Bev, one of our founding trustees, had the delight of spending two months in South Africa early this year.  She spent lots of time at the Hope Centre, both speaking with Gail ( who runs the centre) , and being with the kids. She has so many stories and special times to share with us all, we're gonna share stories over the next newsletters.

Here is her first account :

I love the Hope Centre , and this visit was just gonna be so special.  Lisa ( our previous chairperson and trustee) and I were visiting together for the very first time together.  Lisa is the reason I ever became involved in the Hope Centre..... Some 12 years ago, we've been trustees of LIAWN together, run marathons together, you name it, we've done it.... All in the name of love !  We are passionate about this place and these kids and visiting together just so special.  We agreed to meet at the centre early one morning and were like excited children as we stood outside of the centre.  We walked in, bumping into Eric ( the head of the school) and Lynette ( teaches at the school), before going upstairs to see Gail.  Isobel, Val and Jean were upstairs too, and it felt like a family reunion.  We all came together for coffee and chatted and laughed about what the kids are up to, the lovely and funny stories that happen daily at the centre.  There are two American volunteers at the centre at the moment, and they brought the "bunnies" ( the pre school kids) in to see us.  These little ones are just the cutest, Lisa and I were straight in there for cuddles, and we were treated to a "show" of some songs they had been learning.  It wasn't long before some of the older kids heard there were " visitors" in the building , and we soon had lots of little faces peering around the door. Lisa and I were so excited placing names to the faces, some of these kids we have known since they were babies and toddlers, and they are now 8-13, it's is such a joy to be here with Lisa, to be connecting with the incredible women who run the centre, and to catch up with the kids.

 

Until next time - Bev x

 

So we know how much you all love to hear about the children at The Hope Centre and whats going on, this month the kids are learning to swim and had a really exciting visit to the National History Museum. Thanks to the amazing volunteering of the Queen family who have moved to Pietermaritzburg from their home in the USA the kids are experiencing more field trips and activities.

Learning to swim!    Thinking about diving Going for it!
   

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Love Is All We Need is an amazing charity based in Brighton which raises much needed funds to support orphans in Pietermaritzburg and nearby Sweetwaters in South Africa, an area harshly affected by HIV/AIDS. the money they raise helps to provide the children with basic clothing, access to education, love that they wouldn't otherwise receive, and hope that they wouldn't otherwise have.

Brighton Seafront

This year 3 wonderful people - Sally Kirkbride, Gen Chow and Jay Cooper will be running the 2015 Brighton marathon on the 12th of April to raise money and support for the orphans. Coincidentally there is a strong link between Pietermaritzburg, Brighton and marathons that dates all the way back to the end of the First World War and starts with a man with steely perseverance.

Vic Clapham was a soldier and a dreamer whose world had been rocked by the devastation of the war like many thousands of others. 

When the dust settled at the end of the war the dead numbered 10 million and much of the world was torn apart by it's cruelties. Clapham wanted nothing more than to help patch up the gaping hole it had left in it's wake and to help to give the families a sense of community again and also for the soldiers to rekindle some of the camaraderie they shared on the battlefield. He had a wild vision of an ultra marathon between Pietermaritzburg, his home town, and Durban.

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