Unbelievable! No really! 2017 is almost at an end! The year has flown by so fast, once again, I feel as though I could just send you last Christmas’s newsletter. It seems like I only wrote it last week.

However, here we are mid-December – the weather is warming up, the schools have closed for the year and for some the seaside vacation begins.

At the beginning of October we welcomed Pumla’s tiny, baby girl – Inako . At the time of going to press we had not had news of Candice and Eugene’s baby, though we know the birth is imminent.

We have had a rather unsettling last few months with the authorities determined to make life very difficult for Molly. As the Children’s Act requires abandoned children to be reunified with next of kin (preferably a parent), some of the children have been removed from JJH. In theory this is good but sadly we are not always happy with the situation these children find themselves in. So we will continue with court cases again in the New Year. Thanks to the generosity of a US donor we have employed a lawyer and advocate to help us with the legal battles.

As you would have received an update in June, I will just give you some idea of what has been happening in the second half of the year.

  • The children were given talks on substance abuse and child trafficking. As they are so vulnerable we know how easily they could be lured into dangerous situations. We need to continually address these issues.
  • Vanessa and Tess, our PR and IT specialists, gave the children a party to mark Mandela Day – an annual celebration. They are continually updating the website and Facebook page. They have also sold goods at a boot sale where they raised some funds for the home. We are really grateful to them for their involvement.
  • The children were thrilled with the donation of beanies and gloves from Monique, visiting from the USA – especially as they arrived in the middle of winter.
  • The driveway has been cleared and re-concreted. It looks so much better and the children are finding it a perfect skate board ramp. Thank goodness for the large gate at the bottom or who knows where they would end up.
  • The Wendy Houses have had a good revamp with extra roof supports and a good coat of paint inside and out. An extra Wendy House was donated and this has been put up next to the foster houses. The plan is to use it as a home work centre and Nyrocco will supervise and assist the children in the afternoons. She has continued to be invaluable as a preschool teacher and our little under-fours are way ahead of their contemporaries.
  • We share Molly’s pride in five of her big kids being made prefects at their schools for 2018.
  • The year ended with a party and a shoe box of goodies from the “Santa Shoe Box” charity. The children were super excited.
  • We continue to welcome friends from far away countries who make a point of visiting the home. Thank you so much for making the time to see the Bams and their large family.

The board had a lovely end-of-year lunch following our last meeting. It’s always good to end with a belly full of fine food!

And so on that note we wish you all a peaceful, blessed Christmas. Thank you for your continued support, interest and compassion for the Bams and all the children they have taken into their home and their hearts.

May 2018 be a really good year for us all.