Square Circle Forum

Towards the end of November 2013, after having visited the gogos in Chiawelo for tea, we visited Irene, an old friend of KAS, who runs the amazing Retshepisitswe Day Care Centre based in Chiawelo in Soweto.  

You may recall that we visited their earlier that year to hand out your warm, colourful blankets, beanies, toys and tops.  That day we handed blankets to three of the four groups and left blanket packs with Irene for the older children. 

Our visit to Retshepisitwe earlier in 2013.

Irene had finished making up the balance of the blankets and we thought we would pop in to see her and the children.  On approaching the Day Care, we knew something was up – there was total silence…..

Sleeping time at Retshepisitwe.

Yes, you guessed it, the children were all fast asleep having their daily nap.  As we all know, when children are sleeping – do not wake them up!  We enjoyed a very special visit with Irene and her sleeping angels and were given the opportunity to catch up with her, and talk to some of the teachers.  They proudly showed us their class photos taken recently at the graduation ceremony and spoke of the high hopes they have for these children.

This is an incredibly well run Day Care Centre as can be seen form these few images:

“A place for everything and everything in its place” – well at least while the children are asleep!

Irene is another one of the amazing, dedicated ladies we have come across.  What was also evident when we visited was the loyal support she gets from her husband.  Wandi says, “They do everything together and set the perfect example of a loving couple for these children”.

Irene – full of smiles and love….

We never did get to wrap the older children in their blankets, but it was a very warm day anyway and we know that the children will be able to snuggle up nice and warm when the winter arrives. 

Thanks for looking after these precious children Irene and keep up the great work you and your staff do!

These images reminded me of the beautiful African lullaby “Thula Baba”.  Do yourselves a favour and listen to this song performed by Kimmy Skota (born in Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape in South Africa) and André Rieu by following this link:

Thula Baba lullaby by Kimmy Skota


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It is so good to see children who are so well cared for.  They are such angels.  And it's amazing how these wonderfully loving and kind-hearted women (and men) put so much of themselves into caring for them  ... especially since it's not just a "9 to 5 job".!  Irene and her husband are absolute heroes!!!

The lullaby is enchanting.  A lovely melody and such a beautiful voice !  I hope you don't mind, but I found the English translation of the lyrics. 

Thula Baba is a popular Zulu lullaby.

The lullaby is sung by a mother to her child, as they await the return of their husband/father who has gone away to work.

It’s a beautiful song with a powerful message.  Simply lovely.

English Translation

Keep quiet my child
Keep quiet my baby

Be quiet, daddy will be home by dawn
There’s a star that will lead him home
The star will brighten his way home
The hills and stones are still the same my love

My life has changed, yes my life has changed
The children grow but you don’t know my love
The children grew but you don’t see them grow

What a pretty tune!

I just noticed that beautiful little girl in the center picture hugging a doll ... isn't that one that our Robin made?

The lullaby is so moving....along with the audience and the conductor I was crying my eyes out [and still am]....Roz x

Irene, and women like her, are doing God's work.  These children are blessed.

I'm crying like crazy here... I get to see the little girl that got my first dolly I ever made for them.  She's sooooo cute!!!  And she looks like she just loves her!!  Wonder if someone could possibly send me her name ???

Thanks Irene for taking such good care of the children!!

It is unlikely that KAS would be allowed a name Robin, however, I and a number of members have spotted children that just hook our hearts and give them a 'secret' name!

'My' little girl is called Lottie! Prays and wishes for these particular children will reach them because it comes from our softy hearts!

So glad you spotted your lovely dolly, and, the little girl is staring right at the camera - she knows you are out there somewhere!!!

My sister and I were wondering if these children are adoptable.  Do you know?

I can understand your emotion, Robin.  I feel so wonderful when I spot something of mine. But it just has to be extra special to actually see one of "our" beautiful little children hugging something you've sent !!

And you're right, it does look like she just loves it and doesn't want to let it go.  Good for you, Robin, for making that special little dolly for her xo

Hello to you all ... so glad you enjoyed that lovely version of Thula Baba and thanks for finding the english translation, Gloria ... they make the song even sadder !! No wonder there were tears in Andre Rieu's audience ... it's a very special and evocative and moving piece of music indeed !

We agree ... it's difficult not to want to whisk these children far away from a seemingly uncaring community and the difficulties of living in their informal settlements with poverty and sickness being a daily experience for most ... but with so many women like Irene around, we see that they ARE being helped, guided and loved.  We have no way of knowing which ones are orphaned, or even seriously vulnerable, when we visit a creche or daycare centre, but we know that many are dearly loved by whatever family members are around, even though the basic commodities are hard to come by.

South Africa is notoriously sticky about adoptions outside the country ... in fact I believe it would be an extremely rare occurrence for such a procedure to take place successfully.

If anyone is serious about the question though, why not google "Hotel Hope Ministries" and be in email contact with Oliver Quambusch on the subject.  Nobody is more qualified to answer such queries.  I saw him yesterday and he told me that Hotel Hope has five babies going to "forever" mummies and daddies in the next month alone, praise God !!

Love to you all - from all of us in Jolly Johannesburg !!!

What an absolutely beautiful voice Kimmy Skota has and what a wonderful heart has Irene and her husband.

Thank you Ronda and team for sharing this visit with us.  :))



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