DOT and FRANK - BOOK LAUNCH!!

We had such FUN last week at the BOOK LAUNCH of "Dot and Frank". The launch was held in a shack in Khayelitsha, for around 150 kids. You will see in the pictures, the before-and-after look of the shack. We decorated the shack with art from our Kids Delft Art Programme. We celebrated singing and dancing down the streets of Khayelitsha, with a local kids and teens african dance group.

In the book Dot and Frank are illustrated as cupcakes, so Bev and Louise had some fun and dressed up as cupcakes and enacted the book to the kids. :) The story encourages kids to not give up, even though life can be filled with challenges.

Dream Big, Work Hard and Never Give Up!

All the kids received their very own Dot and Frank kit...and of course a cupcake :) We had such a great day! They were so excited! The kit consisted of the book, colouring crayons, a tooth brush and a healthy snack.

The book was written by Ethan. As most of you might know, Ethan raised his own money to have the book printed in SA, as well as pay for the kits. The kits will be handed out to children in poor communities in the Western Cape. Big thank you to his mom Kari and his 2 sisters for all their support.

Thank you to Weslee for all your hard work with digitalising the book. Thank you Ebba from Propel Afrika for taking the pictures at the launch!

Lots of Love

LOUISE PERSSON'S REFLECTIONS

Ja det är tufft att kastas mellan vår privilegierade värld och den verklighet som många tvingas leva i - men oerhört utvecklande och lärorikt - Tillsammans kan vi göra världen till en bättre plats för många. "A drop of rain is insignificant but together we can make a river" Läs Louise tankar nedan, hennes känslor känns i varenda bokstav. Jag har befunnit mig precis där hon är. Vi kan inte hjälpa alla men måste lära oss att glädjas åt dom vi kan förbättra tillvaron för och genom detta skapar vi ringar på vattnet.

Translation:
Yes it is tough to move between our privileged world and the reality that many people are forced to live in, but, at the same time it is extremely development and educational, because together we can make the world a better place for many. 

"A drop of rain is insignificant but together we can make a river".
Read Louise's thoughts below, her feelings are felt in every letter.  I've been right where she is. We cannot help everyone, but we must learn to rejoice in those lives we can improve, and through this we create rings on the water.

Nu har jag varit hemma några dagar och hunnit förstå att jag är hemma. Det är oerhört svårt att försöka förklara för folk hur det är att komma hem såhär, jag ärsåklart jätteglad att komma hem till min kära sambo, vänner och familj. Men psykiskt är det väldigt jobbigt att kastas mellan två världar så snabbt som vi i dagens samhälle kan göra med flygplan. Från kåkstadsskjul och barn utan ordentligt med mat till min lägenhet som nu tack vare hösten är lite kall, men vi sätter igång elementen så är problemet löst.

Jag får mycket frågan: ”Hur har du haft det?” ”Hur känns det att vara hemma?” Det är två frågor som ärligt talat är väldigt svåra att svara på för mig. Jag svarar mest att jag har haft det bra, vilket jag såklart har haft. Men det är samtidigt så jobbigt och påfrestande att uppleva allt det som jag har den fantastiska möjligheten att uppleva. Att möta barn som inte har hela skor eller inga alls, mammor som kämpar för daglig överlevnad och som behöver ta med sig sina barn ut på gatan för att tigga pengar till mat. Sen också kriminaliteten och säkerheten skiljer sig så mycket från Sverige, höga staket med elstängsel pryder många av husen i villaområdena runt om Kapstaden. Vid flera ställen inne i husen sitter det panikknappar som går direkt till larmcentralen om någon skulle bryta sig in när larmet inte är påslaget. Detta är ju såklart bara för de priviligierade människorna, i kåkstäderna är det skjul med glipor och i bästa fall ett hänglås på dörren.

Att uppleva separationsångest till ett land och människorna där är oerhört jobbigt, när man känner att man inte är redo att lämna. Man vill göra så mycket mer, men samtidigt vill man hem till sitt vanliga liv där man vet hur bra man har det och tryggheten här.
Att hjärtat drar mot två olika håll är jobbigt men samtidigt fantastiskt att man har fått möjligheten att uppleva det.

Som jag sagt tidigare, halva mitt hjärta kommer alltid att tillhöra Sydafrika och jag är så tacksam att jag får uppleva detta och alla människor jag lärt känna. Även tacksam till min sambo som stöttar mig i detta och som inte tycker det är konstigt och förstår mig när jag lägger all min semester på att åka till alla mina barn i Kapstaden.

Vi får se när jag åker tillbaka, men tillbaka ska jag och då får ni som vanligt följa med mig på även den resan!

Tack alla ni som följt och stöttat mig, det betyder så himla mycket!
Kärlek till er.

Translation:
Now I've been home for a few days, and I can't believe I'm home. It's extremely hard to try to explain to people what it's like to come home like this, of course I'm thrilled to come home to my dear Sambo, friends and family. But psychologically it is very difficult to be thrown between two worlds as quickly as we in today's society can do with aircraft. From a Cape Town kindergarten and children without proper food to my apartment, which now thanks to autumn is a little cold, but we set the elements and the problem is solved.

I get a lot of questions, "how have you been?" "How does it feel to be home?" these are two questions that are frankly very difficult to answer for me. I mostly answer that I've had a good time, which, of course, I've had. But at the same time, it is so difficult and exhausting to experience all the things that I have the amazing opportunity to experience. To meet children who do not have all the shoes or none at all, mothers who fight for daily survival and who need to bring their children out on the street to beg money for food. Then the crime and security are very different from Sweden, high fences with electric fence adorn many of the houses in suburbs around Cape Town. In several places inside the houses, there is a panic button that goes directly to the emergency services if someone would break in when the alarm is not turned on. Of course, this is only for the privileged people; in townships they live in shacks with gaps and at best a padlock on the door.

To experience separation anxiety to a country and people there is extremely difficult when you feel that you are not ready to leave. You want to do so much more, but at the same time you want to go home to your usual life where you know how good you have it and of course the security here.

The fact that the heart draws on two different sides is difficult, but at the same time it is amazing that you have been given the opportunity of this experience.

As I said before, half my heart will always belong to South Africa and I am so grateful that I will experience this and all the people I know. Also grateful to my partner who supports me in this and who doesn't think it's weird and understands me when I use all my vacation to visit all my kids in Cape Town. Not sure when I will go back, but I'll get back to you, and you'll be joining me on that trip too.

Thank you all you who followed and supported me, it means so much!
Love for you.

LOUISE RAISES FUNDS FOR A SECURE CONTAINER KINDERGARTEN FOR TELETUBBIES!

I would like to salut my niece Louise for dedicating her annual holiday to come down to Cape Town to volunteer for A Reaching Hand. She also spent a month prior to her visit raising money for one of our kindergartens, Teletubbies.

"Today I've had a meeting with Big Box Containers company, who will build the kindergarten! I looked at different containers to see how they would look when it's finished. It was great to be part of deciding where I wanted the windows, the door and what color it should be! I think it was only when I sat there and decided all this that I understood what we had achieved! It was so awesome! We had collected money for a bulletproof kindergarten! It's absolutely amazing, (Due to gangsterism in the area this has become a very sad necessity).

I have now placed our order and they will start building it at the end of October to be delivered to Teletubbies at the end of December. Then Leonie can decorate and furnish it before they open again after Christmas holidays. Imagine the children's faces when they come back!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, all of you amazing people who have helped. I am so grateful that I am surrounded by you all. We will be really proud that there will soon be a bulletproof kindergarten in one of the worst townships in Cape Town. The kids will have a safe place to be and it's thanks to you! "

Here's an example of a container, floors are wooden. You can see that there are windows (on this only 2, we shall have 4 to get as much light as possible, ceiling lamps, electricity sockets and a security door. It's amazing what they can do with a used container!

A DAY OF FUN AT THE AQUARIUM WITH LOUISE AND BEVERLEY

Today was the day when we, Beverley and myself brought 30 kids on a picnic to the "Two Oceans Aquarium". Amazing fun to see the children's faces when we got in!  The children were from the Teletubbies crèche in Uitsig that we support and some older children from our Art Therapy Programme in Delft. When the children arrived at the Aquarium, many of them were nervous and tense.  They each got a name tag with a phone number and a bag of snacks. Their nervousness passed quickly and they started playing like never before in the playground outside until our guide came to meet us. He showed us around and we get to see the feeding of the turtles and the eels by a diver who went down to feed them!  Were the kids very impressed? Definitely Yes! 

We had a great day together, even though we were totally exhausted by the evening.  It is harder than you think to take care of 30 over-excited children. We spent a few hours at the Aquarium and ate pizzas afterwards. All the kids were so happy and tired when it was time to go home again!

Thank you all of you who have supported us and for your contribution so that we could do this for the kids, the happiness in their eyes was indescribable and worth every Krone.

We had such FUN!!!! A day they will always remember.  It brought us such joy to our hearts to see their little faces!