Summer 2017 Newsletter

Summer 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to our our 2nd newsletter - we hope you enjoy it as much as the first one!   

The Ncinci One's - November 2017
I have enjoyed another active two months at Ncinci One's Montessori.  I was busy doing school-readiness preparation with the three children who graduated, I oversaw the last of the building and painting of the expansion of the school, I participated in the ECD Hereos Challenge, I prepped reports and we pulled off the Graduation Ceremony for 120 people. It has been challenging, I have learnt a lot again and it has been good :-)  

Unfortunately we were not able to welcome the new children to Ncinci One's Montessori in October as planned, due to the building not being complete.  The newbies will be joining us from January 2018, when 3 new children will join us each Monday, until all 17 new children are in and settled. 

The ECD Hereos Challenge that I took part in, was a challenge from Innovation Edge.  As 800,000 matric learners prepared for their final exams, Innovation Edge put the focus firmly on the beginning of the education value chain, though the ECD Heroes Challlenge.  

Sonja Giese, Executive Director ofInnovation Edge, which seeks solutions for early childhood care and education challenges in under-resourced communities, says that quality early childhood development (ECD) is a critical determinant of future success.

Although I started the Challenge two weeks late, I worked hard and managed to work myself into the top 10 by week 6 and stayed there until the end.  It was an interesting challenge and the weekly cash prizes were great! Well done to Ant and the ECD Heroes Teamfor their hard work and to Innovation Edge for the good challenge.  

It has been a very good year for Ncinci One's Montessori and we have grown from strength to strength.  This has only been made possible because of all our wonderful donors and sponsors.  

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our project this year - we reallyappreciate your support!   I wish you all happy holidays and a Merry Christmas........and a Happy New Year

Happy holidays


The end of November saw the new building's walls and floors being painted and the building is now 100% complete, ready to be set up for the new year :-) Sandiso, the builder and painter really did an outstanding job in completing the new building - thank you! We are delighted to be welcoming 17 new young, Xhosa children to the school in January 2018!

We celebrated our 1st Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, 29 November 2017.  The mama's were at the school at 5am, lighting the first fires, while the tent was being put up.  The ceremony was due to start at 9am, but due to the MC having a problem, we only started at 11am :-(   There were a number of people from the local community as well as teachers and principals from local schools at the function.  The children's table and the main table looked beautiful (thank you mama's).  We were entertained by the dancing group, Gqom Girls and the function went well.  Everyone enjoyed a plate of good food and HUGE thanks toTwizza for  sponsoring all the cooldrinks for the function.  You also livened up the tent with your colourful banners - thank you and we really appreciate your support!  Thank you to all the people who contributed behind the scenes to make this function happen.

The children at Ncinci One's Montessori have been taught that people who visit the school are called visitors.  I was sitting working with one of the little girls a few weeks ago, when I found her really looking at my face.  The next moment she says in Xhosa, that Dawn's nose looks just like the visitor's nose :-)
As the festive season starts, and the Christmas feelings of sharing and kindness fill the air,  please consider sponsoring one of the 17 new children who will be starting at Ncinci One's Montessori in January 2018.   
Sponsorship is affordable when it is shared among a family or a group of friends/colleagues.  A priceless gift for a rural child!  For just R500 per month, you will be providing a young rural child with the following: 
A solid Montessori foundation; A beautiful, stimulating and nurturing educational environment; 2 nutritious meals and a daily calcium supplement; Regular health checks  and de-worming twice a year.  You receive:  Good karma for helping a rural child get the best start to life! We will update you regularly with a quarterly newsletter and you can request an update and photo's of Your child that You sponsor, at any time.  Please consider arranging sponsorship of a Ncinci One's child through your school, group of colleagues, or friends. 

We are still looking for a "sister" school for Ncinci One's Montessori, so if anyone knows of a Montessori school that would like to come on board with us, please contact Dawn directly. This would be the most amazing Christmas present for us!

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”  Nelson Mandela

We have all been doing lots of activities and learning new skills this term.  Most of us are busy learning our numbers or working with the Golden Beads and decimal system and all of us are playing "I Spy", learning sounds or reading isiXhosa and English.  

We had a very kind visitor at the school at the end of November, Dr Sarah Bailey.  She drove all the way from Cape Town with lots of clothes for our school.  On 27 November, we had a shopping day at school and we really enjoyed it.  First the girls had a chance to "shop" for clothes, then the boys had their turn.  It was great fun and we all got some lovely clothes - thank you very much Sarah for this nice experience! 

We had our Graduation Ceremony on 29 November, for our 3 friends who are going to Grade 1 next year.  We were all beautifully dressed in black and white and the tent looked very nice.  Our mama's were all very excited and proud of us.  There were a lot of people and the weather was hot.  

We were happiest after the graduation, when we could all go home with our clothes shopping and lovely hamper bags donated by Viedges Superspar - thank you!

Happy holidays and Ikrismesi emnandi! 

Ncinci One's Montessori is blessed in many ways, especially by the kindness and support of many people.  For this last quarter, we would like to thank the following people and organisations for their support of our project. Without you, our Early Childhood Development project would not be sustainable and we would not be able to offer these young, rural children the opportunity they are getting. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank You All Very Much for your support!

Kamvalethu - financial support
Round Table Mthatha - financial support and rain tank
Explore and Discover Montessori - financial support
11 Monthly sponsors of individual children - financial support
Twizza - graduation ceremony support
Viedges Superspar - graduation ceremony support
Savoy Superspar - nutritional support
JAM - nutritional support
The Lunchbox Fund - nutritional support
Wellness Wagon - health support
Sarah Bailey - bags of clothes and toys 
JB - time, effort and supplies

With the festive season on our doorstep, and lots of braai's in South Africa, we thought we would share aXhosa Bread recipe with you.  It tastes "mnandi" (very nice), is big enough to feed lots of people and is cooked on the fire.  
Size 12 pot or bigger,   Butter
15ml Dry yeast,   5ml Salt
60ml Sugar,  1.5kg Cake flour
750 - 1000ml Warm water
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and flour in a 
large bowl. Add warm water, little at a time, while stirring until you have a dough that can be kneaded.  Knead the dough, until it is no longer sticky.  Ensure that you have floury fingers when kneading the dough.  Butter the pot and lid (on the inside) well.  Put the dough in the pot and put the lid on.  Put the pot in a warm place (like in the sun).  Let the dough rise for about an hour.  When the dough has risen, place the pot close to the fire and put a few coals on the lid.  Let it bake like this for 20 minutes.  Make place for the pot in the fireplace, surrounded by coals about 20cm away.  Turn the pot every 15 minutes.  Keep the coals on the lid of the pot.  Cook for another 20 - 30 minutes until the bread is cooked and golden on top.  Remove bread from pot and put on a rack to cool.  Cover bread with a clean dishcloth.  The bread tastes wonderful with a braai or a potje - enjoy!
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