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A great start to the new year

Stop the press! We have some fantastic, amazing, incredible, wonderful news from Dumphries Village...

We now have clean running water on tap! The local government has put in 10 communal taps on the main street supplying fresh, clean municipal water to the community! Pride 'n Purpose will continue to work with the community to fast track and improve access to safe water...watch this space for developments!

January was the start of the new school year in South Africa and our villages. So Pride 'n Purpose has been in the community gearing up for 2010.

Running water on the main street

We visited our orphan and vulnerable children's homes to make sure that all our 56 children are ready and registered. We delivered stunning backpacks jam packed with cool, fun and funky school supplies and where necessary purchased new school uniforms so all our kids could start the year in style! A massive thank you to all our guests who brought school supplies and donated to the fundraiser, we were totally overwhelmed by all the amazing goodies you donated and it was much appreciated!

Early education and our creches are going to be a major focus for Pride 'n Purpose in 2010. We have sat down with both Zodwa and Ester (principals of Jeremiah and Deyani Daycare respectively) to create plans of support/wishlists for the year. We donated new blankets and have sent out a DIY crew over to do a few touch ups. This year we are going to be holding regular teacher training workshops with the volunteer teachers so that they can hone their skills and be even better carers and educators. If anyone is interested in getting involved please get in touch.

I'm also very excited to announce that little Mpilo, one of our little ones living at our houses and incidentally the cover star of the Pride 'n Purpose calendar, has started at Deyani this year. He had a nervous first few days, but is now thriving and making lots of new friends. We are doing a big push this year to ensure that all our little ones are in nursery school as we fundamentally believe that early education is the building blocks for later learning. It cost just R550 (£45/$70) to send a child to crèche for an entire year, so if you'd like to support one of our orphans through crche please get in contact.
We have also been focusing on Mahluhluvana Primary School. This little school educates 500 learners from grades R - 7 and is a really lovely school. We have been working with the teachers to develop after school activities to feed into and enhance the learners day. So far we are supporting the Art Club that is run by Adam Willard a Peace Corps volunteer and the Reading Club lead by Lora Willard. Watch this space as we will shortly be announcing our next big project with the school! We also did our first conservation lesson with a group of children from the community. John, one of our fabulous trackers, took the group of primary school kids on a game drive in the reserve. John worked through the Pride 'n Purpose conservation book with the kids and introduced them to elephants, lions, impala etc. For many of the children this was their first time seeing big game up close and personal and was a truly magical experience. This is something we are hoping to make a regular fixture. The children absolutely loved it, thank you John for giving up you time and being so generous and patient with your knowledge! Lastly, we have some really great news; David Khosa has joined the Pride 'n Purpose team as the Projects Coordinator. Many previous guests will remember David's smiling face from his days as Rock Lodge Manager and will join me in welcoming him to the team! I'm sure many of you will be eager to hear that Lindsay has given birth to her gorgeous little daughter, Amber. Both mom and baby are well - congratulations Linds and Johann, she is an absolute treasure! Joni