Firstly my apologies for the fact that you have not had an update on Siyakhulisa news for a while. Our webmaster's server was victim to hackers and we were offline for a considerable time on a number of occasions. Hopefully all is sorted out now. Also if you emailed me on email@example.com during those times and didn't hear from me, I assure you it is not because I was ignoring you, but because I did not receive your email. Again, my sincere apologies. I always love to hear from our supporters. It seems my last newsletter has also irretrievably disappeared with all the drama. If anyone should still have an email copy of Newsletter No. 10 I would be thrilled if you would forward it to me so we can post it on the website again.
Apologies done and dusted, so now I will get down to the business of updating you on what we at Siyakhulisa have been up to.
Our Gill College learners
Believe it or not 4 of our bursary recipients, our first intake in 2012, have reached Grade 12 at Gill College and made us very proud! Through all their trials and tribulations they have made it and we have every confidence in them that they will matriculate at the end of this year.
What then? Sadly Siyakhulisa will be unable to fund their tertiary education however there are government loans they can apply for, so hopefully they will all be able to follow the career path of their choice. We'll keep you informed.
Here they stand proudly in front of Gill College entrance: Bathandwa and Rickeen on the left and Hadlyn and Meagan on the right.
Above we have Thobela and Chevandré. We are thrilled Thobela was able to join the program again after he failed Grade 9 in 2014 and had to find his own funding to repeat the year. Fortunately due to generous concessions from Gill College administrators he was able to stay at the school. He is all fired up now in Grade 10 and we're not expecting anymore diappointments from this young lad.
Chevandré, after a wobbly start in Grade 8, has gone from strength to strength and is feeling confident and comfortable in Grade 11. This young lass has her sights set on joining the army when she finishes school, not a bad choice at all considering that there she will have a wide range of career choices available to her.
News of Nikki"s graduation and this photo appeared in the Newsletter 10 that has gone AWOL. Nikki is still teaching at the same school in Cape Town and loving it. True to his word he has made regular donations to Siyakhulisa from his salary over the past year. We appreciate this as this is what our program is all about. When beneficiaries are in a position to give back to the organistion that helped them to achieve their goals, we can only hope they will remember Siyakhulisa, as Nikki has done.
Teachers 4 Somerset East - A new project
This was a very risky project to embark on considering we had no funds for it, however one would have to be heartless not to see the need to get involved.
We have a serious problem in the Eastern Cape where the Education Department seems to lack the skills to put teachers into schools where they are needed, and secondly to get their salaries paid. Schools are promised they will get the teachers they need but promises are not kept, yet there is no lack of teachers looking for work. In Port Elizabeth the situation is dire and has lead to parents boycotting the schools by keeping their children at home, with the result that some schools have temporarily closed.
At WG Olivier Primary School in Somerset East, on opening day 13 January, a large number of Grade 1 learners, smart in their new uniforms and excited to start their schooling career, were sent home until further notice. There was no teacher for them. None of the much needed teachers promised to this school (and other schools in Somerset East for that matter) were posted. A local church minister who had gone to open the school with a prayer meeting, saw the disappointment in these Grade 1s and their tearful mothers, and decided something had to be done. He approached Siyakhulisa and to cut a long story short we have thrown our weight wholeheartedly into the Teachers 4 Somerset East Project, which somehow plans to find the money to pay teachers a small salary (a fraction of what they should be getting) to fill the gaps in these schools.
The photo below shows our first success story - the Grade 1 class that almost wasn't, and their teacher Mrs van Rooyen, who was prepared to take up the post even before we had collected enough for her first month's salary. We still only have enough to cover the next few months of her salary but we remain optimistic and as soon as we have enough to cover the year we will start collecting for the next teacher.
Members of the community have stepped up to the plate and some local businesses have been generous. However we still have a long way to go and with this project being a very ambitious one for a small town community to cope with, any assistance would be greatly appreciated:
Our Bank details remain:
Please use your name followed by T4SE as your reference should you make a donation which you would like to go towards this project.
Sadly Monsterpay will be terminating their services on 31 March so we will not be able to offer this as a payment option thereafter. However you can still use this option until then and you will find their details on the left of our home page at www.siyakhulisa.com.
Finally, and most importantly, thanks to all our donors who have contributed to our dwindling funds in the past year. We could not have done what we have without you. Our Canadian friends have been amazing and a special thanks goes to Alice who came to our rescue and ran around collecting donations when we discovered we had insufficient funds to cover the school fees this year. We're in the black again thanks especially to another Canadian who recently joined us. Welcome Sherri and thank you for your kind offer to get involved and help us wherever you can.
Well I do hope that you have enjoyed catching up with news of our small charity. Now that our internet problems are sorted I'll endeavour to keep you posted more often in the future.
|On behalf of all our Trustees, blessings and take care.