Monday, 22 December 2014

Rounding Up Our Year at Keiskamma Trust

On the afternoon of December 12th, an audience, mostly parents & families plus a few of the early holiday visitors, gathered outside the new music building in Hamburg to watch a performance of 'Indalo'. This outdoor production, which grew out of the 'Carnival of the Animals' (performed in 2013 at Grahamstown Festival), featured the Music Academy and a new cast of local young actors.

Despite a gale force wind, actors and musicians managed to tell their story to a crowd who were wowed by the music, the magic and the humour. It was a delightful finale to Keiskamma Trust's activities throughout 2014. The production was followed the next day with the Intlantsi Creative Development team organising and hosting the annual Christmas party for all the local children. Over 350 Hamburg children received gifts from Father Christmas, and were entertained by the Intlantsi facilitators, who 'clowned' and face-painted for hours!

The Trust offices are now closed for the end-of-year break but the Art shop continues to be open every day as visitors come to do their Christmas shopping. An adjacent building is also serving as a gallery, where the Altarpiece, back 'home' from its global journeying, is being exhibited, as well as several pieces from the 'Botanicals' range.

Our gallery and shop in Hamburg

Our shop in Cape Town ( @ The Watershed - Ground Floor - Market Stall F107)

And so another busy year here draws to a close. As ever, the challenges will continue in 2015. For a small NGO in a remote rural location, keeping funding flowing and helping to nurture a healthy, sustainable community is never plain sailing. But if you dip back in to these 2014 blog posts, you'll get a sense of this special place and what is being achieved and celebrated in this little corner of Eastern Cape.

None of this could happen without all our donors and friends! So we take this opportunity the thank you ALL for another year of continued support. All of us here at Keiskamma Trust – staff, volunteers and students – wish you a peaceful and enjoyable holiday season and warm wishes for everything you hope for in 2015.  

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas shopping at V&A Waterfront | Cape Town

Watershed, Ground Floor, Market stall F107

Curated by Cathy Stanley

Santa Shoeboxes Hit Hamburg!!

Nokuphumla Nameka preparing the distribution at Vulindlela Centre

512 children in Hamburg and the surrounding area had a lovely pre-Christmas surprise with the unexpected delivery of a truckload of 'Santa Shoeboxes'. Companies and organisations in East London and the children of Hudson Park Primary organised this initiative, and Nokhanyo Nkani, the Trust's OVC and Aftercare Coordinator, arranged for this special delivery to our local villages.

Each shoebox was stuffed with toiletries, stationery, clothing and sweets; all age appropriate and lovingly wrapped in festive paper. For some children, this was perhaps the first time they had received such a bright and thoughtful Christmas gift.

There followed a very busy time in Vulindlela Centre as staff packed and sorted and organised the deliveries far and wide. Mxolisi Educare Centre, Masivuye Day Care, Bjorn Centre, Eva Centre and Hamburg After Care all received a consignment of boxes, each neatly labelled with the name of each child.

The children and parents were delighted with this Christmas surprise and some wrote lovely thank you notes to the organisers. 

Keiskamma Trust wish to thank the kind donors who participated in this scheme and to Nokhanyo for getting involved in this innovative initiative.  

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Music Academy Off to Camp!

Keiskamma Music Academy finished the year on a high note with a 5-day camp at Ubungani Wilderness Trust, Boknesstrand, in early December. The Centre is just along the coast on the way to Port Alfred so it didn't involve too much travelling; however the change of scene provided an exciting opportunity to prepare and rehearse for the Christmas production of 'Indalo', as well as to work and play together as a team.

In addition to the music and drama students, KMA staff and volunteers, the group were accompanied by Hanneke van der Merwe and her team who prepared amazing food, organised team-building activities, and nurtured participants with care and support. It was no holiday though! There were intense rehearsals every day after an early breakfast and warm-up, and the afternoons were spent either on the beach, weather permitting, or involved in environmental and cooperative exercises. The evenings gave everyone a chance to relax a bit, with dancing and marshmallows on sticks as the students' favourites!

Everyone felt that the five days went far too quickly and they would have liked to do it all over again! Keiskamma Music Academy wish to thank their kind donors for giving everyone the chance to have this special experience, living and working together. They also wish to thank Ubungani Wilderness Trust, and Hanneke van der Merwe & her staff for looking after everybody so well. And not forgetting Keiskamma Trust drivers for getting the crew there and back safely!

The students all agreed, 'It was a great start to our summer holidays and we'd love to go back again soon'.  

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

World Aids Day 2014 – 'Caring for the Caretakers'

Since 1988, December 1st has been designated as World Aids Day. The day is an opportunity for people across the globe to raise awareness, increase education and support those living with HIV. Keiskamma Trust always mark this day in some way, so, on December 1st, almost seventy members of the Art Project at the Trust and members of the Hamburg community gathered in the newly completed Umthombo Art Centre to meet representatives from Mercedes Benz South Africa (MBSA), the main funder of the Art project over the last three years. The SASSA team (South African Social Security Agency) were also present at the event.

Thembeka Sigabi, the Art Project's contact at MBSA in East London, welcomed all the guests and explained that the theme of the event was 'Caring for the Caretakers'. Speeches by social workers and SASSA highlighted the fact that many people present there spend their lives caring for and supporting others, and occasionally, they too need recognition and someone to look out for them.

Eunice Mangwane , Keiskamma Health Councillor, thanked MBSA for their visit, their support and their generosity. The event concluded with the distribution of gift bags, containing useful items such as toiletries and soup, and a little luxury too with the addition of some chocolate!

Keiskamma Trust wish to thank MBSA for venturing down our long and winding gravel road to meet the community here and to commemorate World Aids Day in a spirit of joy, cooperation and kindness.  

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Come and visit us at V&A Waterfront (Cape Town)

At The Watershed, 
Ground Floor Market Stall F107 

Curated by Cathy Stanley 

Extended hours until 9 pm extra specials 

on Monday 15th December!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Summer Exhibitions in Cape Town

Dear friends and supporters,

We are looking forward to seeing you at our Summer Exhibitions in Cape Town