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WOW, what an amazing and exhausting day!!!

It was such a pleasure to spend yesterday sorting from such wonderful office space – look how much fun we had:

Ronda, Wendy and Abegail packing for Mandela Day!

We started bright and early this morning with 67 minutes of square stitching at G4S Cash Solutions over breakfast which built up our energy for the ensuing visit to Alex.  This is an area of quite desperate poverty despite the efforts of the government to uplift it.  We worked in conjunction with Maryke and Sanne from The Sprout Foundation on this distribution.  Their NGO uplifts and support Early Childhood Development Centres in the informal settlements.  Part of their function is the physical repair to facilities at Day Care Centres … for instance, in the case of the Fundani Nathi, the first centre we visited, where quite recently dangerously bare electrical wiring has been insulated and covered. 

Despite all our efforts, we did not manage to get the full quota of Christmas blankets together so we added many other brightly coloured blankets to the mix as you will see from the photos.  We were also thrilled to be able to give each child a Christmas coloured beanie, many of which we were able to supplement from our great pile of Kareemah beanies, thanks to your overwhelmingly generous response to that challenge.  We happily spent many more than 67 minutes in Alex, together with a group of wonderful volunteers, and visited two schools (Fundani Nathi and A Re Buneng) where we wrapped more than 100 little ones in your beautiful blankets, warmth, love and encouragement!  We enjoyed the children singing happy birthday to Madiba and other songs like “We love you Mandela!” 

We took so many photos today that we thought to share as many as we could and make this a pictorial report for this week.  Next week we are headed to Soweto again and will let you know how that goes.

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So many happy faces! Great job substituting blankets, I can hardly tell which are Christmas blankets and which are other ones.

Great pictures!  Keep 'em coming please when you can.  :-)

Sounds like you had a VERY busy day - wonderful photos!

What a fabulous day! Thank you so much for this "up to the minute" report!

How wonderfully rewarding for you to see so many smiles on children's faces after a visit from your team!!

What a day ! It must be wonderful to be able to load up that van and do big distributions. The kids al look bright and wonderful. You must have had so many Christmas squares and mine are still here unposted ! Oh well next time. I think I can spot one of my Kareemah hats there but really I couldn't possibly know for sure !

What a great Mandela Day!!!

Thank you for your report and all the gorgeous photos!

xoxoxo!!!

As always, THANKS for Sharing your happy day with all of us.  :*D

Thanks for sharing Mandela Day with us.....the blankets look great....and so many smiling faces....a real joy to see.  :)) Great to see the guys in the photos stitching the squares together too.  :)

Really good to see that the amazing red & white hats that members so keenly created are being distributed during this cold winter period!

[Around 200 of hats have been set aside for Kareemah, as, disappointingly, due to a dispute, the hoped for distribution could not take place.]

Thanks for explaining the situation with Kareemah, Pam.  May I add that the dispute concerned is a case of soccer officialdom in SA causing an administrative problem for Kareemah and the result is a temporary hold on the activities of her coaching academy for underprivileged children. Therefore we have, as Pam kindly explained, set aside 200 of your beautiful beanies and will hold them for the re-start of the soccer group, hopefully by next soccer season.  And it was marvellous to be able to supplement our "Christmas in July" beanie distribution on Mandela Day with a few of those. Thank you to ALL who supported that initiative - we LOVE our stock of red/white beanies!!

Such a shame for the children.....once again 'red tape' gets in the way of something really worthwhile and the opportunity to help children (gain skills in sport and socialisation) is lost, hopefully only temporarily....but disheartening nonetheless.

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Created by Linda Maltby May 2, 2018 at 8:26am. Last updated by Linda Maltby Aug 1.

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