|IN OUR DECEMBER EDITION:|
A Time to Give Back
During the last month of the school year the Anna Foundation focuses on a time of “Giving Back". Our children think about all the generosity that has been shown towards them during the year, and learn that life is not all about other people doing things for them - there are also others in need, facing their own difficulties. This is the children’s time to show others that they care: a time to “pay it forward”.
Each of our after-schools does something special for a different organisation or group of people in their area. Although there is a very serious underlying lesson in all of this, the children really do enjoy all the preparation that goes into giving back, which includes making gifts and ornaments to give to their chosen organisation.
For our newer Robertson and Ashton projects, this was their first ‘real’ taste of giving back – Arabella and Excelsior Wines after-school chose the Ashton Hospice as their beneficiary while Graham Beck and Riverside Primary supported the Children’s Shelter in Robertson. Our children decorated (empty) wine bottles to create beautiful angels. There were also bookmarks, bracelets, ornamental birds and Father Christmases made from empty toilet rolls. We were taken back by the great lengths the children and facilitators had gone to in terms of preparation, and the quality of hand-made gifts were sure to brighten someone’s day! Unfortunately it was not permitted for the children to visit either venue, simply due to the circumstances of the residents and so our Project Manager visited the hospice and children’s home on the after-school’s behalf (there was much gratitude from the management staff as we learned that it is not every day that their residents are spoiled in this way!). Back at the projects, facilitators ensured that the children were made very aware of who the recipients of their gifts were, and educated them regarding the situations surrounding their living conditions (ie. what is a hospice and why are people staying there?).
In the Boland our farms visited a local old age home (Huis Ebenezer), a residence for care of people with a primary intellectual disability (Horizon House), as well as organising a party for less advantaged children who live nearby Buffet Olives farm in Paarl. The Anna Foundation children had created handmade tokens of love to share with all the residents, as well as preparing some entertainment - there was plenty of dancing, poetry and singing in the Boland to ensure that everyone was left feeling appreciated and loved. At one of our farms, the children chose to serve all the parents breakfast, taking care of all preparation, playing ‘waitron’ and cleaning everything up (which the parents really appreciated)!
Children's Prize Giving and Operation Shoebox
THE FUN ASPECT: Events in each region may have varied with regard to the type of activities taking place (due to the size of the groups) but at each one, there were some very yummy eats. In Robertson and Ashton some of the children performed a dance or sang an item or two for their peers while in the Boland, group action games (exciting games requiring the capturing of flags) were the order of the day. There were also jumping castles and waterslides present at the larger, Stellenbosch event which provided hours of entertainment for the Boland children.
PRIZE GIVINGS: Each function had its own prize giving where awards were presented to children who have excelled academically, on the sports field and in their all-round performance and commitment to the Reading, Running, Right-ing programme during the year. These awards ceremonies are valuable in building self-esteem and give the children a sense of achievement as their names are called out. Children from other farms cheered and ‘whooped’ as learners stepped up to receive their certificate and (depending on their achievement) book or voucher prize. Over the years we have found the prize giving ceremony to be constructive in terms of giving the children something to work towards during the year.
This year’s main trophies went to the following children:
DUX AWARD: Antonio Gr 12 (Buffet Olives)
BEST SPORTSMAN: Curtley, Gr 7 (Buffet Olives) and Ruben Gr 9 (Dornier)
BEST SPORTSWOMAN: Wilmarie Gr 8 (Buffet Olives)
RIGHT-ING AWARD: Rodean Gr 9 (Waterford)
OPERATION SHOEBOX: The handing out of personalised Christmas gifts has to be the most exhilarating part of each end of year event, not only for the children but for all adults to watch! This is always done near the end of the function. When the shoeboxes are opened it is possible to see looks of disbelief, ecstasy and excitement, all in one click of a camera-flash. For some children it is extremely difficult for them to understand that this is their, personal gift. Sometimes learners think they have to choose just one item to keep! Having so many nice things in a box, for a small child, it can all be too much to take in and comprehend. And that’s enough to give you goose bumps!
If you’re wondering what all this talk of ‘shoeboxes’ is all about, starting in August each year, one can “adopt” a child on the Operation Shoebox website. Once registered you are given a child’s name, age, their ‘likes’ etc. enabling you to make up a customised gift which should include toiletries, some clothing, the child’s favourite toys and of course, sweets. We are so grateful to Operation Shoebox and to each and every “Shoeboxer” for their generosity and for truly brightening up the Anna Foundation children’s Christmas again this year!
Running Clinic with Endurocad
Five of our Boland teens were chosen to attend the Endurocad School’s Training Clinic from 9 – 11 December at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport. Rodean, Alfrendo, Mogammat, Calvin and Ruben (co-winner of the Anna Foundation Sports award) from Dornier, Waterford and Stellenzicht farms were selected due to their love of running and for showing potential as middle to long distance runners. Their talent and enjoyment of running has been evident at all our funs runs this year with all performing above average.
Over the three days, the group experienced track running at Coetzenburg stadium, attended workshops on nutrition, anti doping, massage techniques and even went on a ‘little’ run up the mountain (the massage skills were particularly valuable after this)! They were shown the correct way to warm up and some of the latest scientific training methods, demonstrated by top instructors including world-renowned athlete, Elana Meyer!
Some of our group had been a teeny bit anxious as to what to expect from the running clinic but in the end they were pleased that they had stepped up and attended, despite its intense and tiring schedule. The amount of new knowledge that our learners took away with them could change their attitude towards running, forever.
What Did We Do With Your Money?
Every month, we get a few hundred Rand in our account from MySchool, thanks to our loyal supporters who swipe their MySchool cards when they shop. The MySchool logo is: ”Every Swipe Counts” and you know, it really does!
Last month we put all our MySchool money raised during the course of 2014 towards supporting the people who make our after-school projects happen on a daily basis: our facilitators. Everyone who swiped their MySchool card just once during the year contributed towards our facilitator’s prizes which were awarded at their special end of year ceremony. It’s amazing that such a small gesture could have make such a tremendous difference!
Getting a MySchool card costs nothing. Swiping your MySchool card costs you nothing and you can choose up to 3 beneficiaries to support (it’s a case of simply adding the details on their website). With Christmas around the corner, and loads of shopping to be done, why not get your card now? It’ll take two minutes – literally! Every time you time you swipe your card at Woolies or an Engen QuickShop, or any other MySchool partner store, they make a donation, on your behalf, to the Anna Foundation at absolutely no cost to you!
There are so many stores with special offers for MySchool card holders, so can only save money in the long-run. It’s a win-win situation. Please sign us up as your beneficiary and swipe away! For all details and partner stores, take a look at the MySchool website: www.myschool.co.za
- Johan and Ann Brandt: Sponsorship of prize giving vouchers
- Lilla Howe Trust: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- Croft Trust: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- Dr Brom: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- de Villiers Family: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- van der Merwe Family: Financial support for school tuition
- Operation Shoebox: For looking after our children so well!
- 1%Club Members: Your monthly support helps a great deal
- Wendy Appelbaum: Endurocad Clinic sponsorship
- Wines with Heart: On-going financial support
- Pacmar: Donation of Juice
- Van der Stel Sports Club: Use of your venue
- Struan Buchanan: Donation of Afrikaans books
- MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and all our 'card swipers'