“Take pride in how far you’ve come. Have faith in how far we can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.” Michael Josephson
Thank you for sharing this journey with us! You are making a huge difference in our students lives and in the community we serve. It has been another busy first term of school at Vhutshilo Mountain School. We re-opened on the 12 of January and are on break from the 17 of March until the 5th of April 2022. South Africa is now at level 1 of the pandemic and, since the schools opened in January 2022, there is no more 1,5-meter distancing required in the classroom.
Currently, we have a total of 77 students divided into three groups; toddler class with 28 students ages 1 to 2 years old, pre-school with 23 students ages 3 to 4 years, grade R with 15 students ages 4 to 5 years, and grade 1 with 11 students ages 5 to 6 years old. Out of these children, more than half are vulnerable and in need of our help. We are also grateful for the support from those community parents able to pay fees for their children to attend VMS, especially in these difficult economic times. We always have openings for our vulnerable children as we will not turn them away.
We are excited to report our two new classrooms are finally completed. This was one of Sue Anne's dreams and we are very happy that her dream has finally come true, as we continue her legacy. Next year we will add grade 2 to our current program! The community has been asking for more grade levels for several years and now that the building is completed, we will move forward. We will also employ another teacher for grade 2, so the community will also benefit. In other good news, our learning program now includes computer literacy for grade R and grade 1 students.
Vhuhwavho Nevhungoni (Sue-Ann’s daughter) has completed her Degree as a Social Worker and on the 25th of April 2022, she will be graduating from the University of Pretoria. Another VMS graduate, Thendo Rabada, is doing very well at the University of Venda. She is studying teaching and is currently in her 3rd year. They have both expressed appreciation of the educational foundation received at VMS. We are very proud of their achievements!
Our vegetable garden continues to supply us with fresh vegetables and we provide food parcels to students and families. The most recent food parcels were sent to homes on Friday the 18th of March 2022. We continue to encourage and educate families on having home gardens in villages where water is not a problem.
Our outreach program continues to empower youth with skills and health information. Zwonaka Network, a woman empowerment project aimed at young women, offers education and training to VMS outreach students. Today we have 10 young women running their own small businesses offering manicures and pedicures. While providing these services, they educate their clients on gender-based violence.
We are so grateful to have the support of Hope for Limpopo, the Scotland Church, individuals, committed board members, and enthusiastic staff. This is indeed a recipe for success. I feel fortunate to be a part of the celebration of our pupil’s achievements. Together we have provided many vulnerable children with the best school experience, which will remain with them for the rest of their days.
Sincerely and with many thanks,
Khathu NemafhohoniDirector, Vhutshilo Mountain School
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