What is a refuge? In a simple description a refuge is a safe place, a shelter from danger or hardship
Through the pain inflicted by this world, Kolping became my safe haven, it became my refuge, my source of happiness- it became the personification of bliss.
On the 5th Feb, we came here with different burdens, trials and tribulations but we all had our sight on two things – happiness and change.
Time became not only a mere name, a measurement or a period, it became a garden that needs love, undivided attention and daily work for it to grow and feed those in need.
During my time here, I saw a rose grow through the cracks of concrete, I saw a phoenix rise from the ashes but most importantly I saw a person smile.
Thuli, Malebo, Thando, Khulekani, Azola, Le Portia, Ntombi, Wanda, Portia, Dineo, Bafana, Gift, Shannon, Thabo, Tsholo, Boitumelo, Hope, Aunty B, Aunty U, Koketso and Given – no words could describe how much I am grateful for your presence.
The least I can do is use 2 words created by man to describe gratitude – Thank you!
Thank you for everything. I smile today because you are there. I stand today because you are the pillars that give me balance and direction when the world came crashing down on me and
I kneel to thank the Lord for all that you have been to me
Kolping you are my family.
When I looked in the mirror,
I didn’t see much,
I saw a girl full of flaws, a girl that always sat at the back of the bus, hidden behind her long black hair.
A coloured girl too dark to be loved and too light to be successful.
A girl that lived in a “You have to know someone” kind of world.
A girl whose eyes tried to hide her soul and all her smile could do was help.
She hid a lot!
A girl who never saw colour but colour always saw her.
When I look in the mirror, I see her and her flaws, her tiger stripes and scars.
Her flaws are to be worshipped and her scars worn like flags,
She made it!
Look into her eyes and see her bruised soul,
She made it!
She is and will never be too dark or light, she is not perfect but she is enough!
She made it!
She lives in a colourless world and when you see her tears flow like rivers from an unknown source, just know it does not come from sadness, it is because……
She made it!
She is Shiny Sherry.
By Zain Lewis.
These are our very own team members who have dedicated their time this year to help facilitate during our WOP Programmes.
We have held 3 WOP this year, one at Riverlea – Empowerment centre, one at Kolping house, Sonneglans and the other in Dobsonville at the Kutlwanong training centre
A big thank you to Ulrike Schottler, Given Ketsiwe, Ahmad Ngoma, Koketso Mokhetoa and our social worker/intern Beverly Beukes. Without them, we would not have been able to empower more than 65 youth onto a road of self-discovery and capacity building through Education and Life Skills.
Thank you to our community centres allowing us to use their venue, enabling learners to be able to learn closer to home.
These are some of the tools we use training for WOP
The recipients of the last WOP held at Kutlwanong training centre in Soweto
Most leaners came from Nooitgesig, Meadowlands, Orlando, Emndeni, as far as Lenasia, Cosmo City and Thokosa on the East rand!
All want to better their lives through Education
But Life skills first! HIV and Aids second! World of Work and personal finance too!
Two of our recipients after the Life skills then went on to study further
Their dream is to eventually to become Flight attendants.
Kolping sponsored them the opportunity to study passenger handling.
Here we see them on graduation day – Angel and Margaret, from Zandspruit and Cosmo City respectively
Loving their training – passenger handling – at your service!
The Soweto Emdeni Family of Kolping Johannesburg has taken on the Orlando Children's Home as a project and recently received some wonderful support from the company Fourways Air Conditioning.
The Projects / Heat Pumps Division of Fourways Airconditioning recently decided to make a difference in someone’s life..
As a team, we had three projects nominated and chose the Orlando Children’s Home in Soweto.
Orlando Children's Home (http://www.och.co.za/frmHome.aspx) was established in 1940 by the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society. It caters for children who have been abandoned by their parents. In 1977 the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society withdrew its support due to lack of funds. The community of Soweto took it over and prevented it from closing down. Recently, the Kolping Society's Soweto Family chose the Home as one of their projects. Presently the Home looks after 60 Children of ages ranging from a 3-month-old baby to the eldest boy of 23 years.
High on their priority list was personal items such as toothpaste and deodorant etc etc..
We as a team made personalised little packs for each child in a drawstring bag and added some chips and cool drinks. We also purchased some baby items (nappies/ formula etc) as well as some toys.
Recently Mandy, Mike M, Bhekani and I from Fourways Air had the privilege of dropping off the items.
The home is extremely well run and organised and we were given a tour by the director, Miriam. We then met with the kids in their common area. Mike gave a wonderful speech encouraging them to work as a team and always listen to their elders. Each child was called up and their pack handed over. The smiles on the kids were really amazing and the Kolping members and Fourways were thanked wholeheartedly. They then sang for us.
The experience really was not a sad one but rather great to see that there is hope for kids that have been abandoned.
Thank you to all involved in making their day special…!!
Click on a picture to enlarge
Inkwenkwezi Crèche in Zandspruit, managed by Adelaide and her daughter Gugu Khumalo , has been a recipient of the Ute Fleischer Donation, managed by Kolping JHB for the past 5 years.
Through this donation, this year all children from the crèche enjoyed a day in the sun on an outing to a water fun park in Magaliesburg.
This day will remain embedded in their minds forever!
Thanks to the St Joseph’s Parish in Meadowlands and with a special blessing from Father Hubert, Kolping Society of JHB was able to present a day’s workshop to help empower the youth of the parish and surrounding community.
Twenty eager young people, ages 9 – 25, participated in a workshop aiming at empowering them as individuals who all have a purpose here on earth and equipping them with tools to help them find out about themselves, as a unique gift from God.
Our Uniqueness is to be nurtured and appreciated. So often we don’t spend the time to listen to the young ones, to hear their stories, their expectations in life. All too often we send out far too many negative messages and comments to our young ones, and only through workshops like this can one understand and grasp the detrimental consequences of those negative comments.
All too late we then question later in life as to why my child has a low self-esteem or is considered ‘shy”. It is time to be aware of what comes out of our mouths, the crude comments, the amount of “No’s” and “Don’ts” and not enough encouragement, motivation and positive words. We live in a world of such negativity that we forget to compliment others, to accept compliments and to even smile. When last have you genuinely complimented someone?
We spent a wonderful morning discovering “Who am I?”, “Where do I come from?”, “Who moulded me?”, “What kind of person do I want to be?”, “What is it really that I like and don’t like?”. This may seem a simple exercise, but we live in a world where we try to be someone else, to impress someone else and we forget who we really are. In doing so the youth are influenced by others, by negative behaviour and indulge in drugs and other bad habits just to fit in and to be cool. If they genuinely know themselves, know what is right for them and what they “don’t like”, they will be able to make their own conscious decisions.
When last have you looked into the mirror and looked at your inner self? WHO ARE YOU REALLY? And do you like what you see?Are others trying to convince you to change? How important are others’ opinions over yours? Whose life are you leading and do you like the life you are leading?
We finished the day off with giving the youth some simple tools. You too could benefit from this.
1. What can I do today to feel good about myself
2. Watch negative self-talk
3. Focus on what goes well
4. Aim for effort and NOT perfection
5. View mistakes as opportunities and a learning curve
6. Everybody is good at something
7. Never compare yourself
8. Try new things
9. Acknowledge and accept what you can’t change
10. Set goals – make a plan
11. Take pride in your ideas
12. Accept compliments – had to close their eyes think of the person next to them and then open eyes and give them a compliment.
13. Make a contribution – volunteer
We hope you too had a wonderful June 16th experience and hope you too will enjoy being YOU…….