Share your love…

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve updated on the darling tots in South Africa. They have been doing so well for the past year! The community has really rallied around Mama in helping, volunteering, and showing support. I still receive emails and requests from people to help Mama. She is so grateful and feels so loved! So thank you very much for your kindness.

Even though Mama has been blessed with help from the community and others, she still needs to day to day necessicties. I have been working with and created a great friendship with a local woman, and a few others, who has graciously given their time to help Mama when possible and making sure things are going well.

We have created an account for South Africa and still have an account here in the States for those who would like to donate and help. If you are interested in the South Africa donation, please message me and I can give you those details.

Here’s a list of the basics the kids need

Rice, pasta, cake flour, mealie meal
Sugar, coffee, tea
Mabele, morvite, lentiles, split peas, beans
Oats, cooking oil, salt, soup packets, spices
Washing powder, dish washing liquid, Sunlight bar soap
Frozen vegetables
Tinned food: pilchards, beans, Bull brand
Tissues, toilet rolls
Tooth brushes, tooth pastes
Disposable nappies for 3-18 month old babies
Fissan paste/bum cream
Vaseline
Roll on deodorants for the teens
Sanitary pads for the teen girls
Long life milk/powder
Nan no. 2 baby formula
Sweets/nuts
Soya mince, meat, chicken pieces

Thank you all for your constant support and interest in helping these Tembisa Tots. ❤

Advertisements

Video Update on our Tembisa Tots…

For the last few weeks our friends Dominic and Moipone have been here in the United States. They traveled from South Africa to visit a handful of families they’ve grown to know and love. Many couples have had the oppurtunity of opening their hearts and lives to these wonderful people while serving in Johannesburg, South Africa.  The Tshabalala family are one of the most incredible families I have met. With six children, Moipone and Dominic do an amazing job raising their kids in today’s world.

The cultural differences between South Africans and Americans range from many things. Both countries have many things each can learn from, and also many things that are hard to understand since we aren’t familiar with it.

In meeting Dominic and Moipone in 2011, I’ve come to understand a little bit of their culture and history. Less is more. It’s okay to not have everything. Really cherish what’s in front of you. Don’t take anything for granted. History is powerful. Your roots are strong but don’t shape your future; you shape your future. Faith is endless. Hope can be eternal. Family is home.

Dominic and Moipone have been a huge part of the Tembisa Tots. Dominic has been a wonderful translater for me and my family when we’ve visited. He’s been able to explain how things work in Tembisa. From the township’s system, explaining things to Mama, and working with the community in helping where they can. He’s been able to build a trusting relationship with Mama and the kids living in the orphanage. Moipone has grown to love each and every child and knows them individually and collectively.

I trust them completely. They have the best interest in mind for the children and Mama.

Since Dominic and Moipone are such a large part with the Tembisa Tots, Dominic and I made a short video message for all of those who have donated and those future donations. We want everyone to know that their donations go to a wonderful cause and truly help dozen of children.

With the funds that have been donated we have been able to do many great things at the orphanage. But there is always more to do. The kids need funds to attend school, uniform costs, and school supplies are always needed.

Please share and think about helping these darling tots this upcoming holiday season.

God bless and many thanks…

Growing, growing, growing…

In the past several months there’s been a lot of love spread between the gates of our Tembisa Tots orphanage. From the LDS missionaries who consistantly check on Mama and the kids, to many offers from locals who offer their help and services, a wonderful family from Denver Colorado contacted me and is going to visit Mama and wanted to take supplies to her and the children, and an amazing fifteen year old girl celebrated her birthday at the orphanage and now has taken on a big duty to help the tots and Mama…. I feel so blessed to be able to witness these miracles.

As of March 12, Mama has 32 children to take care of. I can’t even imagine. I think more and more kids are getting dropped off. The latest little tots were brought to Mama a couple weeks ago. One is three months old, a baby girl. She doesn’t have a name yet. She hadn’t been cared for. The mother was out of reality, and is now hospitalized.  I believe she had two siblings arrive with her as well.

Image
This little babe is just too cute. I wish I could go get her and bring her home!

I continue to love these tots and Mama from afar. I keep them close to my heart and in my prayers. I love to hear and see their successes, and their smiles from my dear friends who help watch over them.

Image

Thanks for sweet Georgia! She and her friends went to the orphanage last Saturday and posted a bunch of photos of the kids!

Georgia and her friends have decided to take on the orphanage as a project of their own. They have an opportunity to meet with a large South African Corporate called BIDVEST, to present the orphanage’s needs to the executive board.  They really want to improve the outside play area, and had the idea to request either sponsorship or donations to lay down grass in the area under the trees, get new playground equipment and fix up the paving so that it becomes a place where the little ones can sit on the grass and have a picnic in the shade etc. etc.

Their plan is to get everything done by “Madiba Day” – the 18th July 2014 – and then have a big celebration of the new play area!  Yesterday was a day to take photographs etc., and then they will be brainstorming over the next three weeks on what is the best approach to take with their request for sponsorship etc.  They have a lot of work to do as far as getting in quotes and sourcing suppliers, and at first thought that the 18th July 2014 was a bit soon (my instruction to them was that they have to have a goal – end date, otherwise nothing will actually be achieved).
Everyone is on board with the idea and are completely committed to the project. 

The Tembisa Tots “Power Team” consists of nine 15 year olds who attend school together and Southdowns College in Pretoria, South Africa.  Among the parents are two Accountants who will assist with managing any donations they receive and will be able to account for all income and expenditure and report to donors on an ongoing basis.

The Temabisa Tots Power Team consists of:

Georgia
Jordan
Nicolas
Jean-Pierre
Sandile
Xabiso
Dianne
Thato
Siyuri

Image

Bless these teens hearts.

A New Year for the Tembisa Tots…

Welcome twenty-fourteen! I pray that this year is as fruitful and blessed as twenty-thirteen was for Mama and the tots. They were able to have so many wonderful things happen and many new friends have helped make it happen.

A new library, new Samsung washing machine, more donations, new cabinets, new sewing machine for Mama, a prosperous garden, and many other wonderful things.

Mama has taken in more children for a total of 23 children, including a couple babies under the age of 23 What a remarkable woman. She is surly blessed and watched over on a daily basis.

Elder and Sister DaBell, along with Moipone and the kids went and celebrated Christmas with Mama and the tots. They were able to take some food staples, flip flops, and soon backpacks! (pictures coming soon)

Image

Update on my Tots…

It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my Tembisa family. My life’s perspective changed in December of 2011 because of a handful of children who live close to 10,000 miles away from me. It was then when I met them and again in June, 2012.Since then I still think of them every day. I wonder if they are receiving enough food. If they are sick, being cared for, playing with friends, going to school, freezing in the winter months (opposite of our seasons), crying themselves to sleep, minding Mama and Simphiwe, do they remember me… I sure hope they know there is someone across the world praying and thinking of them every day.

A few weeks ago I was able to talk on the phone with my dear friends Dominic and his wife Moipone who have graciously said they will help with the orphanage and make sure the children and Mama are okay… I am so grateful they are there, speak the language, and understand the ways of South Africa to know what needs to be done to help Mama.Since the work we started a couple years ago, the maintenance and orphanage building have come along way. They now have a solid roof over their heads, they a washer and dryer, a stove, an oven, and warm water. Now the most important issue are the children and keeping them healthy and fed.

Many of the children have caught Impetigo again. This is a contagious skin infection that usually produces blisters or sores on the face, neck, hands, and diaper area. It’s a bacteria the kids get which can also turn into strep throat. It can be passes along others pretty easily and is just horrible. Blister like sores that bleed, itch, and puss. Very uncomfortable and awful. It’s on their faces, hair, feet, and ears. I wish I could snap my fingers and help them right now.

We have been able to get an antibiotic to the kids so they can apply this cream to the sores and hopefully ease their discomfort. Some of the kids have developed ring worm now too.  The school teachers have asked some of the kids to stay home from school in fear of spreading it to other students. Which only makes things a little more harder and stressful for Mama.
One of the little ones, Shorty, broke his hand the other day. It’s been over 2 weeks now and he still hasn’t been to the doctor for proper help. He needed to be cast but he hasn’t had one yet.
Some of the missionary couples have been able to go visit Mama and continue the help we started. They were able to give me a more detailed report a couple days ago on the kids and situation.
“We stopped by this afternoon. Shorty was using his arm.  The pain had been in the elbow area.  Elder Dr Hoffman looked at it and said perhaps his elbow had out of joint and reduced itself or perhaps he had a break that healed in the two weeks since the fall.  He did not feel anything in Shorty’s arm that would be a lasting problem.
He also looked at Essa, and several new children.  Some have impetigo, some have ringworm in their hair.  The little guy who had been burned by his drunk mother, Tabiso, had been dressed by a physician.  Mama had stuff to redress the burned area and Memory, a neighbor, was helping out and said she would be the one to do it daily.  Right now there are 18 children.  There are new ones. Mpho, Nelson, Larato, Nhlanhla, Mandela, and I can’t remember the rest….
Hoffmanns and Tshabalala plan to follow up with medication and instructions.
Simphiwe was studying algebra in the library.”
I am so grateful I have eyes, ears, hands, and loving hearts over in Tembisa to give me detailed reports like that one.I can’t imagine what Mama must be feeling with all of those additional children. Not to mention Dominic just told me a few days ago there are three more new children. A five year old boy, two year girl, and a four month old baby girl too.

I am going to do my best to visit again before the year is over. I don’t know what I can do but go show my love and support to these little people who have stolen my heart.

Image

Help is always needed…

               Image

I was able to talk with Dominic and Moipone this morning for about an hour and get details about Mama and the kids. My heart sank as I heard the condition of some of the kids and what they are dealing with. I wish so badly I could snap my fingers and be there to help take care of them.

There are so many things that need to happen and my mind and heart are frantically trying to get organized and prioritize the most critical things first. It’s very difficult when all their needs are number one.

Right now it is winter time. The children are in need of sweaters, shoes, warmer clothes. Even though it’s still about 70 degrees, it’s so cold for them. Most of the children have gotten Impetigo again. They had it around the same time last year. Impetigo is Impetigo, one of the most common skin infections among kids, usually produces blisters or sores on the face, neck, hands, and diaper area. They crack and bleed, itch, and are so uncomfortable.  We have been able to get the children the antibiotic for it. It’s a cream but the hard part is making sure they are applying it regularly and watching it. Some of the kids have been asked to stay home from school due to the impetigo. The teachers do not want other students contracting it.

Image

This is Esa and the back of her head is covered with impetigo.

It can be prevented with good hygiene, hand washing, clean sheets, and clothes. All of which are so difficult to regulate there at the orphanage. Once someone has it, they are more susceptible  to getting it again.

One of the little boys has a broken hand. He went out with other kids to a park and was chased by an ostrich and somehow broke his hand. He hasn’t had treatment for over a week! This little 8 year old boy needs a cast and isn’t able to get one. Luckily, we are taking him tomorrow to a private clinic/hospital and going to get it taken care of.  I just hope he doesn’t have any permanent damage or need surgery. I can’t imagine how painful that is for him! Bless his heart.

Mama is in sad spirits. My dear friends who live close to the orphanage said that she isn’t doing well. There’s so much going on and it’s hard for her to do it all.  She recently just had three more children arrive. One five year old boy, a two year old girl, and a six month old girl.

There are many things I want to try and implement and see if those things can help Mama and the kids. It will take some time and effort on those who live locally, but I am determined to make things better for these beautiful and helpless children. They are too dear to me not to.

Please help make the lives of these kids a little easier and donate to a wonderful cause. The money raised go to medicine for kids like Esa who is suffering from impetigo and several others at the orphanage.

Click here to donate…

Letting a loved one go…

Image

On Saturday, Feb. 16, our dear friends in South Africa gathered to honor Mama’s son, Philip. One of the couple missionaries, Elder and Sister DaBell shared a sweet message to those who attended. Thank you to everyone who went and supported Mama during this difficult time. Below are the remarks Elder DaBell shared.

“My dear Brothers and Sisters, I wish I could both understand and speak Zulu. The Spirit is strong today and we have been inspired by the speakers and the music. It is an honor to be with you this morning. I want to pay tribute to Regina Sekgobela, whom we affectionately call “Mama” and her son, Phillip.

Sister DaBell and I are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We come to South Africa from the western United States. One of the first places we visited back in August after arriving here was Mama and her orphanage. I represent many Senior Couples who have visited and served at the Orphanage. In particular I represent and bring the love of the Savages: Elder and Sister Savage and their daughter Sindee who love Mama and her children and did much to bring love and cheer to the orphanage. I also bring the love of the Bassos who are in Lesotho or they would be here today.

Mama, we love you and we honor your son!

Sometimes Mama has given me a hug and said: “you are my son”. Even though she is only 2 years older than me, I honor Mama as a valiant mother and I know she loves her son.

May I testify that her son still lives today. In the Bible we can read: John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus Christ died for all mankind and was resurrected the third day. All of us will die, but we will all be resurrected one day and live forever. Families can be together forever. God loves all of His children. He loves you and He loves me. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen.”