November 30

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Christmas in Munsieville

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Some festive spirit came to Munsieville today as the Project HOPE UK/ Thoughtful Path Munsieville team and community volunteers held the tshepho children’s party (tshepo means hope in sesotho, one of the many languages of South Africa). We didn’t count but we think around 400-500 children attended.

The party was held at the site of the newly rebuilt Fhluofhelo centre in the middle of Munsieville. The original Fhluofhelo centre was completely destroyed by a storm in October but thanks to donations from Project HOPE UK supporters and the hard work of the teams in the UK and Munsieville, just 8 weeks later, the new centre is almost finished and is bigger and better than before! Amazing!

First up for the entertainment were a group from the Krugersdorp family violence and child protection team, reinforcing for the children, through song, that they are special and deserve to be treated with care and love. Sadly, some children in the community suffer abuse so it’s important to get through to the kids that’s not ok if anyone hurts them.

We were next treated to some local talent in the shape of dance troops and singers of all ages. It was great to see the children joining in, and amazing to see kids barely able to walk joining in and copying the moves. For fear of embarassing myself, I left the dancing to the experts.

A wonderful hot meal of beef stew, spinach and a pap was provided for all of the children, cooked over a open flame in huge cast iron pots called potjies and I got to try my first taste of the traditional south african dish of pap, which tasted a bit like mashed potatoes.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing games, bouncing on the bouncy castle, paddling in the splash pools or playing hula hoop. The kids seemed to be having lots of fun which was great to see. And in true Christmas party style the party was finished off with a visit from Father Christmas and small gifts for the children. Growing up in the northern hemisphere, I find it really strange seeing Christmas decorations and Father Christmas when its really hot and the sun is shining. All credit to organising team in Munsieville; they put on a really fantastic day for the children.

A Christmas party in 30-odd degree heat is hot and dusty work as you can see.img_2546

As I write this a huge lightning storm is overhead so hopefully it will be a little bit cooler tomorrow for some more garden building.