Pebbles Project - Helping Children with Special Needs
| Our chosen charity is Pebbles Project in the Cape Winelands of South Africa. We have supported them for many years now by sponsoring children to enable them to attend crèche and give them a chance of early learning and development.|
From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." ~ Arthur Ashe
Learn more about Pebbles and our children
Our sponsor children attend Villiera crèche
There is also have a social worker who is working with the children and their families on Villiera Farm. She will be addressing whatever needs they might have and any extra support that might be required. Villiera crèche was started in 1996. On average 25 children between the ages of 1 year to 6 years attend the farm crèche. Although all the parents of the children work on the farm, not all of them live there. Their homes differ vastly, as some grow up in farm houses and others in shacks (in a nearby squatter camp).
The crèche is actively supported by the management of Villiera and the crèche is almost fully subsidised by Villiera Estate itself. Parents are however required to provide the childrens daily food. A big focus this year, as well as providing all of our current support, is nutrition. This is a serious concern for us as many of the children have poor diets.
Pebbles has given us peace of mind in that we know that our children with special needs are in the best possible hands. Pre-school kids have a fantastic base when entering the schooling system. The after school club supports children throughout their school career and with tertiary education. In addition, Pebbles is looking after the healthcare of our whole community with the Owethu Clinic. Parents are relaxed knowing that their kids are in good hands. The children are a pleasure to be around.
Simon Grier, Farm owner, Villiera Wine Estate
| Meet Thando, a very happy baby boy whos 11 months old and our latest Sponsor child. He has been smiling and laughing since the day he came to the ECD centre. I dont think Ive ever met a happier baby. His mother is a long time permanent employee of the farm. While she was pregnant she enrolled in the Baby Box programme at Pebbles. This project aims to significantly decrease FASD. Support for our pregnant mothers starts at our Owethu clinic, where Thandos mother attended a series of workshops aimed to educate her about her physical, mental and social health. She further signed a Not A Drop pledge, promising to abstain from drinking alcohol for the duration of her pregnancy. After attending all workshops and participating fully in the programme, she received a Baby Box full of items for the new baby. We are very proud that Thando is one of our baby box babies.|
| Here is beautiful little Logan, a bubbly two year old girl from Bloekombos- a township about five kilometres from Villiera. She lives there together with her grandmother and mother|
Logan is doing very well and was 1 of 450 Pebbles children who received Pebbles wellington boots for the winter months. The children were so proud and excited that they wore them daily to attend the ECD centre, even when the days started to warm up. Shes still a very busy little girl and a few months ago was able to lock everyone out of the classroom with the key inside! This is Logans last year in the baby class and in August we had to say goodbye to the one and only baby teacher Ida. She has worked at the ECD centre for 25 years! It was a very sad day for everyone, especially her close colleagues. Fortunately we found a fantastic replacement Joanne who is more than capable of walking in the footsteps of Ida for many years to come and be a wonderful teacher to Logan and all the other children.
| Let me introduce Musa, one of our previous sponsor children.|
Musa is doing well. His home language is Isixhosa so he found talking in Afrikaans a bit difficult through the years, but now he is fully bilingual. All the Villiera ECD children were very excited because their centre got a full renovation and makeover this year. It has been 20 years since a proper renovation took place, so Pebbles was extremely happy to receive this donation. Musa's favourite part of the day is free play outside where he can play soccer and climb on the jungle gym.
He recently came back from a long absence from the ECD centre. He was in the Eastern Cape for Christmas and New Year and when he came back to Cape Town, he immediately went for an operation on one of his club feet. This is just one operation of many that he will have to undergo to improve both his feet. He is doing very well with his cast and uses his crutches to get around but naturally becomes frustrated when he can't play on the jungle gym with his friends.
Musa's club feet have been treated
Musa now attends primary school and is no longer with Pebbles.
| Meet Jasmine, one the children that we have sponsored in the past.|
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/08/2009
The photograph above shows Misande on her very first day at her new special school. What a long way she has come with the help of Pebbles project and our sponsorship.
Misanda has been placed in Filia, a special needs school. She will start her new school in the beginning of 2013 and we are positive that Filia will be able to cater to the specific needs that Misanda has.
Misanda has grown so much since she joined Pebbles almost 3 years ago. The little girl with cerebral palsy who used to be shy and afraid, is now a more confident, friendly and happy child. We are overjoyed that Misanda will be going to Filia a Special Needs School next year. There she will receive the specialist care that will cater specifically for her needs.
This is what Misanda's crèche teacher had to say about her:
"Misanda was a wonderful child. We have seen her grow up before our eyes and the thought of her not being here at the crèche next year saddens me. I will always remember her as the little girl who loved to sing and hated getting her hands dirty. We will all miss her dearly."
| Nkohsikona was the first little boy that we sponsored |
| The first little girl that we sponsored.|
Football Kit for Pebbles
| Our two lovely grandsons Freddie and Bobby collected boxes of used kit from the teams that they play for and their Dad Ian, shipped it all to Pebbles - 8 big boxes full.|
Here are some of the delighted boys wearing the kit.
Early Childhood Development Centres
| Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres|
Pebbles supports 16 farm ECD centres and 2 township ECD centres, our work supporting over 350 children aged 3 months to 6 years. We provide training for staff, furniture for centres, educational resources, libraries, a mobile toy library, social worker assistance and specific therapy for children with special needs. Where possible we assist with the renovation of an existing building or raise funds to provide a new building to accommodate an ECD Centre.
Pebbles has set up 9 after-school club facilities to cater for the needs of the children aged 6 - 16. Each club has a homework programme to assist the children with their academic school work and then our other programmes are divided into Junior Club activities and Senior Club activities and include sport, art, lifeskills, libraries and games boxes. We also supplement these programmes with additional workshops such as drumming, drama, music, jewellery-making, paper-making, careers advice and entrepreneurship.
Parents and Working with the Community
Pebbles provides 4 parent workshops per year for each farm, covering topics such as Substance Abuse, HIV/AIDS and TB, Positive Parenting, Money Management, Personal Development, Grant Advice and Health and Hygiene Issues.
Pebbles offers the younger children of the wine farms the opportunity to borrow an educational or recreational toy every fortnight. Many of the children that we support do not have the luxury of owning their own toys, so this is a very exciting way of developing their play skills and bringing so much happiness into their lives. The Toy Library was originally sponsored by Wines of South Africa (WOSA) UK Importers Committee and the SA Golf Open and has recently been sponsored by CJP Chemicals.