2014 has been a year of growth and development for the Haven and we head into 2015 with six pre-primary classes, 3 Xhosa and 3 Afrikaans. We are so proud of this year’s “Learner of the Year” little Sibabalwe Maleki, seen here standing here with her teacher Monika Guga.
And we are thrilled to hear that past learner Thandolwethu Njena who received a scholarship to attend the prestigious St Francis College will be going into Grade 5 next year. Despite the fact that she lives in very poor circumstances she has managed to keep up with the class average and we are very proud of her indeed.
Montessori classes have been a great success under Afrikaans teacher Virginia Brown and next year our first Xhosa Montessori class will begin under Xhosa teacher Laurika Coetzer.
We have only just heard that Laurika has passed her examinations with flying colours and is now a qualified Montessori Teacher. We look forward to handing over her certificate early next year when she returns from maternity leave ready to meet her very first Montessori class.
Little did we realise fourteen years ago when we started our first pre-primary classes at the Haven, that we would still be hosting these classes. Although work has begun on the new primary school, we anticipate that the Haven’s classes will have to continue for at least another two years. We remain committed to providing the very best schooling for pre-primary learners until such time as we hand the classes over to the new school.
Our Youth Development Programme was launched in March and, assisted by a donation from local Rotarians of R10 000, got off to a flying start. Regular youth clubs organised by tireless Jenny Suter have been held on the first Saturday of each month and are proving to be very popular.
Our media centre is taking shape and has been accepted with wild enthusiasm by all the children both in the pre-primary classes and after care, with Llewellyn Baatjies on duty to manage the centre. The centre provides a fun learning environment for our children, while at the same time keeping them off the streets and out of harm’s way.
We have come to realise that a far greater space will be needed to cater for its growing popularity and for a properly organised children’s library. Therefore 2015 will be a year of intense fundraising to allow us to expand our existing building to accommodate this very important project.
We will also be calling for more volunteers to help us run the media centre afternoons and we are always appealing for board games, particularly chess and children’s books for our library.
It hasn’t all been about class work for our learners. They were treated to “A Walk on The Wild Side” with FOSTER organiser Lilian Baker where they learned about the delicate balance of nature in our very special part of the world.
During a visit to the SANCCOB Rehabilitation Centre in Cape St Francis, they had an opportunity to meet Frances – a charming penguin who was introduced by SANCCOB’s dynamic Louanne - so our children could learn about the important work that SANCCOB does to save this endangered species right on our doorstep.
And of course there was the unforgettable fashion show event in September. This annual event was suggested by parents and raised R2507.50 for the Haven! There were 35 participants, all them received a gift. Thanks to the Cape St Francis Resort, Rene from Glo, our management, the judges and the loyal support from our parents.
We have enormous thanks to pass on to our volunteers who do such sterling work. Music teacher Natasha Brown has been coming once a week to give each class a music lesson. She has composed a special school song for us and produced the most delightful Nativity play at our Graduation ceremony In November.
We are also grateful to volunteer Tom Roux who comes to the Haven every Tuesday and Thursday to teach after care boys rugby and the pre-primary learners ball skills. The children absolutely love these sessions with Tom, and we still nurture the dream of having our own full time sports teacher to provide our children with desperately needed sports coaching and discipline.
The wonderful St Francis young mother’s group who call themselves “Ukupha” meaning “To Give” in Xhosa have upgraded our play house, treated each of our children to a beautifully wrapped Santa Surprise gift and have hosted two of our youth club afternoons. Thank you ladies!
Special thanks to the boys and girls from Nico Malan High School in Humansdorp who spent an afternoon with the children in the media centre, teaching them how to play board games, building puzzles and helping them with their reading. We truly look forward to welcoming you back to the Haven soon!
A special mention needs to be made of the Cape St Francis Resort who have included the Haven on their bus tour route. They regularly bring bus loads of foreign tourists to meet the children and learn all about our little school. They often make important donations of toys, stationery and even money and we are enormously grateful.
In addition, we cannot forget Talhado Fishing Industries who have never waivered in their support despite the recent problems in the fishing industry and our steadfast and generous Norwegian friends who continue to stand by us.
My final thanks must go to the staff, volunteers and children of Talhado Children’s Haven who treated me to the most wonderful 70th birthday party in early December. It was pure joy to experience and the best birthday party anyone could have asked for.
Our Haven family has also expanded this year. We congratulate teacher Laurika Coetzer on the birth of her baby boy, school secretary Chamel Malgas on the birth of her baby boy, school cleaner Bridget Joka on the arrival of her twins (a boy and a girl) and our cook Patricia Zondani on the arrival of her little girl. We look forward to welcoming all of these new kiddies to Talhado pre-primary school in the not too distant future!
We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your constant loyalty and support without which we could not possibly do what we do at the Haven. I sincerely hope that you will all continue on this journey alongside us.
We wish you all a blessed Christmas and a happy and safe 2015.