Celebrating Africa!!

Some of Africa's Beauties

African contient

Each year on May 25, our whole continent celebrates the wonders and beauty of Africa (Africa Day)! All across each country, we celebrate in various different ways. This year, we celebrated here at the Centre through the acknowledgement of each of our children, The African Child!  The theme for this year was based on an ancient proverb; “It takes a Village to raise a child.”  As you walk through the Sandra Jones Centre, you see this proverb become a reality.  Every child that comes to the doors of the Centre will find behind the doors Aunties, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, Mother and most importantly, the greatest Father anyone ever needs….. Our Heavenly Father. What a day to celebrate these children and the gift they are to us and the world.

Here’s a few pictures to give you a taster of the day’s celebrations:

Our great Organizer and hard working Kitchen Staff

Our great Organizer and hard working Kitchen Staff

The Haven Girls treated our guests to spa treatments to show what they have been learning!

The Haven Girls treated our guests to spa treatments to show what they have been learning!

Great Singing and Dancing enjoyed by all!

Great Singing and Dancing enjoyed by all!

 

Some of Africa's Beauties

Some of Africa’s Beauties

All kinds of Africa celebrated!

All kinds of Africa celebrated!

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Change a Life!

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schools-outAll has been a bit still and calm here at the Centre over the past few weeks.  Debbie is away on her much needed break with her family in Australia, various staff members on having time off and then we had a great, long Easter Weekend. We’ve been running through our 6 week Vocational Training Program with our new girls.  We’ve had Micki on the case of finding us a new truck.  Which has thrown up a few leads but none that have been “The One!” just yet.  We are continuing to pray! So we are continuing our day to day lives at the Centre till the school term starts back on the 9th May.

Jacqui Martin

   Jacqui Martin (Jacs)

This blog, we want to share a little of one of our ministries which sounds small to some people but has a huge impact in the lives of our children and Centre. This ministry is none other than our Child Sponsorship.  Allow me to introduce the amazing lady behind the Sponsorship side of the Centre, Jacques Martin.

Jac’s is such a dedicated and hard working lady who is the one behind all the communication between sponsors and children.

Our sponsorship program is a vital life line to the welfare of the children both Physically, Mentally, Emotionally and Spiritually.

IMG_2275Physically – with the money given towards each child through their sponsor, we are able to help with medical bills if
the need arises.

 

 

Mentally – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  Such true words IMG_2288
spoken none other than by Nelson Mandela. This could not be more true for our children.  Most of the girls and children in our care come from a sever poor background where they have had little or no education.  We feel that every child that passes through our doors deserves a chance at some form of education.  Through sponsoring a child, this is made possible by either paying some of their school fees or items needed for school (books, stationery etc).

Emotionally – Through sponsoring a child, a relationship is formed between the sponsor IMG_2304and the child.  Many of our children come to call their sponsors “Mom and Dad” or “Aunty and Uncle”. This helps give them a sense of being loved and an identity in knowing that someone is caring specifically for them. This is encouraged and developed through communication e.g email, letter writing and even pre-arranged Skype/facetime calls.

Spiritually – Through sponsoring a child, we encourage the sponsor to pray for their child. IMG_2273Speak into their lives about who God is to them. Therefore helping them to develop in their walk with the Lord and on His path he has set out before them (despite the fact someone “tried” to mess it up)!

Through sponsoring a child, you are not just giving money to a child, you are investing in their future.  Their future career; their future image of themselves; their future values and morals.  You are helping to input into a child’s life the important holistic upbringing and love they have lacked before.

If this has impacted you in anyway, and you wish to sponsor one of our child, we greatly appeal to you to get in contact with Jacqui (sjcsponsorship@gmail.com).  She will be able to give you all the information you need to know and more importantly, she will be able to connect you with your child who so desperately needs your help and love.

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Sponsoring a child costs as little as $45 (US) per month.  This is however a guide as to the basic needs of the children.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.  We truly appreciate your interest and support in all we do here at the Sandra Jones Centre.

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Attachment Program Update!

by Amanda Granger

These past seven months have definitely been exciting for the girls in our Attachment Program! We’ve seen how empowering our girls has had an incredible impact on the way they approach their passions, believing anything is possible!

By combining our girls’ individual passions, diligence, hard work and willingness to learn, with an appropriate position for attachment we have seen our girls grow beyond all expectations! Many of the girls who currently have attachments in the local community began exploring their passions in the Skills Training sessions of the Vocational Training Program.

Fossil Nosh - Sharon Working Hard!

Fossil Nosh – Sharon Working Hard!

Two of our young ladies participated in the catering sessions of the Skills Training and saw this opportunity expand first to a training course for restaurant staff, and ultimately to the job they currently hold at a café in the Natural History Museum. These two girls have been a shining example of a successful attachment and have been thriving through this job that they really love! (left) Sharon at Fossil Nosh Café.

More recently, two more girls have been pushing their passion for

Our Hairdressers!!

Our Hairdressers!!

hairdressing further by gaining attachment in a local salon for the next three months. It’s amazing to see these girls approach their dreams as reachable goals rather than achievable ideas. These young women are walking taller, with a purpose for each day and excited for the learning opportunities that lie ahead. Sibusiwe and Patience are pictured below at their attachment at Fingers Hair Salon.

Adding to the excitement from the attachments at Fossil Nosh and Fingers hair salon, four girls are participating in a three-year beauty-therapy course at the Haven. Sasha and Natasha joined Linda and Evelyn in early January to begin their training.

Haven Spa - Beauty Therapists!

                                             Haven Spa – Beauty Therapists!

Our SJC staff couldn’t be more proud of these lovely ladies! They show us each day their commitment to the work they are doing and the experience they gain to help their future endeavors.

Thank you for all of the support and prayers you all have shown to our girls in the attachment program and a VERY BIG THANK YOU to all of our local businesses who have supported us by taking on our girls for attachment!

Melanie Friend- Owner of 26 on Park, Fossil Nosh, and Nosh Café

Jonine and Sam Dube- Owners of the Haven

Sara Mpofu- Owner of Fingers Hair Salon

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Building Foundations!

Home Sweet Home

Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts for our staff, 3 of the Staff members are on the mend and back a work.  Still need complete healing but doing much much better.  2 of the Staff are still not well and we really appreciate your prayers for them.

To move from a low point to a high point. Like I said at the beginning of our years blogs, we are full of exciting news and want to release it to you all bit by bit.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Home is where our Heart is!

Home is where our Heart is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As many of you who follow our ministry here will know, we are still trying to complete our payment of the hotel to help provide a secure HOME for each of the children who come into our care. As we we have said in the past, “how do you eat a whole Elephant? One piece at a time!” Many of you have helped bit by bit towards the payment of the hotel through individual donations, various fundraisers and generous company donations.

Granger Foundation Representatives

Granger Foundation Representatives

The Granger Foundation Appreciation

The Granger Foundation Appreciation

Today, we are so pleased to say we have had a huge chunk of our hotel payment taken off our hands with a very generous donation of $100 000 (US$).  This donation came through a very generous donation through one of our long term volunteers family foundation in Michigan. The Granger Foundation are a local family run foundation who help the great Michigan State in various ways through grants.  After a visit from Amanda, our Attachment Co-coordinator, they heard about the Centre and our issue of paying off the hotel.  They suggested she try apply through the Foundation for a grant.

Few days before Christmas, we received the exciting news that the grant had been approved and the money was transferred across.

THANK YOU LORD for your Faithfulness and Grace.  This has brought our total from $245 000 to $145 000 to pay off the hotel.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.  To the Granger Foundation, we can’t Thank You all enough and are so grateful to you all for relieving us a huge amount from this great burden weighting heavy on our minds.  Thank you all and may the Lord bless you and your families for this.

Praise-the-Lord

 

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PRAYER!!

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Sadly, this is short blog and not our usual detailed one.  We are sending out a request if you could join us all in prayer as many of our staff members are not well.  We have 3 staff members who are in need of hospital care; one staff member had a bad fall and has badly bruised her ribs; and another is struggling with severe arthritis which can be debilitating.

We are feeling the whole staff seem to be under attack with all the illnesses and health problems going around.  Please can you join us in prayer a prayer of protection, healing and good health for all staff and a continued protection over the children.

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New Family Member!!

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UntitledWhat an exciting bit of news we have to share with you all.  We at the Sandra Jones Centre want to introduce you to our newest and eagerly awaited member of the family (especially to Mr Yu)! One of our volunteers last year, Jackie Scott, entered into a travel competition in New Zealand and Australia which gave her to opportunity to share about her time here in Zimbabwe with the Sandra Jones Centre.  Through the overwhelming number of votes, she was able to raise $5000 NZ ($3609 US) and through the generous donations and support from her friends and church congregation back home, she was able to raise the figure to a total of $20,459.00 NZ ($14,763.17 US).
WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!

These funds raised will go directly to buying our new family member….. a new truck!  Our red truck has been with us for many years now but it is literally running on it’s last legs and we are just waiting for the day we have to say a final goodbye to our faithful friend.  Many people may be asking “but why do you need a new truck when you have so many other more pressing needs?”  Allow me to put your mind at ease. The need is great for this truck as it is our life line and one of the hardest working staff members of the Centre. Our truck is used for transporting our children to and from school every week day on time; carrying our shopping items on shopping day (a lot of food for 60 children) and one of the most important jobs is travelling to the rural areas for our home visits.

 

The Red Truck

The Red Truck

Let me take you on a journey we as Zimbabweans live every day.  As you turn off the grey tarred main road, your car shakes, rattles while you get thrown around inside (as the seat belts don’t work or…. aren’t even there).  The road ahead has bits of tar here and there but majority of it has been worn down or washed away over the years.  Eventually, the tar completely disappears and all that is left is a red dust which starts swirl around within the car.  Blowing in your eyes, hair, mouth and even up your nose.  After a few sneezes you realize now is the time to wind the windows up or put up with turning into the dust monster, which is bound to scare anyone you will be meet at the end of your wild ride.  As you go to roll your window up, you come to the realization that…… THERE IS NO HANDLE! Not only that but your door is rattling and your not able to close it properly so the dust is blowing up through there too.  Holding tightly to your door, so you don’t fall out, you bounce around hitting your head on the roof and the side of the car several times, wondering when this journey will ever end.  Then all of a sudden the car comes to a grinding halt as it’s halfway up a hill.  Mr Yu says, “Everybody out, we need to push!”.  You all pile out and start to push with all your might.  Finally you reach the top of the hill and jump back in the car as it starts rolling back down.  The truck jerks into motion and your off again, clinging to your door.

Finally you arrive at your destination and climb out the car.  Shaking your self off, you notice three small mud huts in front of you surrounded by a stick fence held together by wire alone.  A little old lady comes out to greet you with a huge smile on her face because you have come all that way to visit her and bring her the granddaughter she thought she would never see again. Reuniting a family truly makes the journey worth every terrifying bump, sneeze and pant.

For this reason, the money raised for the new truck is such a blessing.  With it, we will be able to tackle every dusty road and every pothole infested road with no break downs to add to the fun.  All to reunite a family and bring a smile to a young girls heart who came to us with a broken one.  Giving the gift of education to a child who may never have received it alongside being able to carry them safely to and from their school helps build  a brighter, stronger future for each child.

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Thank You Jackie!

To all who contributed, we can’t Thank you enough for your help and support. To Jackie Scott, Thank You for all your hard work in raising this money for the truck and for all your support as well as all your hard work during your time with us at the Centre.  Watch this space for the new truck’s arrival! (We just have to wait for the perfect one to come our way. Please Lord, bring us the right one, with the right price!)

Here’s a taster of what we are looking for: (maybe not a fancy though!)Isuzu_Dmax12_DualCab_FlexiSport_Splashwhite

 

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Happy! Happy!

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Colorful-kids-Happy-New-Year-2016-images-wishes-quotes-hd

Happy New year all and what a new year we have begun with! The Christmas season was great for all the staff and children here at the Sandra Jones Center.  All this would not have been possible without you all and to everyone who kindly contributed towards the smiles on these kids faces, THANK YOU!!

2017 has started with a great big Confetti bang!  Wow, so much has happened in just a few weeks.  But to keep you wanting to know more, we will be posting all the exciting news over the next few weeks. So watch this space.

To start the year off, excitement was all over the Centre as we started our new pre-school / Infant school. Oh, and how cute they all looked in their uniforms but don’t just take our word for it, check out our littlies stealing the show.

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The first day of school was complete chaos with trying to organise the children into their classes, issuing them their books and stationery and then we realized, the kids had sweet uniforms but NO SHOES!! So after a mad dash to town, we were able to put school shoes on each of our kids.

This school wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of our 2 new teachers who have worked non stop on preparing for this year.  Allow us to introduce our wonderful teachers.IMG_9894

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Carol Smith

    Carol Smith

Carol Smith came to us when she moved back to Zimbabwe after 10 years in South Africa.  Before going to South Africa, she was a teacher at two of the top primary schools (Petra and Whitestone) in the country for many years. She felt it heavy on her heart to join the team at the Sandra Jones Centre to help with remedial.  We saw an amazing difference in our kids academic abilities as well as their confidence.

 

 

Pathi Moyo

Pathi Moyo

Many people say they can’t keep away from the centre, as we have proof of this.  Our other teacher is Pathi Moyo who use to be our resident teacher whilst working at Waterford Primary School a few years ago but has now returned to work alongside Carol in our Pre-school / Infant School.  What a team these two make and over the past 2 weeks we have seen such a difference in our kids and its great to have them under the same room so we can see their day to day activities and join in their fun and laughter at times.

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Please pray as the school continues to move forward, especially  for the kids to continue to grow in their love for the Lord, in their knowledge and character.  Please may you also keep our hard working staff and teachers in your prayers.

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Next week….. A New Addition!! goz-kirpan-smiley_785429

 

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Hot Summer Days!

swimming-collagePhew, it has been scorching hot here in Zim the past few weeks. One of the greatest blessings we have with gaining the hotel as our home, is we have a swimming pool which the kids not only can learn a great life saving skill, they also have the opportunity of cooling down in this heat. After many many months of trying to fix the pool and get the water right (very time consuming and very expensive her in Zim), we have finally been able to take the cover off and let the kids go wild. I’m gonna let the pictures and short time-lapse video of the fun the kids have been having.

 

Falcon College surprised us with such a lovely visit last week.  They blessed us with food, gifts and their amazingly img_9471 img_9472 talented voices.  Wow, what an afternoon!!  Then to thank the boys of Falcon, our girls broke out into song using their beautiful voices and completely wowed the boys who couldn’t believe their voices. For those of you who don’t know, Falcon College is a private boarding school in Zimbabwe who develop well-mannered, up-standing young men and also have one of the top choirs in Zimbabwe.

Reports were brought home with the kids last Thursday and wow, are we proud mom’s.  So many of them have truly excelled over the year and we can’t be prouder of each of them.  Well done to all!

New Uniforms –  We have decided to revive our pre-school at the center to help give the one-on-one attention each of children need in their early years.  This will be headed up by our newest member of staff, Carol. There is not much news to share at this point in time, but watch this space.  However, we can give you all a sneek peek at the cuteness we are going to be having when they start in January 2017. Let us leave you with this cute picture to cheer you up on a Monday morning! :-)pre-school-uniform

 

 

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Tis the Season…..

catering-graduation

Wow, what a few weeks with so much happening and so much to report on.

 

Waterfront party

Santa's Sleigh

Santa’s Sleigh

Jumping around the Christmas Tree

Jumping around the Christmas Tree

A few local companies got together with the help of the community of Bulawayo to put on a spectacular party for the

Who needs Reindeers?

Who needs Reindeers?

orphans and the old age homes about 3 weeks ago.  What a day it was for the kids.  There was food galore, games, horse rides, jumping castles and even a visit from Father Christmas on a fire engine and even got to explore in the fire engine. Both the kids and the mother who accompanied them had an amazing day and were so exhausted when they all got home.  Thank you to all who made the day such a special memory for all.

New Babies

img_9449img_9467Baby fever has hit the Centre once again.  A few months ago we reported we img_9447had a new baby girl, Michelle.  When a few months later, baby Hannah came in to steal our hearts.  This month, we have 2 new additions to our creche, baby Nomagugu and baby “Perfect” (name is temporary).  All born to girls in our care.  Each of these beautiful babies have come into our lives and have turned us all into heaps of mush.  The amount of cuddles, smiles and dribble we have in the office each day, and that’s just the staff over the babies!

Horse riding

Healing with Horses Therapeutic Centre had their annual end of year show and party.  Excitement all around as the kids were so proud to show us all they have learnt over the year but most of all, we were all so excited and beaming with pride at how much our kids had grown within themselves and the confidence and exuded from them through this time with the Therapeutic Centre.  Thank you to the amazing ladies who work so hard to bring about such amazing work with each child.

talent-contestSchool Talent show

All our junior school kids at Waterford were involved in the end of year Talent Show at the school and what a great group of kids we have.  Some of our girls modeled very beautifully and our young lads were strong body builders.  Check out the talent we have.

 

Catering Course

catering-graduation4 of our girls who started doing catering with us, were placed on a Catering course which they graduated with superb credits.  We were so proud to attend their graduation and hear all the glowing reports of them.  3 of the girls, through the Catering Course have been able to secure jobs.  2 are working for a new cafe that has just opened so they have been able to see progress of how to start up a cafe from scratch.  1 young lady has been offered work at the restaurant they were working with.

 

Next week, so much more excitement awaits us too.

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PARTY Time!!

Party Time!!

                                                    Party Time!!

Models in the making

Models in the making

Who loves to party?!  We do! On Saturday afternoon all the girls dressed up in pretty dresses with hair looking oh so feminine while walking elegantly in “taller than a tower” high heels here at the Centre as we hosted a “girly high tea party” for the girls to feel super special with our theme being “BEAUTIFUL”.  We had ages from 9 up to 22 years and the girls just loved it as we dressed up in our finest to feel and be beautiful in who God has made us to be!

 

We had herbal teas all the way from New Zealand that were oozing berry flavours, pink

Let the Party Begin

Let the Party Begin

and purple iced biscuits and marshmallow and fruit kebabs that left us with juice running down our chins!  We had games, a quiz and over 20 prizes were being dished out like hot cakes as we were blessed with so much provided for the day!  We had a wonderful guest speaker from the community who came to share on identity and she bravely shared her testimony on her journey of overcoming breast cancer while inspiring the girls to look above their circumstances in knowing who they are in God.

Our Winner

Our Winner

Next up was a cupcake decorating competition which was perfect as we all have super sweet teeth!  With fresh cream frosting, lollies, hundreds and thousands and chocolate sprinkles to name a few, we were coloring our sweet treats like artistic bakers and the competition was high!  After much debate the winner was found to be Theresa who was beaming from ear to ear! The prize was five sets of hair braid extensions (which is never going out of fashion here) and the prize couldn’t of gone to anyone more worthy as this amazing girl gives out her time day and night (like early morning night) to do all our girls hair and makes sure they all feel beautiful!
We all had such  a wonderful time but I think the most heart touching moment was when we got to honor one of

So Loved!

So Loved!

our girls just for who she is.  Privilege is a graceful girl who has been with us for two months and has walked a very tough journey.  Last week she gave birth to her beautiful baby girl so we wanted to love on her and make her feel extra special and thought of.  We welcomed her to the front while giving a speech on how much we love her, how beautiful she is to us and gave her a special prize. While this was happening all the girls started cheering, clapping and giving big”whoop whoops” for their amazing sister!  We love it when we see the girls in unity, cheering each other on and pouring out compliments over each other!  This was a very special afternoon that God used to show his girls how much he loves them and adores every moment beaming over them!

Well done Jackie Scott for organizing this amazing day for our girls and showing them just how precious they are to us but more importantly, to Our Father.  You did an AMAZING job!!
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