At the end of June, the Kamvalethu board had the opportunity to travel up to the Eastern Cape and spend time with our partners in Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall. We were lucky enough to arrive on the evening of one of their full moon parties and experienced Coffee Bay in all its translucent beauty. Once again Coffee Shack made us feel instantly at home and poured out their hospitality.

Before we headed out to Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori (ILM) we spent some time with Dave and Katie who head up the management side of their operations. To fully grasp this rural setting and the challenges they face can at times feel tiresome but we always leave feeling more connected and with a richer insight.

As always the highlight for me…spending time with the kids at ILM! They are a breath of fresh air and joy, loving the occasion of visitors. A few little ones proudly showed us how they work, wash up after themselves and we took part in a very engaged story time. We were able to take up several Xhosa books for them, which are in short supply. After school we took the team (three teachers, principal, cook and gardener) out for lunch at the hotel which is not a venue ordinarily frequented by the locals. It was a fantastic time of connecting, over some yummy food, saying thank you for all the hard work they have done through Dawn’s sabbatical and the arrival of a new principal. This is truly a special group of people!

The next day we travelled through to Hole in the Wall, which is about 9km’s away over many steep hills, to visit Dawn’s new school “Ncinci Ones” which means “Little Ones” in isiXhosa. Dawn is feeling refreshed after her sabbatical and has wasted no time in setting up a small school in her village. She was approached by many parents over her break, to please set up something similar to ILM. In true Dawn style, she has taken a broken down rondavel and turned it into an amazing little school for the local kids. One of the challenges of access to education in the rural areas is transport to different villages (expensive) and bad weather (if the weather is bad- kids don’t go). The ideal would be to have a school close to home which then makes a real difference to how kids access their education.

Breaking news: We were VERY happy to be able to offer Dawn a partnership with Kamvalethu which will take the form of a monthly principal’s salary.

Sponsorship opportunity: There are still 5 kids at ILM and 1 at Ncinci ones who need sponsorship. A full sponsorship is R500, which is tax deductible, however there are many situations where companies match their staff or staff join together to sponsor a child. Get in touch to find out how.

New: Kamvalethu will be posting more photos on your office notice board. If your office doesn’t yet have a notice board, pop down into MFA to have a look!

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