By Monika du Sautoy
We have great news! – After almost 18 months of tireless searching for a second plot, I am happy to report, that we have come to an agreement, signed papers and made the down-payment for a new piece of land in Masiphumelele. It is, like our first one, located in a quiet street – a few blocks away from the first home. It is smaller though, and has an RDP house on it. Quite a lot of changes will be needed to accommodate six children and a foster mother, but we hope that after the plans have been passed, the house will be completed by the end of the year, and that we will be able to welcome our next foster mother and her children around Christmas.
January left us with thankful hearts towards people who care for our children. Bruce Matthew inquired what the children would need/like and we told him that they did not have balls to play with. A week later I received a big bag with a football, a basketball, big rubber balls and several small balls.
Debbie Duraan, the owner of the Salty Sea Dog, supplies me regularly with fish for five foster homes.
The audiologist who examined one of our girls – and who saw her pro bono – found her to have normal hearing. The speech therapist, Stephanie Wainright, does not charge us and provides our foster mom with a new list of exercisesafter every session. Our friend, Germa Zeijen, of the Ibhongo Trust in the Netherlands has granted us the use of her beautiful paintings of African scenes for a birthday calendar.
Alice Butterworth, one of our associates, bought our foster mother a new stove – she insisted that it was part of her tithe.We are very grateful to all these kind persons (and others not mentioned here)who support this cause in such a gracious way. In addition our associate, Liz Hardman, prepared our Facebooksite: http://www.facebook.com/homestogrow and is revamping our website: http://www.stfrancistrust.org She has done a very good job and the new site is ‘going live’ soon.
After some disappointing efforts to find a venue and soccer club closer to Masi, our boy is now a member of the FishHoek AFC and plays soccer twice a week on the FishHoeksportsfield. It is great to watch him give his all and return from the field tired, smiling and ready to go home, – satisfied with himself!
In February Joyce and I received an invitation from Bishop Margaret to attend the First Eucharist of the Third Synod of the FalseBay diocese. We felt very honoured.
The highlight in March was the launch of Professor Boet Dommisse’s book, ‘The Six Saints of Simon’s Town.’ It is the story of St Francis and five other churches over the 200 years of their existence, through sad, humorous and of course historical events. The St Francis Outreach Trust hosted this evening and welcomed the Historical Society of Simon’s Town and a great number of interested people who filled the church almost to capacity. Following the lecture and musical interlude by Sonja Braesleron our very special organ, the trust invited guests to the church hall for snacks and a glass of wine.
The income from the book is going entirely to the Trust for the benefit of our – soon to be two – homes. We are very grateful to Professor Dommisse.
We are excited about the video which was taken by Carey Fenn, a professional and also soft-hearted fan of our children. She too promised to do all her work pro bono.
I cannot say often enough that, besides our generous supporters, the core of this project are the trustees who give so much and take only their satisfaction at the smiles of the children. I am fortunate to be a part of this team.
Monika du Sautoy
St Francis Outreach Trust