Before we know it, it will be Christmas – well, Christmas in July at any rate which is we are hoping to use for our Mandela Day distribution.
It is great to see your interpretation and creativity on the forum under the Mandela Day challenge for July – thanks for initiating this, Anne. As you will undoubtedly know, Madiba is still in a critical, but stable condition in hospital and has been for almost a month now. His life is in the hands of the Lord and we know that He will know what is best.
It has been another busy week this week. We have sent boxes (compliments of Peter’s company), filled with your contributions, to people in various parts of South Africa for distribution. These include:
- Sister Joy in Ladysmith for the Ruth Mailbag Group.
- Maureen in Durban who in turn will distribute the items at an outreach based at the Pietermaritzburg hospital.
- Our friends in Port Alfred who will distribute again in an informal settlement we were able to assist a while back when the area was gutted by a fire.
On Monday, 1 July Wendy and I were invited for tea at Wandile’s home where we met up with two amazing ladies. Let me tell you a little about them. Irene is from Chiawelo and collected KAS blanket packs for the ladies in the community to sew together. When they are ready, we will meet up with them and wrap the children, in that area, in your love. Then we met, for the first time, a delightful, retired nursing sister - Sister Susan. For 40 years she worked at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital which is the largest hospital in the world, occupying around 173 acres (0.70 km2), with approximately 3 200 beds and about 6 760 staff members. She told us that on average 80 – 100 babies are born at “Bara” everyday and because of the lack of space, if the mom and baby are healthy, they are discharged immediately and do not stay over. She recalled having to wrap these newborns in cotton wool to send them home. Imagine her absolute delight when we were able to give her baby blankets, KAS cuddles, tops and beanies for the babies. Having totally underestimated the number of items she would need, we are arranging for more to be delivered to her. This is Sr Susan (left), Wandile (middle) and me, in front of the items piled up in Wandi’s small lounge.
We also left a large number of blanket packs, beanies and tops for Tuki who will distribute them in the Thembalihle area (we visited there last week); Pastor Bantos who will distribute in Evaton and for Kelly, Kate and Karen who are therapists at the Zola Clinic in Soweto and who have also planned a distribution on Mandela Day at the Emdeni Children’s Home. By the time we had unpacked, Wandi’s home was beginning to look very much like mine with all the items stacked and waiting to be collected for distribution, but Wandi assured us that she does not mind – bless her dear heart!
On Wednesday, we joined up with Sanne from the Sprout Foundation and did a small distribution at the Lungile Dube School very near the famous Soweto Towers. We spent time bundling the children in warm tops, scarves and blankets and then gave each of them a beautifully hand knitted toy. Wendy paged through some picture books with them and we were touched to see how eager they were to impress, by shouting out what they recognised. She was nearly swamped in children at one point while helping them count items in a book! Sanne and her friend Maryke will join us for the Mandela Day distribution we have planned in Alexandra. But, we will give you more details about that closer to the time.
Well, we must start opening mail – chat again next week and God bless you all. And because I cannot help myself, a few more photos for you, with love to each and every one of you!!!!