Our charity work in South Africa has got off to a great start in 2020.
We are always curious how life will unfold in South Africa with such political unsteadiness, however, what I notice about the organisations we support, they are so remarkably positive about life and so deeply committed to educating the children.
All the children who receive meals at the Angel Ruth's Soup Kitchen in Lidgetton, have enjoyed their Christmas Party already.
Attached is a letter from Sandra Merrick, the local co-ordinator, thanking the community of people who are involved in supporting the children locally.
In the Spirit of Giving, we wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas, filled with many blessings of peace, love and joy.
Download Sandra's letter here
Throughout 2019 we have been able to sponsor 2 children through school, thanks to the funding we have been receiving.
Action in Autism:
Daniel is a young boy with Autism and has done very well in the Action in Autism school system this year, in preparation for going into a regular school system in 2020. We are so pleased to have been able to support Daniel this year. Some words from Kirsty Miller, the Manager:
"Daniel is doing exceptionally well - we are so proud of him. He is passionate about books and reading, and will spend hours pouring over books and going through vocab with whichever adult is prepared to sit with him and model language. He is doing so beautifully in every area of development, and we are so thankful to you and Lucky Beans for providing the opportunity for him to receive the full intervention and therapy programme at our Centre. He is probably our brightest star to be graduating from us at year-end."
We wish Daniel all the very best in his new school!
We will be looking to sponsor another child or a program at AIA in 2020.
Music Voyage - the Drakondale project (leadership through music):
Our sponsored child, Aphilie, has nearly completed her first year at Drakondale Music School in South Africa, a unique schooling opportunity where music is the main focus alongside regular classes. She is doing very well. We are very proud of her commitment, her cheerful kind manner and enthusiasm.
Our objective is to support Aphile for the next 4 years.
Drakondale is looking for funding for a second child, Anele, whose family's financial situation has become very dire. Despite a very challenging family situation, she is a vey determined young lady who wishes to aspire to more than her background has allowed up until now. She is an exceptional student (one of their best) and whom they do not want to lose. If you are interested to find out more about her and the schooling costs, please feel free to contact me.
Lidgetton Community Project - our Soup Kitchen
Nokuthula is doing well in the Soup Kitchen. She is feeding about 30 children per week at the moment, as well as giving food parcels to 5 families.
Shine with Kindness Yoga Charity Event:
Our Shine with Kindness Yoga event on 15th September at Jardeco in Wachtberg was a great success!!
Thank you to all those who were involved in supporting this event. We were about 60 people moving and breathing to very inspiring live mantra Music for the benefit of others. It was a smooth happy event and we were able to raise €1400, which we will feed back into our educational programs above.
We still have limited stocks of our beautiful Shine with Kindness Tote Bags on offer for 10€. If you wish to purchase one, please let me know.
I specifically had them made from a very inspiring Brazilian company called From Belo - have a look at what they do! https://www.frombelo.com
When you buy a bag you support a meal, this time in Brazil. We are all connected.
A BIG thank you to our members who are quietly present and support us in a way that gives us motivation to continue believing in what we do. The fruits of this work will show themselves in the next generation.
Thank you for supporting us in a way that feels good for you. The magic about supporting our work is that we are personally connected to each project and know exactly where out funds are going, which means you will too.
To being inspired through helping others,
At Action in Autism, they are teaching the children some yoga. The young boy we are sponsoring, Daniel, is practicing too.
Right after my heart!
Heute möchten wir unsere Begeisterung mit Euch teilen :))
Wieviel unsere Spenden bewegen, drückt sich im Dankesbrief von Osana aus. Ihr Sohn Daniel wird aktuell durch unsere Spendengelder an Action in Autism unterstützt.
Vielen Dank an Euch alle!
Fiona & Jürgen
Despite not being based in South Africa, Lucky Beans e.V. has been active in three small projects this year, which all quietly make a difference in the lives of many under-privileged children. We should never assume we cannot make a difference when we are not local. The "privilege" of being based in Germany, offers us the opportunity to do far more than we can even begin to realise, especially since the SA Rand is so weak right now - our euros go very far.
Now for an update on what we have been involved in....
Angel Ruth’s Soup Kitchen and Music Voyage
At the end of July I was fortunate enough to return to South Africa with Anton, our son, for three weeks.
Amongst seeing family, and teaching a yoga retreat, I also got to catch up with Nokuthula in Lidgetton at Angel Ruth's Soup Kitchen, which is running well now. She is happy with the set-up and has found a good rhythm with the children.
While I was visiting her, I also got to meet with Katherine and Vanessa from Music Voyage. We planned a music workshop for teachers in the Lidgetton area with one of their musicians, Justus, who is a drummer. The workshop, sponsored by Lucky Beans, took place on 20th September at Angel Ruth’s Soup Kitchen, with 10 teaches present. It was a great success. All the teachers were taught basic music skills which they can easily integrate into their classrooms or groups of children with whom they are working.
Thank you Music Voyage and Justus for sharing your amazing skills and passion.
Music is an integral part of these communities, so our intention was to offer a free workshop where the teachers, who are very influential in moulding the lives of the next generation, can offer some musical input for the children to learn through music, play and movement.
Nokuthula will now be able to use her training with the children who come to the soup kitchen.
Our Aims for 2018/2019:
Lucky Beans is looking for a small sponsorship to support Nokuthula in her teaching development. We would like to increase her salary by an extra €250 per year.
Music Voyage are looking for a sponsorship for a very talented young musician, Aphile. Please see next Blog entry.
Music Voyage would also like to set-up a new Marimba band - they are looking for sponsorship for the marimbas.
Action in Autism (AIA) - http://www.actioninautism.org.za
At the end of our trip, we were fortunate enough to visit Action in Autism in Durban, a local run school for children with Autism, headed by a friend, Kirsty Miller.
My parents and Anton came with me - we were all very touched by this experience.
Why? Because they are a truly dedicated group of teachers and carers who are so committed to supporting these children on their life path and helping them to integrate as much as possible into life.
This school operates on a first-come-first-serve basis - this means any child can be accepted no matter what their financial situation. As a result they have many cases where the parents don’t have adequate financial means to pay the full amount for the school fees. AIA are looking for sponsors for specific children in their program - Sponsor-a-child program.
On this trip we were able to fund a Sponsored event for the mothers of the children, as well as the music for the opening of their new school and hall.
Our Aim for 2019: Lucky Beans aims to support AIA children on a more regular basis when funds permit.
If you are interested in the Sponsor-a-child program, please feel free to contact us. We have the details of the children who need funding, then we can inform you of the amount(s).
Beautiful handmade Cards to buy from us - for Christmas or other occasions
Pia Perren, from Kartenpoint, very kindly donated some beautiful cards, which we will sell on a donation basis to raise funds for Lucky Beans e.V.
You pay the price of the value you place on the card(s).
If you would like to purchase cards, they are on view in our praxis or look at Pia’s website to view the cards. http://www.kartenpoint.ch
Please contact us for purchasing our cards, not Pia.
If you wish to make a non-specific donation for any of our projects, please make a payment directly to our Lucky Beans bank account.
Triodos Bank N.V. Deutschland
IBAN: DE 5050031000 1032803004
Thank you to all those who are in some way involved in supporting our projects. We are always open to new members and new ideas.
Music Voyage contacted us about reaching out for sponsorship for this remarkable young girl....
"Aphile is a 12 year old girl living in an informal settlement in Lidgetton. She lives with her mother, grandmother and various children for which they are responsible. Her current circumstances mean a poor education and an extremely impoverished lifestyle.
Aphile started attending Church at a parish outside the settlement in which they offered Sunday School and Choir singing to local children. One of our Music Voyage teachers who is also a member of the parish, started to teach her and a few other children to play the recorder. She immediately noticed Aphile’s natural musical talent.
In the past 3 years, Aphile has proved herself to be diligent and committed and she makes a huge effort to attend her lessons each week. We have assisted Aphile in entering into Eisteddfods in Pietermaritzburg, the most recent of which, she received a gold certificate and was invited to play in the best of the Eisteddfod concert. This was a huge achievement for her as she was able to play alongside children from very different economic backgrounds from her own. Subsequent to the Eisteddfod we entered Aphile into the Trinity College London music exam, which she passed with distinction. She is so proud of this and so are we.
We have realised that Aphile needs to be supported in her music. We took a chance and applied to a neighbouring Choir school, Drakondale, for a bursary for Aphile. After numerous tests and auditions, she was accepted and granted a 50% scholarship! This school would not only take Aphile on the musical journey of her dreams, but also provide her with a solid education. It is also a boarding school which would provide meals, comfortable sleeping arrangements and hygiene, all of which she is not accustomed to in her present situation.
Aphile is a student who shows tremendous musical talent and there is no limit to her capability. We trust that we will help Aphile to realise her dreams and secure her musical and academic future".
Would you be inspired to support Aphile on something much more than just her music journey?
This is an opportunity for her to receive a remarkable education and excel in her passion for music.
Her fees for Drakondale are: €3233/year (pending on the present exchange rate). If 20 people support her, this would be €161 each per year. Her education is 5 years. This is an investment, not in something but in someone.
As we draw nearer to Christmas, please give this some thought - it is so easy to give money away at Christmas, for things that we probably don't always really need. This is an opportunity to give to a child who can live out a dream.
Since the founding of Lucky Beans e.V. in 2015 in Germany, we have been supporting the Lidgetton Community Project in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
Our motivation is to provide a safe, nourishing place for the children of the Lidgetton community to go where they can receive a nourishing meal, play and learn from Nokuthula, our Soup Kitchen “Mother". Children cannot learn or feel optimistic when they are hungry - we start from this premise.
2018 started off with our new Recycled Container Soup Kitchen operating very well for Nokuthula, who has settled into her new home, as well as organising her new soup kitchen on her property.
Nokuthula's new house is in a very central location, where there are a lot of passers by - many folk pass up and down that road all day. They all seem to know her and greet her. Quite a few visit with babies and even other young teenagers come to read books in her lounge. Nok is like a counsellor for these folk and she is respected by the majority of the people who live there. She has bible study in the container in the evenings and also Sunday school for the small children and teenagers so she is kept quite busy. We are proud of her efforts and achievements in wanting to make her community a better place, especially for the children.
Juergen, Anton and I travelled to South Africa for new year, and were fortunate to be there on the soup/food delivery day, which is the first Wednesday of every month. We collected the soup from Amber Valley, which is a large retirement-type community in a town called Howick. A large group of Amber Valley members have generously been supporting LCP for some years now.
We are very grateful to the generous donators from Amber Valley for their continuous support in providing food, and often many other things that are needed, for the children.
Inside our container
The children seem to be very pleased with the new space, and what is on offer for them.
Nokuthula now has proper shelving inside the container for toys, games, drawing materials and books - the children have access to these each time they come for a meal. They eat and then they play.
A kitchen was installed inside the container with a gas stove where Nokuthula can prepare the meals, as well as wash up afterwards, at an open air sink just outside the kitchen door.
At the back door we also had 2x 1000L water tanks installed, which catch rain water. These tanks serve as the main water providers for the Soup kitchen, and are already fill!
Next to the container we had a dry sanitation repit Sanitech toilet installed, which requires no water. This, we hope, will serve as a very efficient long-term toilet solution, which is serviced by the company Sanitech twice a year, who come and pump out the waste from the expandable bladder.
If you are curious how this toilet works:
Nokuthula has had some assistance from Sandra and Pat Merrick to set-up her vegetable garden. Sandra and Pat arranged a grader to come in and level the ground, to prepare for planting. She has started growing her own vegetables now.
Nokuthula has, for some years now, been selling second-hand clothes to locals from the local trading store, to supplement the small income she receives from us. The store room, which was being rented by LCP, will now become Nokuthula’s shop base. Catherine helped her to sort out and arrange her products on shelves, which were kindly donated by Cynthia from the Funtasy Toy Store in Nottingham Road - thank you Cyn!
Nok is happy to now have a real “shop” from where she can sell her products, and maybe over time expand on her range.
Easter visit from the Teddy Bear Club
A few ladies from the Teddy bear club came to Lidgetton and gave the children a lovely easter egg party with cake and pudding and sweets, plus the teddy bears and jerseys. They played games with the children, which they enjoyed a lot. Thank you to the ladies of the Teddy Bear Club who so generously sew and donate lovely things for the children.
Music Voyage Project
Lucky Beans is also assisting a wonderful Music Project, called Music Voyage.
At the end of 2017 we sponsored the purchase of a trailor, which they desperately needed for transporting their musical instruments. Katherine McClelland is very pleased with the addition to their already sponsored mini bus.
We hope that we can integrate the two projects in the near future, by bringing music education to the children at Angel Ruth’s Soup Kitchen. When it is financially possible, we would like to educate a music teacher from Lidgetton to teach the children once or twice a week after they have had their meal.
Action in Autism - Our new support project
I was recently in touch with an acquaintance, Kirsten Miller, who is doing inspiring and transforming work with Autistic children in Durban - Lucky Beans has decided to support this unique project. They take in autistic children who need the most help and some of these parents are not always able to fund this special education. Our Lucky Beans members have all agreed that we will, for 2018, support a few children through their schooling.
It is my vision to find more sponsors to support these children, who, through this specific system, are often able to reintegrate back into a regular schooling system after the primary level. If you are interested to support this project, please be in touch with me.
Sponsorship and membership
We are a small charity who are always happy to welcome new input and new members to our team. If you are interested to join us or have friends who might be interested in sponsoring our work in South Africa, please contact us. It is a low key involvement charity, where you can offer your experience, financial support on any level, and enthusiasm for bringing change at "grass roots". We are supporting children for a brighter more positive future for South Africa, which has always been a pivotal racial hot spot. Imagine a new generation who grow up with tolerance, acceptance and a striving for a united future.
Thank you to Nokuthula for her continued dedication to the children, without her there would be no project!
Also a big thank you to all our supporters from Germany.
Our contribution to this community is a small drop in a large ocean, but that is where the effect lies.
Today was the opening of our Soup Kitchen in Lidgetton.
My sister, Catherine, made the opening speech.
Nokuthula and Sandra opened the new Soup Kitchen. All the best to them for a new and exciting future in the container!
A BIG thank you to the Bergmix team for donating the cement - David was the representative from Bergmix.
Another BIG thank you to Dave and his amazing team who have helped us in more than one area....
The roof is nearly on...
The children always find one another...
Many wonderful supporters of our small project.
Here's to a new year ahead filled with happy, healthy children in Lidgetton who can benefit from our container.
Soup Kitchen progress: After starting the year with not much progress regarding our Soup Kitchen development, we have now had an intense and inspiring few months. I would like to update you all on our developments in Lidgetton, South Africa.
Three months ago, my sister, Catherine, who is presently living in South Africa, kindly offered to help co-ordinate the project locally. She has been our local project manager since September.
We are very grateful for her amazing support, focus and enthusiasm for bringing this project so far in such a short time. Without a local co-ordinator, it would have been nearly impossible to have achieved what we have done in the past three months.
We would also like to say a big thank you to Sandra Merrick, the local co-ordinator of the Lidgetton Community Project, and has been a key figure in melting together the Container project with the present Lidgetton Community Project. Without Sandy's openness and clarity, this would not have been as easy to realise.
Nokuthula’s house is now complete and she has moved in. Thank you Nokuthula for being open for this huge change and willing to have the Soup Kitchen in your garden!
As for the Soup Kitchen, Catherine has done a remarkable job in sourcing suppliers, supplies, a reliable builder, redoing the entire container plan from the external colour to the internal fittings, and co-ordinating all the people involved to be on time for their part of the job.
She managed to get us some very kind donations, for example, all the cement surrounding the container was donated, plus the laying of it. Our thanks go to BergMix for this very generous donation.
The container plan has been changed from two 6m containers to one 12m container.
Images of the Soup Kitchen development:
The road leading to Nokuthula’s house and her house on the corner.
Planting hedges with Thlandla and Cornelius, my parents wonderful gardeners - thank you so much for your help . The cement and building team arrived at 7:00am on Tuesday 21st November, poured and prepared the cement block. This block runs the entire length of the 12m container, plus around the two edges - on one side will come two water tanks (4500L each), where we will catch rain water off the roof. Thanks to Andrew from Build-It, Hilton and Dave Sinclair for their help.
Now that the container is in place, a fence and gate will be put up, the water tank will be brought in, plus a special portable toilet system that is a relatively new innovation in South Africa to manage the extreme water shortage South Africa faces right now. Thank you to Jon and his Sanitech team for your support in implementing the new toilet system for us. Thanks to Cath for finding this solution for us. A clean, hygienic and well managed system.
Arrival of our container: On the 29th November the finished colourful container arrived in Lidgetton, and was placed on its cement slabs, with the help of our wonderful builder, Dave Taylor. Thank you, Dave! We are very grateful for his contributions to this project so far.
Opening Ceremony: On Tuesday 12th December will be the Opening Ceremony for the Soup Kitchen, which we have decided to name: Angel Ruth’s Soup Kitchen, in honour of Ruth Schmitz, a very dear friend of our friends the Domscheits, who made a generous financial contribution which enabled this new soup kitchen project to come alive. We are very grateful for this, and are happy to have Ruth’s warm, friendly, enthusiastic presence in the kitchen - we will take a photo of her with us in December.
Music Voyage, “sowing seeds of music” is next on the list - I have made contact with Katherine McClelland from Music Voyage, and they need a trailer to transport their instruments, so we will purchase this soon for them.
To find out more about this local impressive initiative: https://musicvoyagesa.wordpress.com
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our donors, students, clients, friends and family who have been so supportive of our project, recently and over the past years. A special thank you to my family in South Africa, as well as the local suppliers in South Africa, who have been very generous on different levels in their support.
We wish you all a warm wonderful Christmas time, and an inspiring new year ahead, filled with joy and lightness.
Fiona, Jürgen and the Lucky Beans team….