Common Good/Zanokhanyo News
The past couple of months have been quite full. The Zanokhanyo Network is pushing hard to train as many people as possible before the end of the year. That means we often have three or more courses running simultaneously at the two training centers. We also hope to start external training at a church later this month. At each graduation students share about how much the course has impacted their lives, and they urge us to continue reaching out to the communities. At the most recent graduation the class participants put on a play in which half of the actors were working to recruit the other half to join the training instead of wasting their lives in bars and clubs. The "recruiters" told the others to "join Zanokhanyo; it will change your life!"
Over the past few weeks almost all of The Zanokhanyo Network staff have been participating in a Grief and Trauma Counselling course which is being facilitated by our own Pastor Ziba and a long-time friend of Phambili, Elizabeth Clack. Virtually every student who comes on the job readiness training course has experienced significant trauma of various kinds, and this training will help equip us to help the students process and recover from their experiences. The training is thoroughly infused with Scripture and God's Spirit, which makes it very powerful.
Common Good has recently become a school operating partner for a primary school on the outskirts of Cape Town. Being a school operating partner means that Common Good has a tremendous opportunity to really impact the way the school runs, but it is a huge undertaking. Leslie was able to participate in a two day teacher training course put on by a group from the U.K. which has been involved in similar projects for about a decade. The training was excellent. Ideally, we would like to see Mokone Primary become a "collaboration" school in this project in the near future.
Mokone Primary & Barcelona Children's Home
Our work at Mokone Primary has been quite rewarding lately. We have consistently had between 11-15 volunteers to help with Grade 6 numeracy on Fridays. The children really look forward to this time, and we trust that their understanding is improving.
We have also had a couple of Sports Saturdays at the school, which have been wellattended. We have shifted from having the focus on sports to focusing more on numeracy and literacy with a few games thrown in. The children love it! Last week in the literacy station the children learned how to look up Bible verses to answer questions.
In July Leslie and a couple from church took the older children from Barcelona Children's Home to the science museum. Things are continuing to grow and improve at the home. Archbishop Tutu and a group from his foundation recently reworked the garden, and a new house for the girls is under construction.
The big news is that Tim handed in his thesis at the end of August! Thanks to all who were praying for him. He is very relieved to have that behind him.
Leslie's cousin Lib and her family visited in July, which was a real treat. They got to experience some of the highs and lows of winter in Cape Town.
South Africa held local government elections in early August, which thankfully were peaceful. The political situation is not as stable as it could be, but many are hopeful that positive changes are on the way. A recent 8 year comprehensive study of education and employment in the country showed that 85% of those who were in Grade 10 in 2008 are neither working nor studying currently. There is plenty of work to be done to reduce that number!
James and William both seem to be doing well. James is in his final year at Old Dominion and is really enjoying his marine biology classes. William is working hard and keeping up with his studies.
Last week Leslie's Aunt Lucy (Lib and Ann Brett's mother) passed away. It is hard to be so far away from the family at times like this.
Recently Romans 12:12 has been on our hearts: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." In spite of how desperately out of control many things seem to be, we have a God who is aware of it all and who calls us to be hopeful, patient and prayerful. Imagine how different things might look if more of us took that approach to dealing with the issues we're facing.
Thanks so much for your faithful encouragement, prayers and support. We are so thankful for your involvement with us. May you be filled with the knowledge of God's will and experience his joy.