Our 2018 academic year started with great enthusiasm and excitement as 3 kids started BIG SCHOOL at Empangeni Christian School for the first time, attending Grade R, and 3 joined our own in-house Preschool for Grade RRR, This being their very first time at school! Big smiles and lots of cheer were the order of the day. Altogether we had 12 off school in town, attending Empangeni Christian School and Zululand Remedial Centre, and 4 at our iKhaya Preschool. All the best kids... We know you will be happy, make new friends, learn loads and will be diligent and make us proud!
Learning need not be boring! Our Holiday Program is designed to be loads fun with skills being learned without the kids realising it! They excercise both gross and motor skills, stimulate their creativity, learn teamwork, discipline, listening and following instructions and the program rules, learn balance and position in space, stimulate all their senses and so on. Holiday Programs are classrooms in disguise!
Another delight for our kids is dressing up and fantasy play. So for a great lesson to remind them that they are God’s chosen priesthood, beautiful in His eyes, they got to make themselves crowns and dress up as Princes and Princesses. They enjoyed music and dance and lots of games and activities together.
Our German volunteers, caregivers and kids grab every opportunity to make a visit to the beach. It‘s a favourite outing! We are blessed to live not far from the sea and have access to some lovely safe spots for a paddle, fresh air and a little bit of sunshine to boost the vitamin D! Our summer break was filled with many hot, sunny days and the kids had a blast playing and digging in the sand and swimming in the sea.
At iKhaya we love provide the kids with oppurtunities to explore what nature has to offer. Water and mud, in this instance, created a great medium for extra FUN and sensory stimulation. Laughting, getting dirty and wet is the best, especially for the boys!
We have a stunning yard and make use of it for various activities. Some include bubbles, jumping castles, musical chairs, soccer, cricket, riding bikes and running around.
What is a slumber party made of? Movies, snacks and treats, mattresses and teddies, dogs and cats were all part of this overnight campout. We don‘t have pets at iKhaya so going for a sleepover outside of our home often exposes the children to domestic animals and helps those with fears to overcome them, teaches the kids how to behave towards and interact with animals and how to be loving and kind to them too. Accepable social behaviour, table manners, sharing, doing chores and respecting one another are all life lessons learned while interacting outside of their own home environment at iKhaya. Of course having fun and an extra late night are what the kids think its actually all about!!!
Enseleni Nature Reserve is a nearby reserve that consists of coastal grasslands and forests with the Nseleni river providing a freshwater habitat. Picnic sites are available and the two trails in the reserve offer fantastic scenery and the opportunity to spot a variety of birds and animals. The Nkonkoni trail is 4.8 km and the Mvubu trail is 5.2 km in length. Our older kids and German volunteers enjoyed a lovely morning of fresh air together on the trail and picnic in the forest.
We have been extremely busy over the past few months preparing for the increase in capacity at iKhaya. Our Staff Rosters and Model have been changed for the better, we have employed a House Mother and a Domestic Worker, bedrooms have been shuffled around and minor alterations completed in order to make physical space for 5 new kids with sleep in caregivers. And finally the time arrived as we added 3 little girls to our home late in January. Watch this space as we grow to 25 kiddies in total. Thank you Lord for Your blessings over us. Continue to have Your way in our lives!
Do you have spare time and skills that will uplift kids or assist us in our daily lives? Or would you prefer to financially or materially donate to support the work of iKhaya? We value every input, be it big or small, as every gift goes towards changing the lives of the previously vulnerable children in our care.
Teachers, Doctors, Psychologists, OT and Speech Therapists, Councelors are some of the skills needed. But if you would like to serve in other areas we are always excited to hear from you!
We currently have 12 school going aged children attending local schools, from grade R to grade 5. As you may imagine, homework time is a real challenge especially seeing as some of our kids need extra one-on-one time to improve and grasp the work.
If you are a teacher or mom who would love to invest time in our homework centre, to create a love for reading, we would love to hear from you!
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LaFarge, Rotary Richards Bay, Kiddo Park and BWA Zululand we are truly grateful for your outpouring of blessing and generosity over us. Our children enjoyed a delicious braai and received stunning gifts on Christmas Day as they spent time together making memories and having a blast as they celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus!
Birthdays are a time of giving, celebration and an opportunity for us to express our love for each child as they are made the centre of the attention. Our heart’s desire is to build the self-esteem and worth of each child through this means of love and blessings and to give them a sense of belonging in our family at iKhaya. Thank you to those who partner with us to reach our goals and to bless our kids with treats and gifts. Even the small things in life make lasting memories and bring huge joy!
Good staff are a treasure worth spoiling! We had a lovely time together just relaxing, laughing and being treated to mini manicure and makeup demos. Lunch was delish too. Thanks to Putters Pub and Tea for hosting us and to Annie and Patricia of 5 Ways Beauty Clinic for the spoils! We left rejuvenated in body and spirits!
We all need to take time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life... time to relax, take a stoll and enjoy the company of one another without a planned or structured activity in mind. Spontaneous moments like these create lasting happy memories for the heart to cherish and add life and joy to the soul!
We said farewell to 3 children just before Christmas. What a joy to see them reunited with family... and what better gift for Christmas than to finally be home! They will be sorely missed by us all as we have shared many happy moments, tears and sorrows, fun and laughter, school struggles and achievements and have become friends and family as they have grown and matured over the years with us in our family and home at iKhaya. Know always that we will love you and hold you in our hearts forever and most of all keep your hearts and eyes fixed on Father God who never fails us. We love you!
School holidays are an opportunity to create our own fun through outdoor play, dress ups, arts and crafts that allow kids to stimulate their minds, develop creativity, confidence and physical strength. Without our dedicated staff and long term volunteers we would never cope alone. So here’s a shout out to all our holiday program helpers for their great work
To make our work meaningful and for us to reach our goals we rely on a team of contributors to assist us. Our needs include nutrition, medical, education, clothing, OT and Speech Therapy, psychology and councelling, optomotery, building maintenance, transport, staffing and so on. In order to meet these we rely both on helping hands of volunteers and financial support from private and corporate sponsors to bridge the gap between the limited Dept of Social Development funding and the actual costs of running our home.
Contact details: Loressa Kritzinger on:
Telephone 035-791 1116
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ikhayalikababa/
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Greetings from us all at iKhaya Loressa, Staff and Kids
A Season of Change and Harvesting
It is with absolute excitement that I update you on the changes that are unfolding before us at iKhaya. We serve an awesome God who is guiding and leading us into the season of harvest. We have successfully changed our staff roster and the benefits of having the children cared for by fewer caregivers, as mother figures, has been phenoninal. The children are more secure, loving and less “needy“. The homely feel and peace is tangible. We have fewer occassions of children needing discipline beyond a few corrective words. Children play together and care for one another routinely and the vibe is happy and joyful. Our caregivers have risen to the challenge of being more of an individual mother figure in the lives of the children they are responsible for and have taken on their daily duties with renewed pride and commitment. I am truly overjoyed! What a privilege to be a part of the unfolding changes.
An Early Christmas Treat
Thank you to Dayspring Animal Farm for wonderful facilities and loads of wide open spaces with superb animal petting and interaction opportunities for kids to play freely and safely. Airproducts treated us to a year end party with Christmas gifts and party packs. We all enjoyed feeding the animals and the kids thoroughly enjoyed playing on all the playground equipment, all the farm animals and pony rides. There is no doubt that we all slept soundly that night!!!
We celebrated three birthdays this month. What fun! There were plenty soapy bubbles, slippery slips and loads of laughter as children played together and enjoyed some outdoor treats, birthday cakes, chips, sweets and special birthday gifts. Best of all was having their own invited friends join in their memorable occasion!
Chane’ Cheese Farm
Our grade R kids visited the Chane’ Cheese Farm as a school outing. What a delightful day of adventure and fun they had. The kids were so utterly exhausted from their many activities that some fell asleep on the trip home. Thanks to the teachers for the opportunity to learn about farm animals and experience such an exploration!
Splish Splash I was having a Bash!
Nothing like going to the beach on a fun-shining day! Summer is finally here and outings to the beach are no longer just for a walk to pick up shells. The water is now a refreshing treat on our humid and piping hot days in Zululand. A few of the older kids joined the 4 German volunteers to enjoy some sun, sand and waves!
Playball Prizegiving and Demonstration
Many of our young learners participate in Playball programs that progress from simple sport introduction to mini sport classes running parallel with the school academic year. Each program consists of age appropriate, extensive related skills. The Playball curriculum is maintained by a consortium of professionals compromising teachers, physical therapists, sports coaches, occupational therapists and sports scientists to bring the most current and appropriate sports program to young children. As our academic year drew to a close we attended demonstration classes and had the privilege of watching them receive their certificates of achievement.
Priska and Ursula from Germany are talented dancers and are taking the time to give the kids ballet lessons while volunteering at iKhaya this year. Our children love to dance and express themselves through this art form. Dance Academy continues to teach the kids modern and hip hop on a weekly basis and this is the highlight of their week!
Time to Chill!
Empangeni has a large municipal pool that is used by local schools and clubs for galas and is open for the public’s pleasure. The facilities include shallow kiddies’ pools for the young children who either cannot swim or are still learning to swim. Our children enjoy an outing to the pool whenever possible… and the volunteers too!
Partner with us
To make our work meaningful and for us to reach our goals we rely on a team of contributors to assist us. Our needs include nutrition, medical, education, clothing, OT and Speech Therapy, psychology and councelling, optomotery, building maintenance, transport, staffing and so on. In order to meet these we rely both on helping hands of volunteers and financial support from private and corporate sponsors to bridge the gap between the limited Dept of Social Development funding and the actual costs of running our home. If you would like to be a part of our vision and mission please contact us to discuss how you would like to be involved.
For some time now I have had a stirring in my spirit to make some adjustments to our home and the way we are raising our kids; all with the kids’ best interests at heart.
We strive to raise the children in our care with as normal a lifestyle as possible. To create a home environment that is safe and that the kids feel is their own space and to protect this home space from becoming institutionalized.
So for starters, our birthday parties have taken on a new look. We set a party up a party table of eats, decorations and some fun activities, which is a commonly seen party setup that our kids enjoy at their friends’ parties. We ask the birthday kids to invite friends from school and we invite guests known to the kids. The focus is on making the kids the centre of attention to feel loved and special. The aim of all this is to teach them to share, enjoy party snacks with the freedom to choose their treat without greed, good table manners as well as improving social skills and interactions and building family relationships within our home.
After much prayer, thought, strategizing and planning, we launched our new staff roster. The old had 15 kids being cared for by 8 caregivers who each worked 2 days and 2 nights per week. In essence the kids had 8 “moms”. Our new model sees these children split into 2 family units of 8 and 7 kiddies respectively. Each family has a caregiver filling the role as mom from Monday to Friday and another from Friday to Monday plus each has a caregiver/ domestic helper. This translates into the kids bonding with 2 mother figures instead of 8, which creates a platform for improved love bonds between mother and child, greater control over homework, discipline, medication, overall wellbeing and improved relationships within family units.
Feelings of abandonment and entitlement are common symptoms of children living in homes/ orphanages. Our long term goal is raising emotionally stable, mature teens that will be strong enough to face the big wide world as young adults. So while we seek to continue to invest in our relations with our sponsors and community at large, who play a vital role in sustaining the work we do, and with the children’s best interest in mind, we will adjust the way in which we interact while keeping the children’s environment safe and their home their own personal place, just as we do in our private homes as parents of our own biological kids.
Please pray with us all as we unfold these plans and trust God as He lights our way forward.
Psalm 119 v 105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
Happy Birthday Bo!
Princess Bo celebrated her 1st birthday this month. What a great time with family and friends. She had her first taste of cake, caught plenty bubbles with great enthusiasm and simply had loads of fun. She was the centre of attention as we sang to her and she just knew how special she is!
Croc on a Rock
The little dam is filling up with the lovely, most welcome, recent rains. The croc was spotted basking in the sun on the rock in the water so the kids set off on an adventure to spot that croc! Unfortunately the croc had already moved on. But the walk was a fun-filled time as the kids spent time with the volunteers.
Experiencing Life in the Real World
It’s always a treat to go on an outing! The town library is a great place to escape to the land of make believe and wonder! Story time is simply the best. A swing by the grocery shop for a life lesson and exposure to the real world and to get a sweet treat was the highlight of the trip. With little minds and bodies super exhausted as they saturated their brains with new knowledge the little tots dozed off in the car on the way home… Fun is hard work!
We have the most amazing home with gorgeous views, great playgrounds and plenty open space for our children to play, explore and exercise. Life is full of activity, fun and interactions with one another. We have a happy home and are truly blessed to be raising our children is such a beautiful environment.
iKhaya partners individuals, companies, organisations and schools to make our work a success. We invite you to join us to make a difference. If you would like to assist us financially or with goods or services, please contact us or make use of our baking details on our webpage.
With love Loressa, Staff and Kids