Christmas greetings everyone! This last term of 2019 has “whizzed” by so fast and we have been as busy as ever here at HNO. Conny asked me, Mary, to write this term’s newsletter and I thought I would give you a closer look at our children and an insight into the time we spend together here at the Centre.
Our children and young adults’ handicaps are complex and varied, from severe Cerebral Palsy and extreme Autism to a whole lot in between. As we work with them we find that, with a multi disciplinary approach, we see progress. A predictable routine in a safe place with physiotherapy and occupational therapy and in some cases the correct medication and with lots of love and prayer, the children gain in confidence and begin to learn…little by little and in various ways.
We follow a set routine each day beginning with breakfast and devotions in the hall and then up to the classroom for our “theme lesson” as well as word, number, shape and colour recognition.
Woven into the morning routine various children are taken off for physiotherapy in the physio room. This is Zanele, one of our Carers working with Wandile.
Some children need to be taken for walks periodically through the day. Here Nomvula, who is blind and severely mentally handicapped out walking with Mamadonda.
Our young man Sibusiso, who also blind, gets on with the weaving of trays. At the moment he is making 36 of them – a lovely order from Sani2c. We sent Sbu on a course in Durban to learn this skill.
After tea and sandwiches it is time to play outside much to the children’s delight! This is Aphiwe enjoying some newly donated outdoor equipment. This five year old boy was brought to us by his concerned mother at the beginning of the year. As the months went by so his confidence and skills grew and when we had him assessed by an Occupational Therapist she felt he would cope in a normal school setting. So his mother is doing just that and we are so happy but also sad …we will miss him!
Then it’s back inside for our singing circle with activities to stimulate the five senses. Here is Big Boy enjoying the “up and under” of our colourful parachute! Then fine motor exercises, and here have Wandile working with Nellie.
Following this is story time, a hot lunch and then back home at two o’clock…tired out after a busy morning.
As most of you know the Centre is nestled at the foot of the Bulwer Mountain and it forms such a beautiful backdrop to our lives here and is a constant and comforting reminder of where our help comes from! Psalm 121.
Thank you to all who have supported us over the year in so many ways …we are so grateful! It is also with great excitement that we have made some new friends who have assisted us hugely. Amy Kamhoot from the Lodestar Foundation has put us on their breakfast food program and we have been able to give our children at the centre, as well as learners on our community feeding scheme, a specially formulated porridge to combat hunger and improve concentration to encourage better learning.
And then at the beginning of December a very special group of people from the Highlands Church in Underberg brought gifts for our children and staff. We celebrated this blessing with cake and juice after being entertained by the children’s tableau of the Christmas story accompanied by the singing of carols.
God bless and keep you this Christmas and through 2020!
From all of us at HNO