Wednesday, 19 December 2012

What a Christmas present!

It was a great day when Mercedes-Benz CSI team surprised the Art Project with beautifully wrapped fruit baskets. Thank you so much for these Christmas presents. They were much appreciated in every household.

And also thank you for your very generous support throughout the year!

Friday, 14 December 2012

2012 PATA Conference

At the beginning of December, Keiskamma Trust was again given the unique opportunity to participate in the 8th Annual PATA (Paediatric Aids Treatment for Africa) Conference. 

This year’s conference was held in Cape Town and was attended by teams from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

Noluvo Xhotyeni, Dr. Leanne Brady, Magda Greyling and Kali Bechtold attended the conference on behalf of Keiskamma Trust and spent time discussing challenges in the cascade of care, the management of co-infections and issues surrounding HIV/AIDS disclosure.  

Noluvo Xhotyeni, Keiskamma Health Programme Manager

The Keiskamma Trust team was also given time to plan more cutting edge practical interventions for our paediatric patients based on the latest government and international guidelines. Our Keiskamma Trust/PATA team would like to thank PATA for the privilege of to be amongst colleagues who continue to provide the highest standard of paediatric care all across Africa.

Vulindlela Centre - Our first group of IT graduates!

On 12 December 2012 – some of the first group of 16 graduates received their certificates of competence in Microsoft Word and Internet from Thabang Meslane – Executive Director of Keiskamma Trust. 

 Seven of the 16 graduates with Keiskamma Trust Staff
Left to Right: Wanga Afrika, Thabang Meslane, Linda Ganto, 
Anelisa Kekezwa, Nontle Sikani, Andisiwe Nketyana, 
Nomonde Bojane, Thembakazi Phaliso, Neliswe Ngoxo 
and Nokhupumla Nameka.

Since April 75 people have started training in small groups.  Their “Misses” have been Andisiwe Nketyana (centre) and Nokhupumla Nameka (far right).  So far 16 have passed all the levels of tests.  Others are still completing their courses and tests to the final level. 

Education Programme Manager, Colette Tilley, encouraged the students to keep coming to Vulindlela to keep in practice, build their typing speeds and make use of the internet and other resources available at the centre.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Capoeira Fun Travels to Mgababa

Capoeira has been one of the activities on offer at Eva Centre, the OVC base in Lover's Twist for a year and a half; so recently the children from there showed off their talent at Bjorn Centre in Mgababa. They demonstrated various aspects of Capoeira under the supervision of their instructor, Msindisi Mva and senior group members. 

Parents & community members really enjoyed the performance and the Mgababa children didn't waste any time in trying out the new moves themselves! Hopefully Capoeira will become an activity that captures the children's imagination at Mgababa too.

The performance was initiated by Nokhanyo Nkani, coordinator of the OVC centres, a part of the Education Programme at Keiskamma Trust. Keiskamma Music Academy lent their very new bus to transport the group and Trust driver, Major Mangwane, coordinated the transport and assisted with the children. All in all, a great group effort and a productive & fun day for everyone involved!

Click HERE to view more photos.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Staff profiles - 3 of our team!

Meet Nokhanyo Nkani – OVC Programme Co-ordinator

You can sometimes find Nokhanyo Nkani bustling around her little office at the back of Vulundlela Centre; that is when she's not out on the road visiting the OVC Centres which she manages. Nokhanyo returned to Hamburg, her home village after a successful stint as Assistant Manager at Metro in Johannesburg. She wanted to use her professional skills to serve her own community.
In February 2012 she was recruited as shop keeper for the Art Project where her good leadership and management skills shone through. She soon got a feel for the diverse work there; processing orders, controlling stock, promoting in stores and attending exhibitions.
Her friendly & efficient manner led to an offer by the Education Manager to become OVC Coordinator, a busy job with three centres under her wing, making sure that they all run smoothly, and looking out especially for the orphans and most vulnerable children. Nokhanyo relates well with all the stakeholders and coordinates donations of food, toys, books and resources.
'It's very challenging work that I'm doing', she comments. 'But you just have to be yourself and take each day as it comes! We are trying to help people every day, for instance, sometimes there's a problem with their kids or food parcels or whatever and we try to sort it out. Every day brings something new and it's great to feel that I'm back here, working for my own people.'

Meet Novuyani Peyi – Art Project Co- Manager and Trustee

Novuyani Peyi is rightly proud of her qualification in Human Resources that she received in October 2012  from Damelin College. Novuyani works as Art Project Manager at Keiskamma Trust so it was quite a challenge at first to get to grips with the studying as well as sorting out transport and acccommodation. 'At first I thought I'll never manage this, but then it started to be fine and I was actually looking forward to it. Jan & Jackie,  from Keiskamma Friends UK, helped to pay for my studies, and people at the Trust were willing to help me in any way they could.  So I was very pleased when I didn't let them down and I could finally tell them that I had passed!
'I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me do this especially Keiskamma Friends UK, everyone who wished me luck and everyone who supported and believed in me!'

Meet Nomfusi Nkani – Keiskamma  Artist & Art Project Assistant Manager

Sometimes people just meet and talk and new connections occur that you never expected! That's how it was for Nomfusi Nkani, one of our Keiskamma artists. When Carol Hofmeyr got talking to folk from  the Artist Proof Studios while at an exhibition in Cape Town and then found out that they were going to do a mural at the Steve Biko Foundation, Nomfusi was immediately interested in getting involved.

'I'd already done my own sketches about Steve Biko because I wanted to do a tapestry of his life and how it still has impact on young people today. So Artist Proof Studio invited me to submit my work and then I was really excited to get an invitation to join them in King Williamstown to be part of the team to create a huge wall painting'.

Nomfusi lights up as she talks about her experience, but she points out that it was no easy fortnight! 'The weather was apalling; we were working in the rain, and climbing scaffolding, and we were busy from 8 in the morning until 7 at night! But I got on really well with the artist and it was if I'd known him a long time'.

Nomfusi is even more keen now to secure funding to continue her reseach about Steve Biko and create her own work.' I really want to get Steve Biko's story on to tapestry and get our own people involved and feeling even more benefit from my collaboration'.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Music Exam Success

Keiskamma Music Academy is thrilled to receive stunning results for our 2012 UNISA exams!

25 students entered examinations this year in music theory or on an instrument, for a total of 53 exam entries.  Several of our senior students were able to prepare for three exams: theory, recorder, and their orchestral instrument.  While last year’s entries were mainly in music theory or on the recorder as well as one flute and two clarinet entries, we had a total of 23 theory entries and 30 instrumental examinations this year on recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, classical guitar, and piano.

We were thrilled to receive a total of 20 Distinctions and 19 Merits.  Over 70 percent of our exam entries received these honours for high marks, maintaining the high exam success rate of Keiskamma Music Academy in addition to our 100 percent pass rate.

Our instrumental students prepared for their exams with teachers Karen Mostert and Jen Hoyer in Hamburg, as well as a group of part-time orchestral teachers in Grahamstown.  We were lucky to have additional assistance from recorder teacher and harpsichordist John Reid Coulter, who joined us in Hamburg for a one-week preparation workshop and accompanied all the students for their exams.

Our theory students prepared with Elizabeth Winkelman, a Port Alfred music teacher who has been commuting to Hamburg weekly since 2011.  Elizabeth also teaches our piano and classical guitar students.  In addition to the all-around success of our theory students, we were delighted this year to see exceptionally high marks in our senior class: all three of our most senior theory students received Distinctions on their exams.

Congratulations to our students and their teachers!