Activities Report for 2014

Helping those in need

Help for the needy families in Evaton WestFamily Care Ministries distributed food donations of approximately 300 litres of milk, 3100 loaves of bread, 900 kg of potatoes, 72 trays of eggs, 1130 kg of meat, 1250 crates of assorted foods, fruits and vegetables and dry goods to the needy, elderly and unemployed. In addition to this we gave used clothing, folders and stationary. We received a half a bakkie full of curtain material and cut offs which we passed to a skill-building centre to use with their trainees.

Each month of 2014 members and volunteers visited

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2014 in Pictures

Divine demonstrations

In the Bible Jesus said to His Father, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)

And to His disciples He said: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

And John wrote, “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6)

“Okay, that all sounds good. But if I really want to live like Jesus, what does that actually mean? How can I live like Him within the realities of my everyday life?”

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Will the Christ Child come?

By Gaye Willis, adapted

One Christmas we had an interesting experience. Halfway through December we were doing the regular evening things when there was a knock at the door. We opened it to find a small package with a beautiful ceramic lamb inside. We looked at the calendar and realized that the 12 days of Christmas were beginning! We waited with excitement for the next night’s surprise and only then, with the gift of a matching shepherd, did we realize that the lamb was part of a nativity set.

Each night we grew more excited to see what piece we would receive. Each was exquisitely beautiful. The kids kept trying to catch the givers as we slowly built the scene at the manger and began to focus on Christ’s birth.

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Our Christmas wishes to you

May you have the gladness of Christmas, which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas, which is peace;
The heart of Christmas, which is love.

*

There’s more, much more, to Christmas than candlelight and cheer;
It’s the spirit of sweet friendship that brightens all the year.

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Those dirty shepherds

by Maria Fontaine

One of my favorite pictures as a child was of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, as He carried a little lamb in one arm and His staff in the other.

Perhaps our image of shepherds and their sheep has been formed from some of the most famous, godly shepherds in the Bible, ones like Abel, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, King David, and our Good Shepherd, Jesus.

But that picture hides a less-known fact about Christmas.

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How to survive the rest of the year

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Talk happiness.

The world is sad enough

Without your woes. No path is wholly rough;

Look for the places that are smooth and clear,

And speak of those, to rest the weary ear

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Just one life

Do you ever ask yourself, “What can I do that will change this world for the better? How can I make a positive impact on others? What meaning can my life have in the context of the world and mankind? For my life to actually matter, do I have to do something truly earthshaking? How much difference can one life make in a world of billions?”

Here’s an account of one man’s life which began in obscurity, was lived without power or popularity as man measures it, and was terminated ignominiously.

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Preschool teacher training

By Talitha

Here is a little update on how the preschool teacher training workshops have been going. A big thank you to those who support this project, who make it all possible. We deeply appreciate it.

I just completed training for the first group of 20 principals and practitioners. We covered each of   tBusi- Group 1-600he six development areas in detail throughout the three full day workshops. In addition I touched on needed key skills such as lesson planning, creating a stimulating crèche environment and assessment. The short 15-20 minute section on brain development seems to help to make things click and provide motivation for everyone.

We started with social and emotional development, moved on to language development and Groupwork 2-600communication and ended with physical and cognitive development. This helped attendees to walk away with a much better understanding of why children behave like they do and what the root causes of different behaviours are in development. It is easy to get irritated and annoyed with some behaviours that occur especially when caring for large groups of children. Some behaviour is linked to phases and stages in development. Gaining a greater understanding can help us to have more patience and provide the guidance for children keeping their needs in mind.

I had prepared a list of different activities, teaching aids and toys that provide stimulation and      growGroupwork 3-600th in each of the development areas. Most teaching aids were made from waste and recycle materials. This showed that implementation does not always have to be expensive.

Often we don’t realize that there are steps that we can take to change things. We hope for our circumstances to change so we can move forward instead of doing what we can.

The foundation for future learning is laid in the early years. So much lies in our hands. Understanding the power that lies in our hands is sobering and should motivate us. We are the ones to encourage brain development by providing lots of action, activities and stimulation through the senses.

Here are some comments and reactions:

I am grateful that I attended the course because it opened my eyes and taught me to be more creative and not just sit there doing nothing. I did not know the things about the brain before.  – Sellina

The things were good and understandable because you showed some videos and activities on how it is done. – Christina

The course was very good for me. I’ve learned a lot about how to react and respond to babies and how to teach and approach them. I am very grateful because I learned a lot of new things. – Emily

I saw I can improvise if I don’t have toys. I learned more about how to handle children. – Anastacia

I would like to thank you for the information. For me everything was difficult but now I have a clue and a better understanding. – Thandi

All the information that I received is relevant and will be useful to me at my centre. – S’bongile

Much to everyone’s delight we held a raffle at each of the workshops. The top winners each got a children’s table with chairs for their classroom and crèche. Even though these were second-hand items, they were in much demand. Seeing how desperately each practitioner wanted to be the one to win showed how in townships often even the most basic resources are lacking. We are praying about what we can do in the future to fill not only the needs for training but also the needs for resources. I will likely plan on holding a workshop on making simple toys and preparing teaching aids in the coming year.

If you are interested and want to donate to this projet to make a difference, we can use your help. Sponsorship covers …

  • Workshop expenses, such as cost for the printing of hand-outs and refreshments
  • Printing cost of a 250 page teacher’s guide containing weekly lesson plans with songs, action poems and rhymes and learning activities for the different development areas.

Resource material we would like to donate or subsudize cost for:

  • 21 sets of picture/word flashcards suitable for use in a classroom setting
  • a CD with 40 children’s songs for teachers to learn and use in the classroom
  • 40 Christian and character building value posters with a memory scripture and short story

Any support will go a long way.

Are you like a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

By Talitha

The difficulties that we find ourselves in in life can be compared to hot water. No one seems to escaIMG_0333-600pe. But what is your response to difficulties? Are you like a carrot which goes in hard and comes out all soft? Or, are you like the egg that goes in soft inside and comes out all hard? Or, are you like the coffee bean? Hot water does not change the coffee powder. The coffee powder changes the water! Likewise we should not let adversity affect us, make us weak or turn our hearts hard. We should make something good from the difficulties we face. We should be like the coffee bean.

This ending to our two workshop afternoons for 30 Highschool teachers of a Cosmo City school got everyone thinking and laughing all at the same time.

Working together with Natalie from Change the World Trust, we covered the topic IMG_0184-600of classroom control and discipline. We had done this workshop for Primary School teachers before and found that many of the same principles stand even when learners are older. In fact, we all need rules and standards to abide by. We all don’t take rules serious unless there are consequences attached to them.  It is easier for us all when expectations are clearly defined. Within boundaries children are then able to unfold and experience freedom and learn and grow.

SteppIMG_0310-600ing back, seeing where the problem lies and assessing the situation is so often overlooked when facing difficulties. But without this very important step it is diffult to find workable, effective solutions. Many times we find ourselves so close to the trees that we cannot see the forest anymore. We get so close to the problems that we cannot see a way out or through. This is what we tried to help educators do.

We shared techniques for keeping control in the classroom that educators, psychologists and counsellors worldwide found effective in the classroom situation. They were well received by educators. It took many months of research to glean these tried and proven solutions from various sources.

What the educators had to say:

It was a very informative workshop. Especially for me as a young teacher. Even though part of me had lost hope, I now believe that it’s not too late to change or start over and be a Great Teacher to my learners. – Phumelele

The workshop was an eye opener to me. It has equipped me with skills and different techniques of handling misbehaviour and ill-discipline in class. Thank you so much, please keep coming to do workshops for us. – Nyakuna

The workshop was interesting and revived my zeal to get ahead amid the challenges I encounter in my everyday life. – Mathabi

I think workshops like these are needed to boost teacher’s moral. It was encouraging. – Portia

This presentation was very helpful. It helped me to know how to discipline my learners and how to make rules for my learners. – Francis

I enjoyed everything and especially how to avoid attacking learners and keeping it cool. It’s not easy, but I will try because, after all, they are learners who need our guidance. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. – Mawanda

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Family Care Ministries is registered as a Non-profit Organization in terms of the Non-profit Organization Act, 1998     Number: 007-316