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Archive | hantam diary 2015

TLC camp at Poplar Grove Farm

The lay consellor Lettie Martins with learners at Poplar Grove Farm.

The lay consellor Lettie Martins with learners at Poplar Grove Farm.

ON 28 August 2015, another three-day TLC camp was held for a junior group of HCET learners at Poplar Grove Farm. These camps are held for learners experiencing emotional difficulties, often due to challenging circumstances at home. They are provided with various forms of support and counselling, including a range of focused leisure activities.

The support team included Erica van Lingen, a pastoral psychologist from Philippolis who counsels the children and trains the lay counsellors, and Estelle Jacobs, who – besides her role as HCET project manager — provides meals for everyone at all the camps.

A drumming session in progress.

A drumming session in progress.

The pastoral psychologist Erica van Lingen with learners at Poplar Grove Farm.

The pastoral psychologist Erica van Lingen with learners at Poplar Grove Farm.

Two teachers graduate

Hanna and Vuyisani Mphemba

Hanna Phemba and her husband, Vuyisani, at the graduation ceremony.

On 2 July 2015, Roos Pergoo and Hanna Phemba received their National Professional Diplomas in Education (Distance Learning) at a graduation ceremony at Free State University. They were accompanied by their partners and the facilitator of the HCET bursary programme, Estelle Jacobs.

This was a great day for the HCET, as both Hanna and Roos are Trust graduates who have joined its teaching staff, and benefited from its bursary programme. They have played a major role in helping the Trust to meet its objective of training members from the community it serves to continue its work and legacy.

roos pergoo and partner

Roos Pergoo and her partner, Bongile Gedezana, at the graduation ceremony.

HCET Annual Report 2014

OUR annual report for 2014 has been completed. This was a special year for us, as it marked our 25th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the report contains a special feature in which we record our seven core objectives, and reflect on the progress we have made in achieving them. Click on the link below to download a desktop version.

HCET annual report 2014 (desktop version)

Trust on the move

new HCET bakkieIN APRIL 2015, the HCET took delivery of a long-wheelbase Isuzu bakkie with a canopy. It has joined the hard-working fleet of vehicles used to transport children to and from the Trust complex every day.

Transport is a vital element of the Trust’s activities. There is no public transport in the area, and there are vast distances between towns and farms. Providing daily transport ensures that children living in a radius of 50 kilometres can attend the Trust schools every day.

This purchase was made possible with two very generous donations. The first came from Jacques Pienaar – who grew up on a farm in the district — and his wife Elmien, who organised a very successful Golf Day aimed at benefiting the HCET at the Parkview Golf Course in Johannesburg. The second came from the Gary Player Foundation, established by the renowned South African golfer Gary Player, who owns a farm in the Colesberg district.

Trust ECD teacher wins national recognition

national ECD award

Vuyokazi Katise (second from right) receives her national ECD award, with the Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini (far right) looking on.


VUYOKAZI KATISE, an ECD teacher at the Trust, has won recognition as the best Early Childhood Development practitioner in the Northern Cape, and the third best in the country.

The Northern Cape award was bestowed on her at a ceremony in Kimberley on 23 February, and the national award at a gala evening held in Johannesburg on 26 March. Another ECD teacher at the Trust, Thembakazi Matyeka, came second in the Northern Cape competition.

Now in their 11th year, the South African Early Childhood Development (SA ECD) Awards recognise individuals and organisations who have demonstrated excellence and commitment in the course of ECD services and practices across the country.

The 2015 awards were bestowed by the National Development Agency (NDA), in partnership with the South African Congress for ECD; SABC Education; the national departments of Social Development, Basic Education and Health; and UNICEF. Candidates were subjected to stringent procedures, including questioning by a panel of ECD experts.

Addresing the ceremony, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, said there was a growing body of research on the importance of the early childhood years in laying the foundation for future learning. ‘The evidence suggests that quality pre-school education produces short- and longer-term benefits for all children, especially those from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds, and that the skills and abilities acquired in early childhood are fundamental to a person’s success and well-being in later life.’

As a result, the government was working towards universal access to early childhood development in South Africa.We want to ensure universal provision of this essential service for the first four years of every South African child’s life.’

Dr Vuyelwa Nhlapo, chief executive officer of the NDA, said the awards played a vital role in accelerating the implementation of a comprehensive ECD programme, covering the period from the conception of the child to formal schoolgoing age. ‘They also highlight the important need for civil society to recognise the importance of this sector.’

Vuyokazi grew up on a farm in the Colesberg district. After completing Grade 9 at the HCET’s Umthombo Wolwazi Combined Farm School, she completed a course in human resources management at an FET College. She then trained as an ECD practitioner at the Custoda Trust at Delportshoop.

The HCET takes great pride in our ECD teachers’ achievements, and add its congratulations to those who have rewarded their unstinting efforts with these very significant awards.

Thembakazi Matyeke with ECD award

Thembakazi Matyeka receives her Northern Cape ECD award.

Regional FAS initiative

IN JANUARY 2015, Les Osler, the HCET project co-ordinator, gave a presentation on the HCET’s Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) programme to a major FASD meeting in Kimberley. She was accompanied by Estelle Jacobs, the HCET’s project manager, who is playing a leading role in FASD initiatives in the region.

The meeting was hosted by Hope in South Africa (HISA), a US-South Africa youth development initiative operating in Richmond, Colesberg and De Aar. It was attended by more than 100 people, including representatives of the departments of Health, Social Welfare and Education, as well as representatives of NGOs and youth groups active in the region.

A FASD awareness programme for girls was launched at the meeting. Developed by Grassroots Soccer, it operates via a netball programme. The programme will be piloted in the Northern Cape, but the planners intend to roll it out in the rest of South Africa as well as internationally. The Trust’s school, Umthombo Wolwazi, is one of the schools selected for the pilot programme.

Programme funds have been raised by the Rotary Clubs of Bloemfontein, Colesberg and Kimberley, in conjunction with Rotary Clubs in Maryland in the US. Through a Rotary International Matching Grant, programme funding has been increased to $2 million.

Hope in South Africa (HISA) is a US-South African partnership aimed at helping young people in the Karoo to become healthy, productive and responsible adults capable of playing leading roles in their various communities.

HISA began in 2005 when the St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Poolesville, Maryland, formed a developmental partnership with local organisations in the town of Richmond in the Karoo. Since then the partnership has expanded to include various churches in the US and South Africa, Rotary International, Rotary Clubs in the US and South Africa, and various local organisations. Its activities have expanded to neighbouring communities, including the towns of Colesberg and De Aar.

Hope in South Africa

Mathilda Steynberg retires

Mathilda SteynbergTHE TRUST’s pioneering Hospitality School trainer, Mathilda Steynberg, has retired after six years of loyal service. Mathilda was the first trainer at our Hospitality School in Colesberg, which is playing an increasingly important role in the Trust’s activities.

Her professionalism and dedication were unwavering, and she maintained outstanding standards of training which have resulted in 80 per cent of her students being employed in the hospitality industry in Colesberg and further afield. We would like to convey our thanks to Mathilda for her major contribution to our development programme, and wish her well in her retirement.

Annekie CollierOur new hospitality trainer is Annekie Collier. Born and raised in Colesberg, Annekie completed her schooling in Bloemfontein, and obtained a degree in consumer studies from Free State University. She is newly married to a young Colesberg farmer, but has fortunately found the time to become involved in this key component of our youth development programme.