Early Childhood Development
Babies and toddlers develop and learn through play. Our ECD or kindergarten program runs Monday to Friday 8am to noon. The babies are stimulated through touch, cuddles and lots of interactive play with texture, colours and sounds. Toddlers up to 3 year olds are more physical and get to sing and dance, play and build with play dough, follow instructions during “gymnastics”, climbing and swinging on the outdoor equipment and digging and building in the sandpit. Social skills, like respect for each other, caring and sharing are developed through this play time. To be a part of these little mites’ education you can support us through sponsorship towards the teacher’s salary, educational equipment, art and craft supplies or a morning outing to an animal farm perhaps.
Our twin boys celebrated their birthday this month. Their birthday falls over Christmas, and in the December school holidays, making it rather inconvienient to host a party that includes school friends. So we arranged a belated celebration to enable them to invite their school besties to enjoy the special occsion with them. Party hats, treats, party games and a treasure hunt, with loads of fun and enery spent, made for a wonderful and memorable day.
Look who surprised us with their presence! Johanna Lea and Luisa left us in July 2019 after volunteering faithfully for 11 months at iKhaya LikaBaba. They have come to visit their many friends made during their season in South Africa, to volunteer and to spend quality time with the children they developed deep connections with at iKhaya. Having them with us is like a family reunion… so many happy faces, shrieks of sheer joy and loads of chattering! My office has become “cluttered” once again with their projects as they work on activities to entertain the kids and as they spend time reconnecting with me… and getting up to mischief as usual! So good to have our girls home!
Receiving mail, and more especially gifts, in the post is a huge delight for any child, and adult alike! Our littlies enjoyed the crafting goodies and the older children were thrilled to read stories and the greeting cards to the youngsters. We hung the cute, little soft décor toys on the baby cots- for little eyes and minds to be stimulated. We so enjoy the partnerships we have with so many friends far and wide! Thank you Stitching Friends for Africa for your gesture of love!
This summer has been terribly hot- to say the least! So, refreshing in a cool pool is often just what the doctor ordered and it is simply FUN too! Taking a leap of faith for a 3 year old is a huge feat in building confidence, while learning a lesson of trust. Not much takes place in the life of a child without an underlying lesson and we are so humbled to be a part of their growth and development in these most important foundational years!
Thankful, Grateful, Blessed
Dear friends of iKhaya Our aim at iKhaya is to provide well-balanced physical, social and emotional care aimed at developing each child to his or her full potential. This includes a good foundational education with access to speech and OT therapy as required, support through counselling and psychological support, good nutrition and medical attention as well as meeting the social and emotional needs of each child.
The most recent increase in DSD funding has been a huge relief in that it covers around 60-70% of our operational costs. We are however registered to care for 25 but funded for 20 cildren creating a gap in financial resources. In light of this, we rely heavily on the funding and support of businesses and communities, both locally and internationally.
We can never say thank you enough to all who partner with us. We apologise if we have not sent you a personal note of gratitude, but we want you all to know how truly grateful we are to have you on board! We count our bessings daily and thank our Heavenly Father for each and every person for their generous hearts. “It is in giving that we receive”. May you be blessed ten-fold!
Love and greetings Loressa, kids and staff of iKhaya iKhaya
Back to School
The 2020 academic year is well on its way! We have 10 learners attending local schools after saying goodbye to 6 youngsters in December. I have many happy little faces visiting me each day. Smiling and sharing their joys, and a few woes, of a their school day. I love how the younger we are the more enthusiastic we are about the little things in life. No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 18, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” We extend our thanks to Gemini Stationery, Waltons Empangeni, HAP (Have a Purpose Charity Program) and individual families who donated stationery, textbooks and uniforms to towards getting our learners and the 6 who left us ready for the year ahead.
We wish all children the very best with their studies and strength to each parent doing homework!
Cathy, from North Coast Judo, in action with our kiddos! Wednesdays have fast become the highlight of the week… so much so that getting the school kids to focus at homework time is a challenge all of its own as they suffer from FOMO! Thank you Cathy for creating this amazing opportunity for our kids to gain confidence, core strength, improved posture, physical exercise, listening skills and so much more from your classes.
Old Fashioned Fun
We have experienced some of the most horrendously hot days lately. So instead of trekking to the pool with so many kids and too few caregivers we decided that a bucket of cool water would do the trick. And oh wow, the kids had a great time being splashed and making mud castles in the sand pit. Good old fashioned entertainment and using ones imagination to create an activity out of practically nothing at all!
Taking care of the veggies they planted with the anticipation of a great harvest to follow. Lessons of caring and nurturing come in all shapes and sizes. For us raising our children is not just providing shelter, food and education. We aim to take care of every aspect of living and developing. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22 verse 6.
The last treat of 2019 and of the summer holidays was an outing to Reptile City in Maposa. What a wonderful place not too far from Empangeni. The staff are friendly and informative, the cages, yard, picnic spots and playground equipment are in immaculate condition. What a pleasure to visit a venue in such pristine condition. We loved every minute of the animal interactions and our social time with one another. Reptile City not only boast a wide variety of reptiles like snakes, crocs, turtles, lizards but some cute fluffies like bunnies, hamsters and guinea pigs as well as feathered creatures like peacocks, parrots and other bird life.
Gestures of Love
Dear family and friends of iKhaya
Mathew 9 verse 35 – 38 says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Helping or feeding the poor, the broken or sick and suffering is often a romantised picture for many as we read articles, watch video clips or movies on charity work. We as a society are often quick to judge and slow to love. My years of working with vulnerable children and rubbing shoulders with hurting adults and friends has opened my eyes and touched deeper into my heart to reveal a desperate reality we so often miss. Slow down to see and hear those around you. Pause a little longer to listen and to observe those around you. Maybe someone at a tillpoint, a parent at school, another learner, a colleague or a client. When you greet someone and ask how they are expect an answer, hear their words. Just listen. Maybe you will connect with someone you least expected, lend a helping hand in a small way because gestures of kindness speak volumes of love.
Greetings from us all at iKhaya! Loressa, kids and staff
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