Christmas is a time to give! And boy were we blessed to be on the receiving end of so many folk who poured out their love to bless our home and children this year. Gifts were bought according to our kids’ wish lists, meat and treats supplied for parties and festivities throughout the school holidays and we were treated to a Christmas lunch and farm activities with the best possible weather too. The animal interactions were a delight for our children along with pony rides, loads of toys and water to cool off in! Thank you to each and every person who played a part in bringing joy and happiness into our home and smiles to the faces of our little ones! We appreciate every gift!
Advantage Hippo Cruise
As part of our school holiday activities and giving back to our long term volunteers, Advantage Tours in St Lucia includes our children on a river cruise to enjoy the crocs, hippos, birds and of course the boat ride on the Advantage Cruiser. This is a very exciting outing for the kids and they thoroughly enjoy themselves. If you are looking to enjoy a peaceful outing to soak up all the estuary has to offer then head on over to St Lucia Tours to book your very informative and interesting guided river trip- you won’t regret it!
Our eldest is blossoming into a beautiful young lady. She has matured and grown into such a kind hearted, caring and motherly teenager. She has a servant heart and loves to be asked to help out with the younger kids and around the home. She brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. She was all toffed up with beautifully braided hair and new clothes as she joined the bridal party as a flower girl of a dear friend’s wedding.
Fire and Fun
iKhaya LikaBaba had a visit from the City of uMhlathuze Fire Department. The kids love to interact with the fire-fighting crew and get to experience and learn about fire equipment, the fire truck and even try on the gear. A safety talk with the added element of fun is the best way for kids to learn and retain the knowledge being shared. The foam is always the best part of the demo of course! Thank you Empangeni Fire Station and crew for an enjoyable morning!
Saying goodbye is by no means easy, but knowing our goodbyes are the beginning of new lives, renewed family bonds, establishing a true sense of belonging within a family unit, all helps us to celebrate these joyous moments with the kids who leave us. In December we saw one child join his adoptive family and six others reunite with family. We pray for strength and endurance for the tough days ahead, God’s love and peace to go with them daily and that they may never depart from the ways we have taught them. And may God’s grace and love abound in all you do. We love you and will miss you dearly.
Dear sponsors, family and friends of iKhaya We are super proud of our school children as they all did so well this year. We are excited for all 2020 has to offer as we have two youngsters entering high school and two littlies embarking on their school career with Grade RR. December was a fun-filled month for the children. They enjoyed many outings as well as activities at home as part of our holiday program. Christmas was an extra treat this year as we spent the day with a local family on their farm as they lavished us with gifts, entertainment and love. A number od companies and individuals blessed our kiddies with an abi=undance of Christmas gift too. An amazing family abroad adopted a young lad from iKhaya and they have retained contact with us over the years. They came as a family to visit us in December. This was a truly special gesture for them and us alike and one that will remain a treasured memory for many of us who remember him fondly. Thank you for caring so deeply and remaining in touch with us! To all who made our Christmas, New Year and the holidays so special we say a BIG THANK YOU! We appreciate every gift and gesture. With best wishes for a amazing year ahead. Loressa, kids and staff
Young children learn by imagining and doing. Have you ever watched a child pick up a stone and pretend it is a zooming car, or hop a Lego across the table as if it were a person or a bunny? The child is using the object to represent something else while giving it action and motion. But this pretend play is not as simple as it may seem. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas like Social and Emotional Skills, Language Skills, Nurturing the Imagination and Thinking Skills. At iKhaya the children’s most favourite is dress-up playtime. They get to be anyone they choose (a mother, doctor, princess, superman, pirate and more) and they escape into the Land of Fantasia as their minds and imaginations go wild!
Music… Food for the Soul
Music can have an impact on people of all ages and abilities. Music interventions can help children and adolescents by improving social behaviors and decreasing the inappropriate ones, enhancing focus and attention, increasing vocalizations, gestures, verbalizations and vocabulary comprehension, increasing communication and engagement with others, improving body awareness and coordination and reducing anxiety. Our home is often filled with singing, dancing and movement as the kids praise and worship or engage in play and class teaching activities. We love to include music in the lives of our children as it calms, soothes and encourages recovery or healing. Flute lessons are a great recent addition to our extra curricula activities along with dancing and judo. We have a keyboard and no longer have a teacher. So if you would like to teach piano/ keyboard to our kids give us a shout!
Living and Loving Life
Life is busy, full, noisy and loads of fun in our home. 14 of the 25 kiddies attend local schools while the others remain home. We incorporate many activities and free play into our mornings to stimulate the young minds, mould them and prepare them for life and school to follow. Learning through play, whether formal activities or free play, is the best at this young age. After school the older kids do homework followed by extra mural activities and outings. Fridays and weekends are great for exploring outside of the home and outings to the shops, beach, pool and so on are always looked forward to with great anticipation!
Dearest family and friends of iKhaya
We have had such a busy month arranging Christmas gifts, school uniforms, stationery, Family Christmas Hampers, birthday parties and arrangements for reunification/ discharge of 6 children in December and activities to entertain the children in the upcoming holidays. What I do know is that despite the whirlwind this prep brings, I am humbled by God’s grace, generosity and provision. He is GOOD all the time! I want to take this opportunity to thank our Heavenly Father for blessing our children, staff and this awesome home with all we need and yet more! He is a good, good Father. To each and every person who participated in any way from making the Christmas dreams of ourkids come true, in supplying of stationery and school needs, to the family gifts we say a BIG THANK YOU! Just know that you are a part of God’s master plan in the lives of these precious lives!
Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a bright and happy 2020!
With love from Loressa, kids and staff iKhaya
Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV)
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
A Time to Celebrate
Christmas is around the corner; where has the year gone? We are well under way with planning for family time as we celebrate our Lord’s birth, gifts for each child, family hampers for those going home and a staff year end teambuilding function. We are truly excited to witness God’s richest blessings and provision as we make it known that we are planning these events. Thank you to those who have already given or pledged into our initiatives. If you are keen to jump on board we have various needs still and would love to hear from you!
Save the Rhino!
St Catherine’s School hosts the annual Save The Rhino Walk, Run and Colourfest in Empangeni and we look forward to attending the fun day with them. Each year we have a new set of German volunteers with us at iKhaya who serve for 11 month with us in South Africa. They eargerly get involved and take a bunch of our kids to enjoy the fun with them. They have a great time and come back colourful and exhauseted!
Our Busyness in Pictures…
Our children lead full lives. Our toddlers enjoy an Early Childhood Development Program while the older kids go to schools in Empangeni. At home we have the most amazingly huge yard that allows for running around, playing ball, skateboarding and so on. Outdoor equipment adds an extra dynamic to the kids free play. The recently restored trampoline is still an all time favourite! The joy of swinging and jungle gyms has never died over the years and we love to see the youngsters enjoying themselves!
Solid Ground Church Christmas Market
iKhaya LikaBaba hosted the Kids Zone as a fundraiser at the Solid Ground Church Christmas Market this month. It was a great success as we had many parents checking in their kids for a morning of extreme pleasure! We had zones for Toddlers, Youth and Teens with age appropriate activities that aimed kept kids safe while playing with and among kids their own size. Adele Ras of TFanatics and Angie’s Pets joined us with their Crazy Kritters…spiders, rats, bunnies, hamsters and snakes galore. This was a huge draw card as the children loved petting the animals. Cathy and her team joined us from North Coast Judo. Kids of all ages thoroughly enjoyed the self-defense lessons. Ocean Audio’s Minnie and Mickey Mouse entertained the toddlers as they enjoyed face-painting, balloon art, crafts, colouring in, balls, jumping castle and loads more. The older kids got to pillow fight, target shoot with Nerf Guns, shoot soccer goals through hoops, play pool and X-Box. If you missed out this time you had better diarize for the next event
Dearest friends Our minds are blown away by the positive responses received towards our Back to School and Christmas Drives and the Christmas Market that was a great success. The input we receive makes our tasks easier and allows us to bless our children with so much more than simply meeting their basic needs. You guys are the ones that mobilise our activities and programs through gifts, donations and finances and for that we are ever grateful! We are still gatheing non-perishable groceries, biscuits, sweets and other treats to go into family hampers to bless 6 families with for Christmas, as 6 kids go home in December! We have most of our school stationery sorted but are still needing funds towards uniforms, school bags and lunch bags for 16 kids attending school in 2020. To jump on board give us a shout via email, telephone or by donating via the details on our website, details are below. With love and blessings from Loressa, kids and staff at iKhaya
A Happy Heart
Our school kids went to the skateboard park at the beach during the school holidays. They had the time of their lives! The best part is that I was sent feedback saying our kids were “the best behaved and happiest kids in the park”. Despite having 4 scooters/ skateboards to share between 13 children they played together and shared without any issues! My heart bursts with joy to get messages like this. Raising vulnerable children is a tough job that is only sustainable by the grace and love of our Father. He gives us daily strength and the wisdom to raise future mighty men and women after His own heart. Thank you Oxley Family for treating the kids to a great day out! We love and appreciate you all!
Imaginations Run Wild!
If we gave the kids half a chance they would choose dress up time as a daily activity. They dress up as characters from superheros to moms, dads and doctors. If one had to measure fun on a “noise-ometer” this activity would win hands down! Thanks to Richards Bay Primary for passing on items to us from your drama department! If you or your school has outfits to add to our collection, I know the kids will be ecstatic to have new choices!
Indoor Sports Party!
A sports themed birthday bash for a soccer and cricket enthusiast. The weather did not tow the line but that never put a dampener on the day! We are blessed to share the property with Solid Ground Church and get to use the youth centre for occassions such as this! Party treats and the most awesome soccer cake, lovingly provided by members of our community, made HIS day extra special. Thank you, you are all appreciated!
The Great Outdoors
iKhaya LikaBaba is situated in between farm lands just 8km from Empangeni. We are privileged to raise our kiddies in a home with wide open spaces with a farm like country feel that is still very close to amenities like medical care, great local schools, grocery stores, a short drive to the beach and a quick stroll to church on a Sunday.
Hello friends of iKhaya
This year has truly flown by! I actually cannot believe that it is time to start preparing for the 2020 school year! Seems illogical hey? But ths is a priority with 16 kids needing supplies. If you are keen to sponsor stationery and uniforms or our Christmas Drive please get in contact with me. Thank you to all who faithfully sow into the lives of our children. You are sowing in faith, along with us, with hope for the bright futures of the children. As we invest today for their harvest in years to come!
With love and blessings
from Loressa, kids and the caring iKhaya team iKhaya