November 2017 Newsletter
Once again our year is speeding to an end, and as we look back on the year so far it is with gratitude that we are able to say – “it has been a good year.” It has also been a busy and fruitful year so far. Here are just a few of the highlights of what the e’Pap team has been so busy doing.
Feeding, of course, remains the heart of our project. 80 % of our expenditure is dedicated to feeding, as is the overwhelming majority of our volunteers’ time. By the time we close for our Christmas break we will have delivered some 600,000 servings of healthy food to the children of our region. That is a lot of healthy meals and without doubt a lot of healthy children who have benefitted from our donors’ generosity and our volunteers’ enthusiasm and energy.
We continue to receive reports of the difference our feeding is making to the lives of the children – no more runny noses, children concentrating better and thus able to learn better and live fuller and more meaningful lives. The Street Children and High School children have huge bowls in the mornings and it gives them both the nutrients and energy for the day. Many of them would otherwise start the day with nothing in their tummies.
Two Pre-schools have been removed from the programme either because of lack of need or lack of commitment from the school staff and three new schools have been added. It is always exciting to see teachers recommending our project to friends who are starting new creches or Pre-schools.
Since all the Primary Schools now receive government feeding programmes, the cooks have found the load of making e’Pap as well as all the other meal preparation too onerous and have reluctantly decided to stop using e’Pap. This has affected four Primary Schools and we salute our government for increasing their commitment to school feeding. We are now able to focus our funding and efforts on the pre-school age groups.
There are two areas that need ongoing attention – communicating with our almost 300 donors and 100 volunteers. It is these two groups who make it possible to serve our children. Our thanks to Annie who handles the bulk of the communication with donors and does it with great aplomb.
Over the last few months we have hosted our midyear series of small group meetings with our teams of volunteers in Sedgefield, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. These as usual proved to be invaluable, enabling new volunteers to be able to chat and ask questions and to get a better picture of the whole project. It is also a forum where people are able to meet and get to know other volunteers.
In the last quarter we will be hosting our large end of year volunteers’ meeting where we will watch an inspirational DVD, share a meal and become acquainted with a bigger picture of the Children’s Feeding Project.
How we used our donor’s funds this year
A number of individuals made donations specifically to enable us to assist those who had suffered as a result of the fires in June. Although hundreds lost their houses in these fires, including a number of our volunteers, not a single school was lost. However some of the teachers in the townships lost everything. We are using the “fire fund” to help put them back on their feet.
Priscilla is one who lost everything. The municipality has replaced her home and we are helping to equip it. Here is Shelley handing over a gas cooker to Priscilla (center). The Principal, Vuyelwa (left), seemed just a happy.
Finally to all those who invest their skills, their energy, their time, their money and their love in making our project the blessing it has become to the children of the Garden Route; we wish you a most blessed Christmas.
The e’Pap team