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Newsletter 2 – 2023

Dear Sponsors
After a cold and rainy three-week winter break, there was much excitement as learners returned to school and a team of volunteers came to do maintenance at the school. At the start of term 3, we would like to update you on developments at Hope and Light and events that took place over the last three months:

Mandela Day:
Every year on 18 July South Africans are encouraged to reflect on Mandela’s values and principles and make a positive impact in their own communities. This year, staff and students from the Department of Infrastructure’s Extended Public Works Programme and the Industries Education and Training Institute spent two days at Hope and Light to do much-needed maintenance. The volunteers used their electrical, plumbing and welding skills to fix toilets, gates, taps and many other problems around the school. Thank you for making a difference!

Special donations:

INP South Africa donated night-time illumination for the Hope and Light school perimeter as well as an inverter. Thank you for helping to keep the school safe and for allowing computer classes to continue despite load shedding. A successful clothing drive ensured that the children at the CYCC are dressed warmly for the winter.

Visit to Parliament:

On Saturday, 13 July 2023, a selection of learners from grade 10-12 had the privilege of visiting the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. The purpose of the visit was to show the learners how the provincial government works and the role that citizens can play and to encourage them to be active citizens. The visit had a lasting impact on the learners and equipped them as learners now and for the future. Thank you to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament for hosting our Hope and Light learners.



To give you an insight into the daily activities at Hope and Light, here is an update of events at the school, ECD and CYCC during term 2:

We hosted a karaoke night to raise funds in support of the ECD. The children got to dress up as characters from their favourite story or fairy tale for Character Day. Even the teachers participated!

The term kicked off with our annual sports day, which the yellow team won. We had a successful meeting with the parents and SGB and on a separate occasion, the Somerset West police together with the SGB hosted a drug awareness presentation that was attended by many parents. The term ended with a Junior Showcase in which grade R-3 learners showed their parents what they have learnt. Term 3 is an important term for grade 12 learners as they prepare to finish their time in high school with preliminary exams.

We would like to welcome Blackie Swart, who was officially appointed as principal of the school on 1 July. Mr Swart served as Director: Assessment Management at the WCED and Deputy Director Standards and Quality Promotion Unit in the DBE Chief Directorate: National Assessment and Public Examinations.
He has many years of experience as principal and in different leadership roles. He values ethical leadership, innovation and dedication. In his first few months at Hope and Light, he has already demonstrated his ability to analyse education contexts and implement necessary changes. We are thankful for his heart for our children and the expertise that he brings.

With June being youth month in South Africa, many events took place at the Children’s Village. We celebrated World Foster Care Day, International Children’s Day and Child Protection Week and the children learnt about children’s rights and responsibilities. Volunteers from Switzerland painted colourful murals to brighten up the children’s homes and helped the children to make friendship bracelets. There was a visit to the dentist, surfing lessons sponsored by Virtual Resource and a cinematic experience at Odeon Cinema followed by lunch at COPA Restaurant (all hosted by Pepperclub Hotel).

Management met up with several local stakeholders and benefitted from their advice and expertise. These included the Department of Social Development, Ward Councillor Norman McFarlane and Mr Jantjies (Director Institutional Management and Governance Planning) and Mr Jacobs (Chief Senior Education Specialist) from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). We are expecting another visit from the WCED shortly. Our Umalusi accreditation (accreditation for independent schools) is underway and the official site visit took place on 25 July. Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye to our passionate social worker and tremendous support in the sponsorship program, Micha Coetzee, at the end of April. She received a wonderful job opportunity in a foster care home where she is now involved in facilitating adoptions. We wish her all the best and thank Micha for her dedicated work. She has achieved much at Hope and Light over the past 5 years for which we are truly grateful.