Saturday, 18 December 2010

Dear Friends and Supporters,

On behalf of all of us at the Keiskamma Trust in South Africa, greetings and thanks for your continued generosity and good-will for our community workin Hamburg, Bodium, Ntilini, Lover’s Twist, Mgabaga, and 40 more villages in the Peddie South District.

Hundreds of families, orphans, HIV infected and affected women and childrenhave benefited this year from our programmes and interventions and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.

While we have struggled to make ends meet at the end of this year— like many not-for-profit organizations around the world— we have much to be thankful for,and much to look forward to in the new year.

Some of the highlights of 2010 have been as follows: a newly expanded board of Trustees, the addition of an operations director, a re-vamped and re-trained team of village health workers, a major and highly acclaimed art exhibition at the National Arts festival, increased support of the Education and OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) programme so that almost 500 children are included, the spread of organic community gardens to Grandmother groups, access to health services for over a thousand people, and the transfer of nearly 200 patients on ARVs into the government system.

And coming up in the new year we look forward to : spreading our expertise in paediatric HIV prevention and treatment to public health clinics, nurses and doctors; a joint- exhibition between our artists and those from Botswana to celebrate indigenous plant life in the Eastern Cape; another Kidzpostive Bike Tour from Hamburg to CapeTown along the freedom Trail; and a new IT centre for the youth of Hamburg opening in mid-year. There will of course be much more: for those of you who have spent any time in Hamburg, you know there is always something exciting happening.

We will of course need your help and support, especially in the next few months as our financial year draws to a close and we begin budgeting and planning for our programmes for next year. We are grateful to the South African organizations that have partnered with us this year, as well as groups in Norway, the UK, USA and Canada. We are also happy to announce that we have a new partner in the USA that has approved our NGO for support: the American Fund for Charities will now accept donations from Americans and issue tax receipts for all funds raised. (

Warm wishes to all of you for the holiday season and for 2011 on behalf of the management and staff of the Keiskamma Trust,

Carol, Thabang and Annette,
Directors of the Keiskamma Trust

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Music Academy Christmas Concerts & Art Project Sales

A Programme of recorder consort music, together with marimba and uhadi bow.Works by Saint-Saens, Abdullah Ebrahim, Pachelbel, Renaissance Dances and Christmas Carols.

Friday 17 December 2010 @ 17h00 for 17h30
Donations at the door

Ceramic studio and Gift Shop will be open on 16, 17 and 18 Dec with artists in attendance.

Enquiries: Helen 082 664 1190 /

'Classics at the Castle',
Port Alfred,

Saturday 18 December @ 14:30 for15h00
Tickets in advance only @ R60 from Kowie News Agency (tel 046-624 2036)

Enquiries Sue 082 4567 437 /

All proceeds to support the Keiskamma Music Academy.

Art and craft articles from the Keiskamma Art Project will be for sale aswell as the new book of the Music Academy.

The Keiskamma Music Academy is a programme of the Keiskamma Trust in ruralEastern Cape. We enhance and enrich the lives of the vulnerable ruralchildren of Hamburg and surrounds through the opportunity of a musiceducation.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Music Academy - UNISA Exams

The Keiskamma Music Academy entered 16 students for UNISA exams this year, and what was really special was that the exams were held in Hamburg! This was a first for UNISA and an initiative that they were very supportive of, as they have set a goal of reaching out to rural communities. The idea to bring the exams to Hamburg was proposed by the Helen Vosloo, the founder of the music academy, and the choice of UNISA (over the other possible exam boards) was made by our specialist recorder teacher at the time, Senja Barthel, who also prepared the students for the exam.

The students were all nervous but ready and in the end achieved four distinctions, four merits, and eight passes with no failures. Four students entered for Grade 2, eight for Grade 1, and four for Pre-Grade 1. The general comment of the examiner Mr. Botes Gresse was “I can see you are all very focused, you’ve worked hard, and you’ve all done excellently. I look forward to hearing your progress in the years to come”.

There was lots of behind-the-scenes organizing going on, from the purchasing of sheet music to tuning of the Hofmeyr’s piano and an excellent invigilation process conducted by Unathi Meslane. It was a real team effort from the Keiskamma Trust! Many thanks to all involved.

The UNISA examiner, Botes Gresse (rector of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School), standing outside the Hofmeyr’s home (our exam venue) with our invigilator and PRO of the Keiskamma Trust, Unathi Meslane.

Art- Exhibition in Gaborone with Kuru Project - from the 24th of November to the 3rd of December 2010

'After almost three years, celebrated San artists affiliated to the Kuru Art Project in D'Kar, will return to Gaborone to showcase their artworks at the Botswanacraft Gallery in about two weeks.(...) The exhibition will also feature some beautiful embroidered pieces by artists from the Keiskamma project in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The Keiskamma project, which works amongst the underprivileged in the Eastern Cape, are well-known for their large multimedia pieces like the Keikamma altar pieces and the Keiskamma Guernica. The embroidered pieces for this exhibition, according to Brown, were all inspired by Kuru Art showing that art can communicate and cross boundaries.'

From Mmegi Online
Click here to read more.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Keiskamma Canada Foundation's Fundraiser 'ART FOR ART' raises nearly $17,000

Reaching a hand of hope across the ocean, an Edmonton
silent auction of North American and South African art raised just under $17,000 to support artists in rural South Africa who are part of the award-winning Keiskamma Art Project.

Hosted by Women of Hope (part of the Stephen Lewis Grandmother
to Grandmother movement) and Keiskamma Canada Foundation, the October 23 event at Edmonton’s Timms Centre for the Arts featured over 30 works donated by North American artists as well as exciting new pieces from South Africa.

South Africa’s contribution of textile artwork depicted scenes of birds, plant life, and other animals, crafted in brightly coloured collages of recycled and hand felted fabric. One distinct hanging, Cynthia’s Cloth, featuring a characteristic sacred cow, was a beautiful tribute to the earliest beadwork crafts initiated by the Art Project in Hamburg, SA.

Special guests at the auction included a South African grandmother and granddaughter who were visiting Alberta as part of AfriGrand Caravan, a Stephen Lewis initiative.

Annette Woudstra, Director of Keiskamma Trust, provided a brief update on the work in South Africa, where shortages in anti-AIDS medication are adding enormous strain to already burdened budgets.

Proceeds from the event will support The Keiskamma Trust, whose programs bring hope and healing in a neglected region of South Africa that is battling AIDS and ninety per cent unemployment.

Keiskamma Canada FoundationPO Box 34199, 126 Kingsway Mall Edmonton, Alberta, CanadaT5G

Friday, 5 November 2010

Health - Training the Village Health Worker Trainers in Hamburg: 25 – 29 October 2010

A week-long ‘train the trainer’ session got off to an uncertain start on Monday 25th October when we heard that our expert trainer who was to have flown in from Rwanda, had been arrested at Kigali Airport.

Fortunately for us, Partners in Health whose training programme we were to follow, have produced an excellent trainers manual, with step-by-step instructions on how to proceed. Our training event picked up steam during the week and by all their reports our participants had a most informative and entertaining experience.

The purpose of the week’s programme was to familiarise future Xhosa-speaking trainers with the Village Health Worker’s Handbook, adapted from Partners in Health’s Accompagnateur handbook and with PIH-designed training methods. The Handbook was well received by course participants. It is written in comfortable English and a number of participants on the course felt that it would be most useful to VHWs in the field.

The train the trainer course covered recognition of HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections; management of HIV and TB; psycho-social support skills and duties and responsibilities of Village Health Workers.

The PIH training manual is full of engaging and interesting activities. The highlight was probably our Thursday afternoon ‘radio show’ when participants ‘phoned in’ questions to a panel of expert Village Health Workers, for their responses to various challenges that would be presented to VHWs at work.

We are happy to report that our expert trainer has been released by the Rwandan police and that the charges brought against him were proven to have been false.

Post by Dr. Paul Roux

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Art - Felt making workshop with Given Nkuna

Given Nkuna, award winning felt artist, founder of Le2 Designs, ran a 1-month felt making workshop in September 2010.

The workshop took place in Hamburg, in the Art Project’s felt making studio, where Given taught 15 women – all member of the Keiskamma Art Project, from the local Xhosa community.
Some students were beginners, some were semi-experienced felters.

During this workshop, Given Nkuna developed a range of products and colours together with the students.

He also identified a chore team which would be able to make felt making their permanent activity at the Art Project.

Out of the 15 students, 5 were selected for the following qualities: being creative, mastering the technique, being focussed and being organized.

The selected students agreed to work as a team at producing felt products.
After the workshop ended, they had a week test from the 4th to the 8th of October to evaluate themselves regarding their team work.

The 10 remaining students will be employed at felt making for big orders under the supervision of the 5 selected felt makers.

Click here to view the catalogue of felt products.

This workshop was made possible thanks to a grant from the Anglo-American Chairman’s Fund.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Keiskamma Canada Foundation Art for Art Auction - 23rd of October 2010

September 22, 2010

Dear Friend of Keiskamma Canada,

You may recall that in May of 2008, a wildly successful art auction was held by the Keiskamma Canada Foundation and the Women of Hope. The purpose of the auction (Art for A.R.T.) was to raise funds for the not-for-profit group based in South Africa called the Keiskamma Trust. Over $14,000 was raised at this event, which Keiskamma Canada was able to send to help dispense A.R.T.s (anti-retroviral therapy) to the many people living with HIV/AIDS in the area served by the Trust. If you attended the first Art for Art, we thank you again for your generosity. It was an amazing evening!

With such success the first time around, we are making plans to repeat the auction event and ask you to join us for another evening of great art. The Art for Art auction this year will take place on October 23, 2010 at the Timms Centre for the Arts in Edmonton.

The purpose of this auction will be to raise funds to support the Art Project of the Keiskamma Trust. The Art Project provides employment to over 130 individuals who are often the only wage earners in their extended families. In an area claiming 90% unemployment, this project is vital to sustaining these communities. A powerful and committed band of artists work together, in a variety of mediums, on craft items and award-winning artworks of monumental scale that have been exhibited both in South Africa and internationally. More information about the Trust and the work produced by the Art Project collective can be found on the website:

Recently, the Art Project collective spent time studying Picasso’s “Guernica” and, in response, created a series of embroidered tapestries and installation works, reflecting the experiences of a community ravaged by HIV/AIDS. We are elated to have been able to contribute to this endeavour and to pledge ongoing support for them in future explorations. We invite you to help us celebrate and to envision a more hopeful and sustained future for these people.

Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance for $25 or $30 at the door. A free drink ticket accompanies your admission cost in addition to light snacks. We have will have music from a local duo, as well as presentations from the president of Keiskamma Canada (Suzanne Knol) and the director of the Keiskamma Trust (Annette Woudstra). Many works of art created by locals will be available for auction in addition to a number of large textile works from the collective at the Trust.

Thanks again for your past support. We hope to see you in October.

Wenda Salomons

P.S. If you have time to help us out, we could use your energy in promoting and mounting this event. Please email me to find out how you can help.

14027-106 Ave. ٠ Edmonton ٠ Alberta ٠ T5N 1B3 ٠ ٠

South African group calls on city to help out

Monday, 30 August 2010

Art & Music Trilogy

From the 21st to the 28th of August, the Keiskamma Guernica installation was on show in the Drama for Life Festival in Johannesburg. We celebrated the closing of this exhibition with the Keiskamma Music Academy and the Trio Hemanay.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Art - Collaborative book

The Art Project recently took part to the Collaborative Book 'Keeping in touch - A decade of South African Fibre Art', coordinated by Jeanette Gilks.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Education Programme – Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) support project - Mgababa Centre spreads its beautiful wings…

The Keiskamma Trust is responsible for three after care OVC centres, in Hamburg, Lovers Twist and Mgababa. Both the Hamburg and Lovers Twist centres are well established and providing valuable support structures and care to pre-school and primary school children in their feeder areas.

The progress at the Mgababa after care and nursery centre has been very exciting. Until a short while ago the centre was little more than a daily feeding scheme. The building has been completely repaired and equipped thanks to funding from the Douglas Murray Trust, new carers have been employed and the number of children benefitting from the services provided has almost doubled. The finishing touches have excited the whole community – a series of wonderful murals painted by a talented young man from the area (Xabiso Tokota).

At the beginning of 2010, the Mgababa community approached the Trust to set up a nursery for children from the age of 1 to 3 years. The Mgababa community is very poor with serious social and health problems. There are numerous small children on ARV’s whose families are unable to feed them adequately enough to support their treatment regimes.

A funding application was submitted to 25:40 who agreed to fund the set-up costs for the nursery and three month’s running costs which will be reviewed each quarter. Carers were recruited and the nursery started operating in April. It now has 27 children attending regularly. A community volunteer has joined the staff as two carers are overstretched caring for so many small children. The after-care staff also assist with the cooking and caring in the mornings.

Post by Colette Tilley

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Recent Board of Trustees Meeting and Changes in Our Organization

Board News:

On Saturday the 17th of July we had our annual Board of Trustees Meeting with the entire board in attendance. We spent the day reviewing the year as well as approving the organizations budgets and new Trustees were added onto the Board. Alan Velcich has joined us, a very experienced NGO and non-profit auditor from Johannesburg, and Mpumi Fundam, one of the Programme Heads of the Eastern Cape Development Programme who has been associated to us via the art programme for many years. Thabang Meslane will also be joining us on the Board in his new capacity as Director—see below. We are grateful for their willingness to serve on our Board.

Mrs. Mei, one of the founding members of the board of Trustees, a local business woman, and a long-time advocate of the Trust’s work, has asked to be retired from the board and we thank her sincerely for her many years of support.

Remaining on the Board is John Kincaid, Paul Roux, Andrew Hofmeyr, Novuyani Peyi, Annette Woudstra and Carol Hofmeyr who was elected Chair.

Carol’s New Role:

At the board of Trustees meeting Carol announced that she would be stepping down as a Director of the Trust. Carol began her work in Hamburg 10 years ago and founded the Trust in 2005. Her work-load has been enormous as the driver and creative force behind all of the craft work and all the major artworks the art project has create-- most recently the Guernica-- as well as the sole doctor in huge rural area with many urgent and unrelenting health needs.

She will of course remain very involved in the art project, and our most valuable advisor in terms of our health programme. She is also Chair of the Board.

Carol is taking a 6 month break from her clinic work as well and then will re-evaluate her role after that time.

As a trust we would like to partner with the government to recruit another doctor to this area. We are also in the process of interviewing nurses to work both with our village health workers and in our hospice inpatient unit.

New Director:

Thabang Meslane has been asked to join Annette as a Director. He has been working in various capacities over the past year, and increasingly called on to be involved in day-to-day operations management as Annette has had to be away in Canada for half of the year. This process had begun several months ago when Thabang accepted the role as Operations Manager. He has been doing an excellent job and has agreed to co-direct with Annette. This will ensure continuity of leadership in her absences and further free Carol to pursue other interests.

Their roles and responsibilities are as follows:

Annette: Trust Director

Donor Liaison
Reporting and Fundraising
Programme Development
Financial Planning
Maintaining Vision/Mission of Trust

Thabang: Managing Director

Responsible for daily operations management
Implementation of budget
Human Resources Head
Policy and procedures implementation
Chair Trust Management Team meetings

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Art - Kirstenbosch hosts Keiskamma Art Project

Kirstenbosch hosted the Keiskamma Art Project in July in preparation for the 2010 Kirstenbosch Botanical Art Biennale.

Click here to read more.

The Keiskamma Music Academy at the National Arts Festival 2010

The Keiskamma Music Academy had an incredible experience at the National Arts Festival (NAF), performing three concerts on the Fringe entitled "Keiskamma Songbook".

The NAF is South Africa’s largest arts festival, and one of the largest in the world (

It was amazing for us to be part of the Keiskamma Art Project’s participation in the same festival by association with the incredible “African Guernica” exhibition at the Thomas Pringle Hall. Visitors to the exhibition were invited to our concerts and we performed at the closing ceremony held in the exhibition space as a celebration of the Hamburg community and as a memorial for those who have passed away.

Throughout the festival, the music academy students grew in confidence, taking audiences by surprise with their unique vibe and music. The review in the festival newspaper (CUE) sums up the audience response: “This up-and-coming ensemble brings you the most beautiful pieces played on their recorders. It feels like you are drifting away to nature surrounded by the sounds that come out of their instruments. Through the creative use of the recorder they give a new meaning to it”.

Courtesy of the NAF’s outreach programme, the students were also privileged to attend 8 diverse shows, varying from Spanish dancing to acapella singing from Soweto to afro-jazz and finally a full scale symphony concert. They had an opportunity to formulate their own views on all that they experienced and what the festival meant to them by writing their own comments in a group journal.

Of all the festivals I have been involved in to date, I found this to be the most enjoyable and the students were exceptionally well behaved, receiving high praise from the staff of the dormitory where they stayed.

We also had excellent publicity material designed by Robbie Hofmeyr (Odd Digital Media), which raised the standard of our overall presentation tremendously. The concerts have already led to two further performance opportunities and our attractive programmes, posters and flyers have potential to further spread the word about the work of the academy.

Click here to view some photos from our first concert at the Commemoration Church on the 22nd of June 2010. (Photos by Stephane Meintjies. Used by permission).

Click here to view some photos from our third concert at the Rhodes Chapel on the 24th of July 2010. (Photos by Daniel Hutchinson).
Lastly, heartfelt thanks to the sponsors of our National Arts Festival experience, the German Development Service (DED) and Business Arts South Africa (BASA).

Post by Daniel Hutshinson

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Art - Keiskamma Guernica

From the 20th of June to the 4th of July, the Art Project presented a new installation at Grahamstown National Arts Festival in the main programme.

This exhibition was funded by the National Arts Festival. We thank them sincerely for their support.

The exhibition, which central piece is the new Art Project’s tapestry, was inspired by Picasso’s painting ‘Guernica’. While Picasso’s Guernica was a protest against the bombing on the small town of Guernica in Spain in 1937, ours is a protest about the slow disintegration and the death of a generation of people that seems unstoppable.

Alongside the tapestry, several elements were presented in memory of our community members who have passed away because of HIV/AIDS. Hundred of pots were made at the Keiskamma Ceramics studio, each of them in memory of a close friend or family member. Hand-made books containing the notes of who have worked in the Treatment Centre in Hamburg were a tribute to those who have worked with, healed, fed and comforted patients and were transformed into artworks. Around the room, sewed inside embroidered pillowcases were the medical files of all who have died in the Keiskamma project’s care in the past five years.

The exhibition was also an opportunity to launch two young ceramicists: Cebo Mvubu and Thobisa Nkani, who are working daily in the Keiskamma Ceramics Studio in Hamburg.The exhibition received rave reviews all over Grahamstown at the National Arts Festival. Major Article have appeared in Cue – the Arts Festival paper, the Port Elizabeth Herald and the National Arts Festival Blogspot. An interview was also aired on SA FM.

Links to press articles:

Week end Post

The Herald


Click here to watch a short movie about the Keiskamma Guernica exhibition, by Rhodes TV-Cue, the Art Festival’s TV.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Music Academy - April/May 2010 update

The past few months of teaching music in Hamburg have been intensely rewarding. I have seen the students grow in self-discipline and in their love of music and of one another. The group dynamic is very strong and yet individual ability and talent is also shining through, as the students grow in confidence.

We have entered 19 students for UNISA practical exams, and 4 students for theory exams. These exams will take place in August and October respectively. We are grateful for the input of Senja Barthel, our professional recorder teacher from Berlin, in preparing our exam candidates. Senja is also doing a great job in motivating our new intake: we have admitted 9 beginners so far this year. A generous donation of new recorders from Yamaha made this possible.
On the teaching side, we have added capacity with the input of Janna Regenauer, a volunteer from the German Development Service (DED). Janna helps the students structure and implement their practising programme, to be fully ready for their lessons.

So our Saturday ensemble time now features three passionate teachers, Senja, Janna, and myself, all brimming with ideas and enthusiasm... and occasionally, we are joined by Helen when she is down from Jo’burg – and those are the really exciting times! We have expanded greatly on our ensemble repertoire, incorporating improvisation, extended techniques, and new instruments including the indigenous Xhosa uhadi bow, and (coming soon) the chromatic marimba.

The uhadi element, combined with recorders, is critical as it gives us the opportunity to tap directly into traditional Xhosa music. Our efforts in this direction were kick started by a workshop held in Hogsback facilitated by Jonathan Ncozana from the University of Fort Hare. The workshop was part of a camp that we enjoyed together with children from the Health Project, and staff from the Trust.

Other highlights from the past months were the Easter concert in the Old Hall (especially the jam session afterwards with Gaba!), and the shooting of a music video on the beach under the direction of Robert Hofmeyr.

The ensemble also successfully participated in the Eastern Cape Eisteddfod held in Grahamstown in May, achieving a gold award with their performance of a Mozart Rondo and the African-American spiritual, Go Down, Moses.

The ensemble looks forward to three performances at the National Arts Festival from the 22nd to 24th of July under the title “Keiskamma Songbook”. These performances will be the culmination of all the hard work and preparation over the past months.

Daniel Hutchinson - Teacher (Keiskamma Music Academy)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Volunteering at the Keiskamma Art Project, by Sofia Grönvall - Student in Fashion Business

My name is Sofia Gronvall and I just got back to my home in Sweden from having volunteered with the Keiskamma Art Project during two months. Just to get things straight, when it comes to trips I’ve never been the planning kind of girl.

Needless to say, the day prior to my departure to South Africa I still didn’t have much to say when my friends and family asked what the heck I was about to get myself into. Not because I was about to enrol in secret activities but more because I had no idea what was awaiting me.

At the airport I was instantly introduced to the culture differences as the laid back lifestyle of the "Hamburg:ers" clashed with my Scandinavian importance of being on time. Consequently, I managed to call the Keiskamma office three times in half an hour before the driver arrived, clearly surprised with my impatience (which, if I may add was a result of nerves and not how I usually am).

Together with another volunteer I started off living with a wonderful couple, named Gay and Jens, in a big colourful house on the top of a hill facing the ocean. The view was marvellous and I couldn't believe my eyes when I first got there. Being a volunteer I figured I should be grateful if I had a bed to sleep on so this simply blew me away. Here I stayed for two weeks, paying 80 African rands/day (which included excellent food made by Gay herself) while getting accustomed to the community and my job within the trust. Thereafter I moved to a charming house close to the beach that I shared with three other volunteers and medical students who worked with HIV education. Along with our friends from the project we truly had some wonderful parties in that house!

Together with Florence "Flo" Danais, Manager of the art project, I discussed what my main tasks would be the two upcoming months. After having wandered the beautiful beaches in the area I had come up with an idea of creating a range of accessories made of beads and materials from the sea, such as shells and bits and pieces of things that had been washed up on shore. Flo was very positive and before I knew it we were off to purchase supplies to get on with the project. Within two weeks I had made my first earring and soon I began collaborating with fashion designer, capoeira instructor and Keiskamma artist, Msindisi "MC" Mva.

The first month I spent the morning helping Flo with everything from photographing new crafts to teaching locals basic computer skills. In the afternoon I went down to one of the studios where we kept the tools and shells to make new creations together with MC. Later I started focussing more on the jewellery, working full time to make samples for the Keiskamma artists to be inspired by and make their own.

Throughout my time with the Keiskamma Art Project I always felt like I was surrounded by the best of friends which made me feel very safe and appreciated. Flo was always exceptionally caring and happy about letting me decide what part of the project I would like to engage in. After only two months I had made a whole bunch of new friends while I got to know the Xhosa beliefs and culture. My stay in Hamburg turned out to be the experience of a lifetime and I hope to go back as soon as time allows.

Please note that volunteering opportunities are limited. For any queries regarding that matter please contact Unathi Meslane:

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Gardens - Success story for the organic gardening trainings

The gardening trainings of the Keiskamma Organic Garden started in August 2009. From the beginning, Cebo Mvubu, Ayanda Gcezengana and Thobisa Nknani were part of the group who attends the training sessions regularly. They are artists who work with the Keiskamma Art Project as designers, ceramicists, print makers and wire workers. While Thobisa grows his vegetable at home, Cebo and Ayanda have decided to start their vegetable garden on the grounds of the art studio.

They are currently preparing artworks that will be part of the Keiskamma installation for this year’s Grahamstown National Arts Festival. As they spend much of their time at the Art Studio, the opportunity of using the land there and having some food to bring back home was best for them. With funding obtained through a talk at the Interesting Gardening Club in France, Franck Danais – who runs the organic gardening programme - supplied gardening tools to Cebo and Ayanda, and thanks to private donors, seeds and manure are supplied on an ongoing basis. So far they planted spinach, onions, lettuce, green peppers and carrots. Cebo says: ‘I like gardening. I tried at home even before Keiskamma started the gardening programme, but I didn’t have much success. Then I went to the Keiskamma pilot garden run by Franck, Princess and Samantha, and I found that it was a beautiful and fruitful garden. It was my inspiration that pushed me to try and have my own vegetable garden and make it successful. I went to their trainings, and started the garden at the art studio with Ayanda. Thanks to our garden, I can help my family with food: my two nephews, my mother and myself’.

‘I am really happy about what Cebo and Ayanda started. They are really motivated and they are the right example to show that gardening is not only for old ladies. They have the right idea about taking initiative to improve their lives, starting with the basics: healthy food, and cut back on food expenses’ (Franck Danais, Gardening Programme Manager).

Monday, 26 April 2010

April 2010 Fundraiser

Pedalling for Peddie: ‘One Thousand kilometres from Hamburg to Cape Town'

HIV and AIDS – We are all in it together...

On Friday 23rd of April 2010, we welcomed Kidzpositive’s Director and Dr Paul Roux and five members of the Kidzpositive team in Hamburg. We invited them to the Heritage Site where over a hundred community members had gathered to attend the launch of the Pedalling for Peddie fundraiser.

From the Kidzpositive Website:
'We are riding from Hamburg in the Eastern Cape Province to Cape Town to connect the needs of a rural service with the resources in a city and to symbolize a link between sister enterprises: The Keiskamma Trust and the Kidzpositive Fund’ Click here
to read more.

AIDS councillor Eunice Mangwane was the MC that evening. She scheduled a nice programme for the Kidzpositive team with the Traditional Dance Group, the Music Academy, the Capoeira group and the Gospel Choir.

At the end of the ceremony, the Art Project handed the fundraiser’s banner over the Paul Roux’s team: a 2m long tapestry designed by Nozeti Makhubalo depicting the road that the team was going to ride on from Hamburg to Cape Town.

After a well-deserved quiet Saturday, the Kidzpositive team departed from Hamburg on their bikes on Sunday 25th of April at 8am, supported by Keiskamma Trust’s Founding Director Carol Baker-Hofmeyr, and other members of the community.

Go to our Facebook Fan page to view the entire portfolio of the event!

We are so excited to have such strong supporters in the Kidzpositive Family fund and we wish them well for the journey ahead...

Monday, 22 March 2010

Staff profile: Novuyani Peyi

Novuyani Peyi is the Keiskamma Art Project's Staff Coordinator. She is also a member of the Keiskamma Trust’s Board of Trustees and of the Keiskamma Trust's Management Team.
Novuyani lives in Hamburg location. She is 43 years old. Her husband works as a security officer. She has three children who are all students. She has three grand-children and a nine-year old foster child.

Time with the Trust.
I started working here in 2004 and went from embroidery to machine sewing, and after some time, being offered to join art management where I dispatched work and made payments. Today I am part of the Board of Trustees.
With the Keiskamma Trust I have gained confidence in decision-making, learnt the importance of short- and long term planning and along with that built my self-esteem.
I feel very proud to be part of the Board of Trustees because I am there to represent the community.

Most Successful Project.
The Keiskamma Art Project has developed a lot. Throughout the years we have gone from having no basic knowledge of how to run a business to becoming an organization led by an experienced board which plans and budgets properly.
In my view, the most successful project has been the Keiskamma Altarpiece which has reached places like Canada, the United States and England.

How The Keiskamma Trust Has Helped my Community.
Today, more than 140 women are hired by the Art Project. The quality of our handcrafts is improving day by day while the work gives therapy to those who need it the most.
Before this Project we had nothing to do. We were struggling to feed our kids and education was just a dream. Through this project that dream has come true.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Music Academy - Plans for 2010

We have been very excited to have started our new year with Daniel Hutchinson joining us as teacher. He is a Grahamstown based composer and music teacher and is teaching part time for the Academy in Hamburg. In addition, Senja Barthel, a recorder teacher from Berlin, will be joining us from the beginning of March for 6 months. She has studied recorder and music education at the University of Arts Berlin with Christoph Huntgeburth.

Daniel Hutchinson is starting to build on the marimba playing skills of the children. He is equally at home in both classical and jazz musical idioms and has a particular interest in indigenous African music.

Plans for performances in and around Hamburg are under way, including an Easter Sunday concert in Hamburg. We will be performing at the Grahamstown Festival in July. As well, we are considering a benefit concert date in Johannesburg for the end of April.

Special thanks to Dave and Eileen Thayser for their donation of curtains. We have had them embroidered by the Keiskamma Art Project and hung in the music room. Thank you to Suzette Lombard at the SABC Music Library for posters which now adorn the walls of the Music Academy. Thank you to Julia Davey for her donation of a carpet.

Many thanks to all of you for keeping the Music Academy in your hearts.

Yours in music

Helen Vosloo

The Keiskamma Music Academy thank their donors: (contributions since 2008)

Sopranino donor (R500 up to R4 999)
Don and Marianne Macrobert,
AVI, Desklink Publishing,
National Arts Festival,
Nigel Carman

Soprano donor (R5 000 up to R9 999)
Gerhard and Helene Weber

Alto donor (R10 000 up to R24 999)
Dave and Eileen Thayser,
Robert Chalmers and Lawrence Yates- UK,
Dr. & Mrs Viljoen of Northwards Manor House,

Tenor donor (R25 000 up to R49 999)
Tom and Jean Lloyd,
Yamaha South Africa,
National Arts Council

Bass donor (R50 000 up to R99 999)
German Consulate Cape Town,
Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Fund

Contra bass donor (R100 000 +)
Industrial Development Corporation,
Anonymous International Donor,
Rand Merchant Bank

NB: We are able to issue tax receipts since the Keiskamma Trust has 18A tax status as a registered NPO.

For more information about the Keiskamma Music Academy, contact Helen Vosloo at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots.
You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 082 664 1190

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Education - Trust’s education programme provides help to Bodium Primary School

The primary School in Bodium, the village close to Hamburg, is extremely under resourced. The school has only four teachers for 105 pupils. Grades 1-7 share 4 rooms, while Grade R children are accommodated in the kitchen rondavel.

Thanks to Jane Spriggs, a Johannesburg educator who has a holiday home in Hamburg, the Trust has been able to employ a teaching assistant to assist with the foundation phase classes. Jane turned 60 last year and made a generous donation to the Trust to celebrate the occasion.

The foundation phase teacher, Mrs Mcoseli, reaches retirement age next year. Currently she has to run backwards and forwards between two buildings to teach the children in the lower grades. Andiswa Makubalo started work at the school this month. She will assist Mrs Mcoseli with her daily programme and thereby ensure that there is adequate supervision in each of the “classrooms” for a trial period of six months, with the possibility of extending this to the end of the year..

Staff at the school are dedicated teachers under the leadership of Mr Makapela the school principal and teacher of grades 6 & 7.

The Trust plans to assist the Bodium community with the establishment of an aftercare centre for vulnerable children once the centre at Mgababa has been fully equipped and is running smoothly.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

OVC - More about Christmas 2009! Creches Christmas Party

The Presbyterian Church from Port Alfred has taken on Hamburg as their outreach programme, thanks to the connection made by Coleen Driessel who has worked as a bookkeeper for the Trust for 8 1/2 years. Each year a group of ladies from Port Alfred, headed up by Gwen Milne, knit jerseys for the crèche children in Hamburg, Bodium and Ntilini. We received about 120 jerseys this year! If all the jerseys are not handed out to the crèches then they are distributed out at the clinics. In addition, through-out the year clothes are collect by the congregation to be distributed amongst the families of Hamburg and surrounding areas. Once a year a party is hosted by the church for the crèche children over 100 children receive a gift, sweets, cool drink and cake. Many thanks to Coleen and Natalie Renou for organizing the Christmas parties this year.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

OVC - Celebrating Christmas!

Once more, this year, Christmas was duly celebrated with the children of Hamburg. Organized by Coleen Driessel and Elnor Leach, the event took place on the 18th of December at the Town Hall .
Both current and former members of the Trust’s staff collaborated to make this event a success. Games were organized by Nokuphiwa Gedze and Derek Oxlee while waiting for Father Christmas. Enormous cakes were sponsored by Elnor Leach and distributed by Natalie Renou and Jackie Downs. About 100 children had great fun, while waiting for Father Christmas who came on his donkey cart to deliver the Christmas presents: dolls sponsored by the Good Gifts charity in the UK and stationery and toys sponsored by Elnor Leach. The dolls – boy dolls for boys and girl dolls for girls – were made by the Keiskamma Art Project’s doll makers. Good Gifts sponsored a total of 455 dolls. The remainder of the dolls will be distributed in the crèches and the Keiskamma Trust OVC Aftercare centres when schools re-open in January 2010.

We thank Coleen Driessel, Colette Tilley, Derek Oxlee, Elnor Leach and her family, Jackie Downs, Natalie Renou, Nokuphiwa Gedze, the Keiskamma Art Project and Good Gifts.