A very warm hello to all our stakeholders, partners and friends.
We are pleased to inform you of the following:
Our 5 Pillars: Education, Sport, Outreach, Ministry & Sustainability:
A: EDUCATION/SPORTS PILLAR:
Programs: The Lighthouse Academy, Lamb’s Haven Kindergarten, Athletics and Cross Country
- The term started with schools opening on the 15th of January and we added 3 new staff members. We also employed 2 domestic staff and have a total of 70 staff members at TCM.
- It was a hectic start to the term due to the changes of classes that had to be adjusted, as the Kindergarten was not completed yet. Gr 3 and Grade R had to be placed into one class each making it really full.
- Our annual inter-house athletics was held on the 2nd of February and it was great fun for everyone. The Lion’s won with Eagles in second place and Horses coming in third place. Our sports team of 91 athletes competed against Nazarene Christian School and Phunanani on the 17th of February. Ben Vorster hosted the day and overall we came home with 80 medals and won the trophy for best spirit on the day. We are really proud of our athletes.
- Our choir sang at Shekinah House Church on the 25th of February and they made us really proud.
- As a treat, this year when it is your birthday you get the day off. This is a great new procedure that the staff loves.
- Mr Jaison Tausha took the initiative to arrange a tour for Gr 4 -7 to Mapungubwe near Musina for a heritage tour. This trip was arranged for 23rd The children slept over at school. All the children found this trip very educational.
- The new Kindergarten building was a bit of a challenge this year but thankfully we have now moved in and all the classes are functioning. First the 43 Grade R’s moved in as well as the Admin staff and also the volunteers in their new volunteer room. Soon after the 25 Kindergarteners moved in and started using their classrooms. It’s a great team to work with, with so much love to give. It’s amazing to see how the children are so willing to learn.
- Highlights for the Kindergarten is:
- One of our teachers finished her studies in April,
- Moving into the newly built school,
- Children from 18 months are accepted
- There are a lot of new learning aids and practical lessons
- We have a South African volunteer that will be with us for a year.
B: OUTREACH PILLAR
Programs: Feeding Scheme and Homework Club, OVC Program
- Feeding scheme and homework club have 40 children that attend every day during school days. Our volunteers are more involved with the children’s background so they know how to handle all situations but professional training is required with the woman so that they can know how to deal with the weak learners better. We have many types of weak learners with different challenges. Our daily routine is to give these vulnerable children food before they start learning.
- We celebrated Valentine’s Day with paper art and it was amazing to see how different types of coloured paper can create something so beautiful.
- We are trying to get the children’s parents more involved in the project so they were invited to volunteer their service. On Monday the 29th of January they were cutting the grass at the premises and on Thursday the 8th of February they collected firewood from Tshega. This in turned helped the base with clearing debris.
- At the end of every quarter we celebrate all the birthdays for that quarter. Each child receives their gift and we sing for them.
- For the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) we have great achievements and most families have improved in many ways. A few of the families’ vulnerability are being recognized and the government is building them RDP houses so that they can have a proper roof over their heads.
- One family started a garden to sell vegetables and it seems to be working, even though they struggle to get enough water from the river near their home.
- The sponsored children at the Lighthouse Academy are leaving their mark with their performance. One of them is also running for the cross-country team.
- On Tuesday the 20th of February we handed out Sanitary towels in the villages nearby, reaching 6 villages and Matseke secondary school’s matric class, encouraging all the girls to be hygienic even though they are on that time of the month. Shekinah House in Tzaneen generously donated this to us.
- Our current needs are to have notice boards, water, stationary and some training to be able to work with the weak learners.
C: MINISTRY PILLAR
Programs: Devotion, Prayer Group, Student Devotion
Morning staff devotion is the favourite part of the day at Tshega. Staff members voices echoes over the school grounds as their anticipation for the morning word is felt in the way they sing, clap and move. ISOM staff students get the opportunity to do morning devotion which encourages and supports staff to invest in our children. We cannot give what we do not have. We pray that each word will fall on fertile soil.
Our Tshega prayer group come together daily to pray for issues within the organization and to pray for stakeholders and missions. This time is also used to reflect together on building a relationship with one another and with God.
Educators are using the Doxa Duo Curriculum to teach children scripture and how to become students of integrity. We are blessed to have received this curriculum as a donation from the META group to be used in our school.
D: SUSTAINABILITY PILLAR:
Programs: Basadi Skills, Volunteers and Marketing
- Basadi is happy to report a healthy stock holding with regards to our School Clothing Department. In two years from a non-existing ‘stock on hand’ we managed to generate with the help of a R15,000 donation from CP Minnaar our stock on hand to an increment in cost value of R80,000 in retail value of R135,000 as of this end of May.
- A new venture was taken on to help sustain our salaries and stipends; Basadi took on the reselling of PPE clothing to local farmers. The profit margin is very low however but still sustains us.
- Highlights for Basadi in the first quarter:
- Franziska Dix, from the University Osnabrück, visited Basadi in 2016 and with correspondence over the last year she started to put together a Curriculum for Basadi. She developed it for her Master Thesis. This will benefit us tremendously since we will be able to incorporate it into our training program.
- Dr Walter and Ms Sabine Uriot made a donation towards the project.
- Henk van Rooyen and Cobie Kemp, two local farmers from the Letsitele Valley, partnered with Tshega. With their help and by consulting with them and Dries Enslin, the Local Absa Bank manager we put together a plan for Selling PPE as a sustaining plan towards Basadi`s salaries.
- We started the year really slowly with only 16 volunteers from January to April. They all come with an open heart and a lot to give. Each one of the volunteers left a footprint in the project.
- Having to say goodbye to our long-term volunteer, Thorben, was really sad and it felt like we were saying goodbye to a family member.
- In April a South African group called “Hoop vir Kinders” painted games on the floor of the kindergarten’s veranda.
- Highlights for the volunteers are:
- Having a room where the volunteers can meet, prepare and relax
- Having Mexican Volunteers introduce a new culture dynamic to the program
- Our weekend trips
- Seeing previous volunteers come back to volunteer again.
- Looking forward to Ryan’s group coming.
- It would be great to have more volunteers come.
- As far as Tshega and Marketing go, this was a great quarter. Many platforms for marketing got improved, activated or has simply just grown.
- Physically we received new signboards from a generous sponsor. Now driving to Tshega is well indicated again. Also, we have new signs at the gate as well as on our vehicles. This is wonderful to see and creates pride and uniformity amongst everyone at Tshega.
- Our social media platforms are growing steadily with new and exciting ways to get our users more involved. Our website has improved dramatically. Chris Brooks from Vervini helped us create a powerful platform that will have even more exciting changes soon, such as user logins, Basadi Shop and more. Our biggest change has been in our productivity by using Google’s G-suite for businesses.
- In February we applied via TechSoup to be accepted into the Google for Non-profits program. They accepted our application and we are now being sponsored by GOOGLE to receive services such as G-suite, YouTube and Google Add Words for free. This is an incredible achievement and they are helping us to streamline our operations and helping us grow our reach. It is providing us with secure and more efficient ways to conduct our business.
- March was also a great month as Jetpatcher Missions from Pretoria sponsored a professional video of Tshega. From filming to producing and constant edits. It’s a short feature about Tshega and will be available on our YouTube channel soon.
- Highlights for marketing:
- 19th of Feb our new signs were put up.
- 1st of March we were approved by Google For Non-Profits
- 13th of March Jetpatcher Missions came to shoot TCM’s video
- 1st of April our new website went live. – www.tshega.org