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Archive for August, 2010

Hello everyone

I have decided today is the day for what has become my annual newsletter. I can tell you all that at the moment, it really feels like every day gets harder and harder but God is so good in the fact that He keeps showing me how incredible all this work is and how much He is doing around me. Many have asked if I have thought about returning back to Durban but how could I even consider it when I know that thousands of lives rely upon that decision, it is not even an option!

For those that do not know, Chadd, my husband, passed away on Monday, 7 December 2009. He made the full front page spread of the Zululand Observer Newspaper on Thursday, 10 Dec. That night, one of the children we have been trying to help, but who we had caught stealing from us previously, read that Chadd had died. He broke into our property and into my charity office. He stole my 3 laptops and burnt my office to the ground, 8 years of work along with it. That was the day before our Annual Orphan Christmas Party for 1500 at my house. I’m so grateful to say that my laptops were recovered within a couple of hours and my priceless database was saved. The Christmas party was a hugest success with hundreds of volunteers to help.

Christmas was very tender so I decided to put my 4 children on an aeroplane and we had a wonderful week in Cape Town for New Year. Sandile and Mbali had never flown before. Many times I would wake in a panic as to how I would carry on this work alone but there was never a doubt that I knew I had to. God assured me many times that He was holding me and urging me forward. In January we took on another 59 families and then another 2 since. We are now supporting 998 children in 391 families.

After my office got burnt down, we were working out of my dining room again where Chadd and I started Izulu Orphan Projects. From March to July, we built new offices down at our Support Centre with a clinic room, clothing and donations store room and a food store room, thanks to all the donations that came in with Chadd passing and with the help of Built It – Spar Group and Mzisi Africa. It was good for me to have many people around my house after Chadd died but it was even better to move into our new offices! At the same time, we also built our first house for the poorest family I have ever met!

In April, I started a Community Works Programme with the government where I created 495 jobs, employed the people, mostly from my families, and now I set the work and manage everyone. The government pay them R50 per day which is a fortune out our way. I have people fixing my orphans homes, building vegetable gardens, ladies helping the old grandmothers, ‘gogos’, inside their houses with cleaning and washing.  I have health builders who have been trained to do HIV, blood pressure and diabetes testing along with basic first aid who go from hut to hut testing and educating people. This has been such a success as these people getting tested would never have got checked unless they were almost on their death beds. 20% of the people getting tested are HIV positive who would not have found out otherwise! 

Chadd and my vision was always to take the help closer to the people and now it is becoming a reality. Round Table has come on board to help build our first Crisis Support Centre which will cost close to a million rand. These centres will be a place of refuge for orphans in crisis situations. Chadd was always a 24-hour emergency helpline when children were getting abused or the like. It is not safe for me to be driving out into the tribal lands after dark so these centres are so crucial now. They will also be used as homework and feeding centres as well as adult skills training and craft development to try and get our families self-sustaining. We have 5 of these centres to build so this is just the beginning.

For the near future, our Annual Orphan Christmas Party will be held over the weekend of the 11/12 December with 1500 children and 400 caregivers. The basic program is we explain the real meaning of Christmas, we entertain the children with some kind of show and then we like to give every child and caregiver a gift and a meal. This party is the absolute highlight of the year for everyone involved. The most important need is having hands on the days so please come with all your friends. We would like to give gifts  to both the young and old children and we love to spoil the real champions in all this, the caregivers, the grandmothers that have not only lost their children but now have to bring up their grandchildren and neighbouring children. We need hotdogs and juice, party packs, money for busses to collect all our orphans and caregivers, people to be the entertainment and did I mention hands, hands, hands? I have absolutely nothing for the party at the moment so I need everything. We have lots of accommodation for anyone wanting to help both days, everyone is welcome! I know this is going to be a very tender time for me so the more people around the better! I really need the help and I can promise that this weekend is life-changing for everyone!

I have learnt that including our banking details the first time saves me so much time. Now doing both Chadd and my job, and the work load exponentially increasing, my office time is very limited. What I would like to do now is to thank the 100s of people that have helped me since Chadd passed. Sometimes my mind has not been so clear on remembering things, especially in the first half of this year, and if I have not personally thanked you, please forgive me. So much has happened the last 8 months and in a crazy way, I can say that as sore as my heart is and what a loss it is to the world to not have Chadd anymore, I’m truly blessed to be in the middle of all of this, to see God’s hand moving so radically. I have no doubt that in the years to come, because of Chadd dying, I’m going to have so many more mind-blowing stories to tell.

Thank-you for all your powerful prayers and support. Without them, I would not be able to stand here today with such hope and perseverance. I am more committed now than ever and I know that literally hundreds of thousands of lives will be forever changed in years to come because God is so great!

Please do not hesitate to contact me on 083 649 9990 or my office on 084 600 9947. I stay 15kms inland from Empangeni so for anyone closer to Durban, my mother’s numbers are (031) 207 4958 or 082 779 3443. She is my warehouse manager there, even though I haven’t asked her yet J. Thank mom – Heather Ellens.

Wishing you all an amazing end to 2010 and an early happy Christmas. The hugest lesson I have learnt through all of this is that we really only have today, seriously make the most of it.

Banking Details:

First National Bank
Empangeni
8 Smith Street
Izulu Orphan Projects
Cheque Account (Non-Profit)
Acc No: 62094657908
Branch: 220130
BIC/Swift address: FIRNZAJJXXX

Thanks again.

Kate Bain

Chairman of Izulu Orphan Projects

www.izuluorphanprojects.co.za – no time to update this year!

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If you’re native to Durban, you’ll know that Umbilo, or Scumbilo, as some snobs (no names mentioned)  tend to refer to it, is not exactly….classy. It’s kind of in limbo – not quite “upper” Glenwood and not quite the harbour. So when I heard that a friend of mine, the beautifully talented Jaspar LePak, was going to sing at a pub in that vicinity, I was somewhat sceptical. However, I was assured that the pub in question: The Jackie Horner Pub and Grill, had been given a face lift and was doing its level best to bring back a touch of class to pub life .

The Jackie Horner Pub and Grill in Davenport (photo:website)

So l thought, lets check it out. The only way to have an opinion of any value is to actually base it on experience and truth (if only my own version). And I was very pleasantly surprised – the pub has been redecorated and has a great bar area and the place is well furnished with comfy chairs, funky materials (curtains/blinds) and these fantastic photographs in huge frames of old folk from a bygone era.

The bar at Jackies (photo:website)

But let me tell you about the music. Wednesday night at Jackie’s in open mic night. Musicians from Durban and surrounds, are given the chance to show case their music in front of a crowd, and because it’s open night, anyone can jump up on stage and have a go. The three main acts last night were Shannon Connelly who has a rocking voice and did both covers and her own songs which were fantastic. Then we had the Kickstands, two guys who know exactly how to make guitars sound good. I’m not a musically inclined person at all, apart of listening to it, so I was really impressed with their ability to make the kind of music they were – the made those guitars sing at the speed of light. And then lastly, and most importantly, my friend Jaspar.

 

Jaspar (photo:myspace)

I met Jaspar sometime between the beginning on this year and the end of last year. I was asked by a friend to “befriend” Jaspar as she was out from the States with her husband, and in need of some girl friends. So three of us went out for sushi – and we’ve not looked back. Jaspar’s currently writing a novel for her Masters in literature and taking the time while in Durban to focus on her music career. Her songs can only be described as intensely personal and they take you off into your head as you journey with her through the lyrics. It’s country music without the dead dog and the cheating lover. She plays the guitar and the harmonica and her husband Kale sometimes joins her on the accordion (what a rocking couple!).

 So if you’re keen for a week night event that doesn’t take too much out of you, head down to Jackie’s on a Wednesday night for some music. They also have live music on a Sunday for 2 hours so and you’ll get a great pub lunch and live music for ONLY R49!!! Insane!

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There’s that old Afrikaans maxim a boer maak a plan and I must admit: South Africans are pretty damn good at coming up with a solution to many a problem.

In true a boer maak a plan style – this poor hound was transformed into a lion because his owner was sick of being robbed.

In Africa there is ALWAYS a market – you just have to look for it. 2010 vuvuzela revolt.

The world can say a big old thank you to a physicist from South Africa, Allan Cormack (and I suppose I should mention his side-kick Godfrey Hounsfield, who does not sound in the least bit South African) for inventing the CAT scan machine. Then there’s old Chris Barnard who performed the first heart transplant in the (known) world in 1967. Then there’s the speed gun and speed ball which have something to do with cricket and recording speed..I’m sure this is appreciated by those people who enjoy the game. And of course, the good old Kreepy Krauly, nemesis of many a child who went swimming on a summers day. In fairness to Ferdinand Chauvier, he hailed from the Belgian Congo but came to South Africa in 1951 and died in SA in 1985, so I regard him as South African. We’ve even invented glue that went to the moon! Yes, Prately’s Putty (I will admit I have NEVER heard of this before) was used to “hold bits of the Apollo XI mission’s Eagle landing craft together”. See, good things do happen in Krugersdorp!

The Kreeeeeepy!

More recently we have two serious inventions which I feel should be mentioned because they directly relate to two of South Africa’s, and Africa’s, biggest social problems: HIV/AIDS and poor water quality.

Sex please…HIV/AIDS Protective Gel:

I won’t go into the technicalities of it all but basically this gel, which is given to women to administer, reduced the HIV infection rate in women, who formed part of a study, by 39% . This is not a cure but rather gives women the opportunity to reduce their risk of contracting the disease. And in Africa, where women are generally unable to negotiate condom use and safe sexual practices, an invisible gel has the potential to change their lives for the better. Another benefit to the gel is that it reduces genital herpes by just over 50%.  Local Durbanite, Dr Salim Abdool Karim, who works at the University of KwaZulu Natal, led the study and the results have been extremely positive.

Tea really does cure everything:

I was watching Carte Blanche the other day and this guy was filling his water bottle from what looked like an incredibly manky river, and then he took a big slug. Gaaah. So I turned on the sound and caught the end of the story. Some scientists at Stellenbosch University have created a very simple and cheap device to purify water – a tea bag! Yes, the humble tea bag. The tea bag (the rooibos one) is filled with “ultra-thing nanoscale fibres” which basically act as a filtration system and stop all the gross stuff in the water from entering your body. You stick the tea bag in the neck of a bottle, fill it with water, and the water is completely drinkable! And it is super cheap AND environmentally friendly! They’re still in the development phase but so far it has proved to be most successful.

Pretty impressive ne!

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