Field Trip & Truce

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Bulele Group from Percy Mdala High School

The 8 members of the Bulele mentorship group visited the Knysna Correctional Centre during their Easter school break. The prison has 350 inmates aged 21 and older in a facility intended for half this number of prisoners.

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Prior to entering the prison

Janet photographed Jim instructing the boys on some safety tips while inside the prison. The Bulele boys are a terrific group of young guys who are very responsible, yet were keen to visit the prison. While they were shocked by some of what they learned and observed, they thoroughly enjoyed the field trip.

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Knysna experience a few days of heavy rain last week, resulting in significant soil erosion at this township house.

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Janet and Siyathemba outside Siyathemba’s home

Thank you to our Canadian and South African friends who have donated used laptop and desktop computers. Two deserving grade 11 youth who we have known for 3 years are the most recent recipients.

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Siyabonga

Siyathemba and Siyabonga are thrilled that they can now become more computer literate and prepare homework assignments using WORD and Excel.

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Inside Siyathemba’s home

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Masibulele (grade 12)

Janet recently installed a computer at the Safehouse operated by Ella & Penny of Emzini Tours. The desktop computer was donated to Emzini and will enable Masibulele (grade 12), Robin (applying to university for 2016) and other Safehouse residents to complete assignments, prepare CV’s, and become more computer literate.

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Hands & Heart Skills Programme – Knysna

Hands and Heart is a 9 month skills training program developed 2 years ago by YFC Knysna. Jim took 5 boys to Hands & Heart during the Easter school break.

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clockwise: Jim (old), Masande (15), Sinethemba (18), Vogen (16), Luthando (14), Teswill (16)

The boys learned that the program teaches the basics of carpentry, plumbing, brick laying, welding, and electrical, and requires a minimum of grade 9 education. 

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Members of 1 of the 3 gangs Jim has been working with. The fighting/stabbings which commenced 2 years ago involves approximately 45 boys between grades 7 and 11.

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Signing of the Truce.

TRUCE SIGNING – On Friday, April 17, a truce was signed at the outset of the school day. Each of the 3 gangs selected 2 members from the opposing gangs to sign on behalf of their members. Initially, none of the boys were willing to be the first to sign. Following 5 tense minutes, and some gentle prodding from Jim, the signing process commenced. While the situation remains volatile, this is an important step.

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Knysna – Thesen Islands

Fog rolling over the hills separating the Knysna lagoon and houses on Thesen Islands from the Indian ocean.

Sun and a high of 20C today. Autumn has arrived. J & J

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