THE TINY OTHANDWENI DAY CARE CENTRE

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Early in June we headed off to Othandweni Day Care Centre, in Finetown.  We have found that when we start distributing in a new area, the word spreads and principals of all the other local Day Cares come forward asking for blankets, which might explain why, this year, we ended up doing a number of distributions in Finetown (you may have noticed?!)  We arrived at Othandweni and were taken aback by the large number of children being cared for in this tiny facility.

With the help of the teachers, we were able dress some of the children in your lovely warm tops – you will notice we pulled them over what the children were wearing so they did not have to take off layers and get cold in the process.

The class rooms were so cramped that when we handed the children their blankets, we took them outside and got some lovely photos of them.

The teachers were thrilled with the stationery we brought and we read some story books with the children while we were there.

The bright tops, colourful blankets and beanies cheered up Othandweni considerably as you can see in these photos.

 

In vast contract to the very drab, winter surrounds of Finetown.

We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Cynthia at her well-managed little school and the children loved all their knitted goodies.

We distributed to numerous schools in this area over the following few weeks and will share those visits with you in reports to come.

 

Postal strike update

I don’t want to sound like a stuck record, but the strike is still ongoing.  We were very grateful to receive 10 large postal bags full of mail and some boxes last week and it was wonderful to get together again as a team for a Volunteer Day to open parcels.  But, sadly that appeared to be a “once off” delivery and since then, we have received nothing more.

As a result of the postal strike, people have begun sending us mail via courier services.  We would like to discourage this as the courier companies levy enormous fees for the release of the parcels once they have arrived in South Africa.  This is because the import/export system in SA is enormously complicated and involves large administrative fees for items such as handling, storage and VAT – all expenses which we are not in a position to recover by using the established system which corporate and/or VAT registered “importers” are geared towards.

We understand the great frustration of not being able to send your contributions, but we really cannot afford the hefty fees and complications involved. 

Let’s all just pray that the situation with the SA Post Office is resolved very soon.