Prochorus Newsletter May 2016
We have been exceptionally busy at Prochorus over the Past 5 months, seeing growth in all our projects, as well as seeing many additions in terms of projects.
The Jonkershoek Cycling project has been excelling since its birth – and we seem to be moving from strength to strength. The Prochorus Jonkerhoek Cycling team took part in the Future Champions race. Our boys did well with Warren taking 3rd place and Gcobani taking 4th in their age category. The team also took part in the Xterra earlier this year. Thank you to all the sponsorships and volunteers who made this possible.
On The 28th of May the team will be attending the WP National Cross Country Champs, which is a short course consisting of roughly 5 laps on extremely technical terrain. This will be followed by the 1st Spur Schools League on the 23rd of June and follows a similar racing format We encourage the kids to excel in their cycling categories but also to simply attend and enjoy the sport no matter the result. This allows them to build confidence without unnecessary pressure to perform, especially since most of them are just entering adolescence.
A recent partnership with Still Water sport has been confirmed, which will see us reach this objective more clearly. We will be taking part in all of their events, giving opportunity to the team to gain exposure of competitive cycling. The partnership allows for great motivation to the boys in the project.
The Cycling Development Project currently trains on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4pm, so please let us know if you would like to join as a volunteer or just a once off visit. We are also excited to welcome Amarider (Spur Schools League organizers) on the 13th of May to host an opening event for the league at our venue in Jonkershoek, to get our team really fired up to do well. The league’s aim is to create opportunity for scholars to compete in a safe and enjoyable learning environment and to create event related goals for them, towards staying motivated during tough training sessions.
We are excited about the upcoming events for the project, but even more excited about the progress of development it will have on the youngsters and their contribution towards building a better future community.
Second hand Store in Kayamandi
Oucond Hand for Kayamandir German volunteers, Marie, Karin and Anna have been hard at work at erecting our second hand shop. The shop was informally running since last year, but thanks to their given gain project, dedication and vision – they have transformed our store room into a beautiful shop where the ladies of Kayamandi can come shop for quality clothing at a very low second hand price. The shop will be opened once a week for the community.
We will continue collecting clothing, and keeping a reserve to serve the community in crisis as well as all the beneficiaries of our projects. Clothing can be dropped off at the Prochorus office, or at your nearest local Shofar Church (where donations can be added to the Prochorus Bin)
Spring of Life Growth
‘Spring of Life’ crèche has grown, from the initial 18 children after the first year, to the current total of 31 children between the ages of 10 months and 6 years. Since 2016, the children receive breakfast on a daily basis and by June, we hope to roll out lunch as well. Both the classrooms are utilised daily, with the 1-3 year olds in the one classroom and the 4-6’s in the other, with a teacher apiece. We had our first ‘graduation ceremony’ at the end of last year. One pupil, Simon graduated and was very well supported by his classmates and their parents. We are looking forward to building this as a landmark celebration on the crèche’s calendar.
Hands of Life Project
A major development that has occurred at the ‘Spring of Life’ crèche, is the project ‘Hands of Life’, that was initiated through a local congregation member and executed by scholars of the Bernhard-Strigel-Gymnasium in Memmingen, Germany. These 14 children, between the ages 15 and 17, raised funds in their private capacity, each in their own unique way; some selling old stuff, some making stuff and selling it, some by own donation from savings and others by donating birthday money.
With these funds, we acquired more mattresses (with covers) for the increasing number of children to sleep on during their nap-time every day. The scholars and their teachers, spent the morning of 30 March, with our children, at the crèche, putting up new swings and a climbing net on the jungle gym; making new signage for the different classrooms, and making a flag that we hoisted ceremonially;. They also painted ‘the wall of life’ on our storage unit’s one side. Everyone had a great morning, and new friendships were started, that I believe will flourish into beautiful testimonies, as these scholars come from very different backgrounds and cultures.
I’m very hopeful for a long-term relationship between BSG and SoL, which will especially mean a lot to our kids. Before leaving, they decided to donate more funds, to enable us to install electricity in both classrooms before the winter strikes. They also agreed to start (and manage) a fund to enable some community children (possibly 5 per year), not able to pay the crèche’s tuition fees, to attend the crèche. Hopefully this part of the project will launch around June.
Something brand new to our region was the brain-child of a small group member from our congregation; she called it project ‘Yandisa’ and it translates to ‘taking something small, and making something large’. The uniqueness of the idea, lies in that people take something they have, in this case it was a cultural concept, ‘potjiekos’, and bring this ‘small thing’ to use it to connect the crèche kids and parents with the teachers and church community, to create a ‘large thing’, which in our case will hopefully be a support network that can ‘weather’ the challenges of our society. A fun day was enjoyed by all with the jumping castle, trampoline, amazing innovative ‘games’ and the awesome food parcels that were distributed, not to forget the delicious potjiekos samples that were shared.
ECD Centers Get a Fireproof Coat
Ever since Prochorus started in Franschhoek it had a strong ECD (early childhood development) focus. Prochorus played a vital role in the establishment of the ECD (early childhood development) forum, and continues to operate on the Project team of the Forum. One of the primary focusses of this forum is to assist all the ECD centres to achieve what is required for registering with the Department of Social Development, so that they can receive government funding. One of the largest challenges we faced to achieve this goal was in attaining a fire clearance certificate.
For this to happen, the majority of the 20+ ECD centres represented in the forum need to be painted with fire retardant paint, the question was where would the funding come from for this and who could do the job for a lower price than what was offered through other organisations. The project team set out to do research to find out what was going on and which organisation is willing to help provide and do the painting for ECD centres. After quite a while and much effort from the members at Bhabhathane, who head up the ECD forum project, we were able to get in touch with Transception.
Transception have done much of the ground work with regards to requirements for fireproofing, and they provide the paint as well as have experience in mobilising volunteer support to get the job done. All the necessary role players attended a large meeting with Transception present, and after that we put the plan into action to paint all the ECD centres in the ECD forum with the fire retardant paint, which was achieved at the beginning of May.
New Rapid Relief Program
We are very grateful to God for his provision in resources for the rapid relief project. FRANCO decided to head up a rapid relief program in the Franschhoek valley, and asked Prochorus Franschhoek to collaborate with them to make it possible. The aim of this project is for Prochorus Franschhoek to work alongside the local municipality to manage and distribute basic essentials to provide rapid relief to people in need.
Almost every year Franschhoeks local township suffers a disaster either in the form of a fire or flood, and it is of utmost importance that rapid relief is supplied to these people, who have possibly lost their shack and everything they own in a fire or flood. We would like to thank Franco for supplying the funding to make this program a possibility.
After School Program GROWS
Since its inception in January 2016, Hope and Future After School Programs has grown from one center and 25 children to three centers. As we continue to gain momentum we are aiming to reach a capacity of over 100 children. We have a team of 8 talented local After School staff members and volunteers who are passionate about impacting the vulnerable school-aged children of the community of Groendal through providing daily academic, spiritual, and emotional support.
We believe that in enabling community members to reach school-aged children in their home languages (Afrikaans and Xhosa), we will see both our learners and their teachers realize a brighter future. Providing a safe space for learners to receive academic tutoring, create art, play sport, participate in cultural activities, hold debates and discussions, and receive spiritual and emotional support gives us the opportunity to make a transformative impact on our learners, their families, and our community as a whole.
Prochorus Johannesburg was established during 2015 with a specific focus on skills development and entrepreneurship development. We partnered with an existing NGO – Paradigm Shift. Its aim is to empower micro-entrepreneurs in South Africa by offering various training courses to enable entrepreneurs to grow their businesses while also learning the principles of sound business practices from a Biblical perspective.
We held our first one day Business Experience Course (“BEC”) during August 2015 and had 13 delegates attend this course. Since then the interest in this course has grown significantly with the course registrations reaching full capacity at 30 delegates in the most recent course held in February 2016. We are currently aiming to [resent this course two more times in a ramp-up phase towards our 9 week business course which we aim to start during July 2016. The success rate from other churches using this model has been significant with entrepreneurs showing an average increase of 70% in its monthly income after attending this course. We are very excited to see lives changed by offering a combination of the power of the gospel and business education and we are trusting the Lord to bring the increase as needed.