèche was closing and will not open again!

In January 2015, when Isibani opened the gate again, there was no Crèche anymore. I really missed going to the Crèche, playing with the Kids and making teaching lessons there.

We got some great news during the second week of January, a new Crèche opened!

I was really happy when I got this great news. I went there the same day. I wanted to see the new Crèche, see the children and find out exactly where it is. Sofi was warning me before, that it’s not too nice and there is still a hole in the floor and so on.

As I look at it now, the Crèche is not looking horrible, it is a nice place but in the first moment I was shocked. Shocked that there was nothing; no mattress, no chairs, no tables, no toys and I think nearly everything was missing.
Isibani said they really want to help new Crèches, to support them with things we already have and don’t use any more.

The next day I went with some soft toys but not with tables or chairs. You may ask why? The reason was to allow the new crèche to organise some things on their own. We sat together and made a plan; what they really need, what they can organize for themselves and where they maybe need help.
After only two days they had already fixed the big hole in the floor, they organized a curtain to separate the Crèche from the Baby Day Care. I was really happy about everything they managed on their own and especially because it didn’t need too much time.

Maybe it’s not the prettiest place (..yet), maybe we don’t have that many toys but do you know what? It doesn’t matter, because having all these material things doesn’t make the children happy. No! They need the love of a person. I can say, when I see those Gogo’s working with the children, then my heart starts smiling and I think, every heart is doing it like this. They really love the children and for me, it is the main thing, what you need your whole life long: LOVE.

Julia

A way forward

Dear all

As we start a new year we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Isibani not only over the past year but since we started! We took over the old Celimfundo School site in 2008 and the support we have received from the local Winterton and Champagne Valley community has made it possible for us to serve many hundreds of people during that time.

Over the years we have helped many people with ID books, grants, health issues, emergency relief, food parcels, social issues and much more. It has been a blessing and a privilege to meet so many amazing people, both clients and volunteers, and to see the needs of the local community unfold.

Since opening the centre in 2008 we have seen and responded to many changes in the needs of the community and as we start 2015 we are trusting God to show us His plans for the community centre and our respective roles within that.

We have tried to offer as many services as possible to the community and our main objective has always been to bridge the gap between the needs of the community and the services the Government is able to offer; we are delighted that there is less of a need for some of our services now as clients are able to access Government services directly.

2015 is the start of the next phase of Isibani where we will have a much bigger presence door to door in the community and on local farms and in the rural areas; we are finding that the people who really need us now are not able or willing to come to our centre. With that in mind we want to make ourselves more available in the community offering holistic care door to door.

We will still offer full services from Isibani on Monday and Friday of each week and our help desk will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as normal but our full range of services will only be available on Monday and Friday of each week.

We do not know exactly what the future holds for Isibani or for our site but ask for you to keep us and the work of Isibani in your prayers.

We are very excited about this next phase of Isibani and trust that you will walk alongside us as we discover what God has in store for us.

Yours sincerely

The Isibani team

Happy New Year

It has been very quiet from our side and we send our sincere apologies to all of our followers.

Before we had our Christmas break at Isibani it actually has been crazy here. We had to prepare for the break, and make sure all our clients are fine and are well prepared for the Christmas season. Food parcels have been given out and children from our place of safety went to family members.

Some staff members left Isibani and we had to say goodbye with a happy tear and a sad tear. All the Best to Thandeka who will study now through UNISA and all the Best to Buyi who will finish her drivers license and is trying to get into paramedics.
Thokozile and Ivy, who helped out temporary also left Isibani.

Yesterday we started a new children’s camp at Emseni in partnership with Childline South Africa. We invited 30 children from our area who have been abused with their caregivers and social workers to support the children and families with the healing process. The camp will take 7 days and we hope in future to work more closer together with Childline and maybe organize some more of this camps.

In the mean time we all busy with a spring clean and planning the new year.

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New dresses

One day our Place of Safety House mums went out and did some shopping while the children where at school, and in the creche.

They came back very excited and showed us their new dresses.
We want to share their excitement with you!

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Heritage Month, Birthdays and Welcoming Summer

On the 24th of September South Africa celebrated Heritage Day. But in fact the whole month was a heritage month for most of the people. Everywhere you could see people walking around in their traditional dresses and also the Isibani team on some days.

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Yesterday we also celebrated Buyis Birthday. Julia made a cake, which the team finished in seconds! Happy Birthday Buyi!

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The summer is coming to Winterton. In the last few days we had the first big rains since April, the temperature is rising and the beautiful landscape of the Drakensberg is starting to turn green again.

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Visitors from Germany

As previously reported, we had a group of 11 young people from Germany visiting Isibani for a few weeks. Within this time they helped transforming our kitchen to a beautiful “lounge-meeting” room and set up a smaller kitchen in the old pantry.

We did not expect that they could achieve so much in such a short time and that the room could be transformed so beautifully. Now we can use this room for our breakfast group children who come in every day for a breakfast and a group session. These children do not go to school at the moment. They live in difficult / neglectful home situations, they sleep wherever they find space – either at home or elsewhere and during the day they hang around the shops asking for food and money to buy glue to sniff.

With this Programme we try to connect with those children, give them a place of refuge and love and help them to go back to school.  Some of the children even worked with the German group as they cleaned, painted, tidied and organised.  It was so great to see them taking an interest in the kitchen renovation and just goes to show that a lot of the time all they really want is people to care and to spend time with.

The German group also helped sorting out donations in the charity shop, they helped out on clinic days and cleaned our top storage building (wow!!), they set up a new store room for Matthew 25 and fixed all sorts of small things at Isibani and the place of safety where maintenance was needed.

Huge thanks to the group whod made this possible and for being part of Isibani

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Winterton Primary Visit

Last week on Friday the Grade 3’s of the Winterton Primary School came to visit the Crèche children at our Community Centre. They came to sing songs for the kids and to bring presents. Every child got a gift bag with things like sweets, fruits, a face cloth, soap and self-made masks as well as a necklace created by the pupils of the primary school. All the Crèche children were very happy to get these gift bags and to play with the older children on the jungle gym.

The little children also sang some songs to say thank you to the visitors.
The Isibani team wants to say thank you as well for coming and bringing presents. It was great to have you here!

New people

Many new things happened in the last few weeks at Isibani but first of all we would like to welcome some new people at Isibani:

Nora and Julia, the two new German volunteers arrived and will be with us for the next year, working at Isibani and the Place of Safety. Soon, we will post their profiles on our wepage so you can learn more about them..

Sandra came back from her visit in Germany.

A group of 11 young people from Germany are visiting Winterton at the moment and they will also be helping at the Community Centre for the next weeks with a few projects. For those who speak German you can follow them on their blog.

On Sunday, John from Australia arrived. He is here for a two week visit.

We are looking forward to lots of new ideas and hoping each of you will enjoy the Isibani Family!!