6 months ago

2018 Term 1 Ya Bana Village News

Meet Mama Cecilia and

Meet Mama Cecilia and her boys. What motivates our wonderful Ya Bana Village Moms for assuming the responsibility of caring for a houseful of children? Join us as we “spotlight” each Ya Bana Village Cluster House family throughout 2018. Mama Cecilia has been the “Red House” mother since April 2012. Living with her are the following children: Itumeleng (age 11), Ryan (age 8), Kgothatso (age 8), Mpho (age 11); John (17) and Prince (age 14). SPOTLIGHT ON THE RED HOUSE In Mama Cecilia’s words…. “I became a house mother so that I could give love to the children who had no parents and those who were abandoned and to watch them grow up happy. Just like any other mother I have many responsibilities, including to watch the children’s every move and their moods and to know them well and to be able to see if they are sick or unhappy. Also to watch their behavior, intelligence, and performance at school and how they handle themselves with others. I enjoy most to see all the children happy, doing well at school, being healthy, not sick and not lonely, and being well-mannered, honest, and HAPPY. My biggest challenge as a mother is to change negative behaviors because they come with different moods and behaviors. You want them to feel like they are your children—part of the same family—and behave like siblings from one family.” Mpho and Itumeleng have been part of the Ya Bana family for 5 years now. All the boys responded: ”We love the way that the mothers and everybody are treating us. They do everything for us and they love us.” Ryan loves soccer most and walking in the yard. Kgothatso likes running and singing with other children and going to church. Mpho likes having ice cream. All the boys responded they “love trips and going to camp and meeting other children who are like us.” John is gifted and uses his spare time to fix watches, computers, or anything else that breaks down. He is also an enthusiastic carpenter. A closing thought from Prince “The mothers are teaching us the important things in life.” Our children go to different schools in the area – we enrol them where we find space. Just like in any other family, we have children with different abilities and talents. We have two boys - Kgothatso and Shadrack - that attend Prinshof School for the Visually impaired in Pretoria. Challenges: assessments need to be made to enrol some of our children in special needs schools. Unfortunately, resources are not readily available for these assessments and this complicates timeous placement in special needs facilities. BACK TO SCHOOL Our children in Primary and High School. Well done to the children (in blue) who averaged an A last year. Gr NAME G Gr NAME G 2 Kgothatso M 5 Anele F 3 Ryan M 5 Itumeleng M 3 Adija F 5 Dakalo M 3 Grace F 5 Omphile F 3 Thato F 6 Njabulo M 3 Otsile M 6 Hlonolofatso M 3 Emanuel M 6 Letlhogonolo M 3 Amina F 6 Thabile F 3 Dintle F 7 Boikarabelo M 3 Jabulile F 8 Gomotsang M 3 Bontle F 8 Shadrack M 3 Sphiwe M 8 Lethabo F 4 Khumo M 9 Aphelele F 4 Mpho A M 9 Nompumelelo F 4 Mpho S M 9 Khotso M 2 Over the past 7 years Ya Bana constructed an Early Learning Centre, attended by 165 children from Ya Bana Village and the surrounding community. The positive influence of the ELC is clear in the school results of our Grade 3’s. ELC Coordinator: Amanda Gazendam

INTERVIEW WITH OUR CEO – Carina Goosen What is it that you do at Ya Bana Village? I try to ensure that the day to day development and operation of Ya Bana takes place. Why did you get involved with this charity? I come from an affluent, Afrikaans community in the Eastern Suburbs of Pretoria. After 1993, I had an urge to be involved with the restoration of our country and its people. I made contact with organisations in this area who were taking care of vulnerable and orphaned children. I was about 40 years old then, and have never been to a township before. I remember when I entered the township, I was amazed to see the difference in circumstances and lifestyle compared to where I was coming from. The inequalities were painful to me as I experienced the legacy of the apartheid system. That was a life changing moment and I could not turn my back to what I saw and experienced. The end result of all of this was that I fell in love with the people and children of this community and I made a choice to assist wherever I could. Why this cause is so close to your heart? Because of the people and children who cross my life on a daily basis. It made me understand the complexity of our South African society. It gives me insight into what it means to live in a country where the majority of people live under the breadline. And this is important to me – to be able to understand the context of our country. This cause taught me the meaning of Ubuntu, it taught me the principal that when you give you receive so much more. What are your daily challenges? Service delivery by our local government in the form of electricity, water, maintenance of roads. We are regularly stranded without electricity and water. Theft of the solar panels which provides water for our facility and children. We have been faced with land invasion. Of the 8 hectares of property, we are only able to use about 2 hectares. Land which was supposed to be developed to fulfil our vision. Finish this sentence: What keeps me going is the moments at Ya Bana…moments like the little hand in my hand, the sadness or the lifelessness in big brown eyes of children when they arrive at Ya Bana, and then, after a while, the life that returns in the same big brown eyes. To see traumatized children, transform into children who are happy and who experience a sense of belonging when they live long enough in our Village. I am grateful for – the many blessings which we receive, being aware of what we take for What motto do you live by? The African proverb: Where there is love, there is no darkness. granted: a meal or a warm bed and a hot shower. My life is meaningful because I have the opportunity to show care and love to the less privileged. The best part of my day is when I enter the gates of Ya Bana and I realise that this is the home for many vulnerable children and a centre of education for toddlers. I love it when I see children playing on the lawns under the trees between flowers. Everyone is always friendly and warm and I realise that our Village is what it is supposed to be - a big extended family where we can raise children… and I am part of it. 3