Thursday, 19 January 2017



Happy 2017 to all of you from The Foundations Project!!!

As 40 children graduated from the Caledonia Rose Preschool at the end of 2016 and we welcome a further 40 into the programme in 2017, it has been an amazing time to look back at the years since we started The Foundations Project and see how far we have come.  It has been the most fantastic experience watching our site transform from an overgrown piece of land to an oasis of activity and laughter and we have many people to thank for that.  

From an empty site learning on a carpet in the beating sun.....

  
...to a fun, bright place to play and learn 

At the end of last year, all 80 ECD children had a graduation and Christmas party and we had a chance to say goodbye to those that were leaving.  Each child received a pair of shoes (school shoes for those going into Grade One and tackies for those joining us at the Caledonia Rose Centre this year) as have nearly all of the children on the feeding programme with less than 15 children to go!  Thank you so much to all of you who donated a pair of shoes or money towards shoes.   The excitement was palpable at the Christmas party and everyone went home so happy and smart!!!! 

Philani Nyatsanza helped us to hand out certificates to all our graduates
And they all got a pair of shoes to wear to Grade One in 2017 

The rest of us got a great pair of tackies! 
We are thrilled that this year, we will be able to bring some greenery to our little oasis in Caledonia thanks to Impact International and Alastair Geddes from the States and to the Nomads Golf Club in Zimbabwe who have donated all the funds towards the drilling of a borehole and the installation of a solar pump on site.  The drilling took place at the end of 2016 where we hit water at 23 metres and the installation of the pump has been finalised over the last few weeks.  This has allowed our children and our site to quench their thirsts and will allow us to grow a wonderful nutrition garden and to be able to use our flush toilets properly for the first time since they were constructed.  We look forward to seeing our fruit trees flourish and our grass grow so that children can run and play and enjoy the shade and safety of their centre. 

Drilling for water on the Caledonia Rose Site
That night we hit water at 23 metres!!!
Fresh clean water to drink and water our fruit and veggies 
.....and wash our hands!!!!!

And now we can flush our loos....




















By the end of 2016, we had finished all our home visits to finalise the introduction of 50 new children onto the feeding programme at the Caledonia Rose Centre.  We are now feeding 250 children every day during the term and approximately 170 during the holidays.  We are thrilled that we are able to continue the feeding programme during the holidays where others close when children are no longer coming to school.  This allows our children the security in knowing that they will definitely get at least one meal per day.

We use to get a treat every now and again and we had to eat it off our laps. 
Now we get a tasty meal every day that we eat with our friends at our feeding centre 
As it has been holidays, the children have been enjoying some time with their friends at home and some of them have travelled.  This means that we have not been able to see a great deal of them every day.  Our wonderful nurse, Charity, has a big job on her hands this term to make sure that each child is healthy and well and to help us deal with any ailments that may be troubling any of them.  She is also doing the most fantastic job teaching our parents how to look after the children including teaching them about basic hygiene and nutrition, to name a few topics.  The health programme is our latest addition at the Caledonia Rose Centre and we are excited about the prospect of rolling this and our other programmes out a bit further afield as we move into the expansion phase of our little organization! (Please see https://www.givengain.com/c/foundationsproject/ for our GivenGain campaign to raise money for our health programme). 

Charity checking up on our children at her monthly visit 
Along with the idea of expanding our programmes in Caledonia, we are also looking forward to a year of consolidation.  Our newly formed board met for the first time in November 2016 to talk about the future of the organization and how we progress.  I am so pleased to welcome Philani Nyatsanza, Holly Hudson, Fanuel Nyamayaro, Christine Kahari, Maxwell Rafomoyo, Spiwe Chakawa and Darryn Brider onto the TFP board and am greatly excited by this fantastic team that we have brought together to help us reach the goals that we have set out for the work of TFP.  Thank you to all of you for your enthusiasm and your passion for the children and the foundations we hope to provide them with. 

As we start 2017 off with a bang, it is with thanks, as always, to a number of people that we are able to continue with the work that we do in Caledonia.  It has been so wonderful to start the year knowing that we can feed our children, provide them with teachers to care for them, fresh water to drink and grow food with, a classroom to learn in and a place to play and be safe.  Thank you so much to those who have allowed us this privilege this year.  Without you, we would not be able to do what we do so thank you especially to Alastair Geddes and Impact International, Nomads Golf Club, Elvis and Marta Gonzalez, The Hand in Hand Foundation Worldwide, and David Ryan.  There are of course many others who make our work happen and we thank you all and are so incredibly grateful to be able to share our vision with you.   

Don’t forget to check out our new website at www.foundationsproject.org to see lots more photos and info on what has been happening over the last few years!  



Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Expansion of the Caledonia Rose Centre - and getting TFP on track! 


We have focused much of our attention on getting the administration of TFP organized this year while we make sure that the services we provide are as close as possible to the standard that we desire.  One of the biggest steps we have made is the decision to build an office and a storeroom at The Caledonia Rose Centre.  Previously, we used the 40ft container classroom as our storeroom, meaning that our children lost almost half their classroom to donations that have not yet been distributed.  Martha has had to do all her work on the tables and benches that children sit on to eat.  But with thanks to The Hand in Hand Foundation Worldwide, we have built our office/storeroom right next to our skills development centre so now the children have their classroom back and Martha can carry out all her administrative work from site.
 
Martha stands outside her smart new office where she is setting up the reporting systems and operations of the Caledonia Rose Centre 
In our attempt to formalise TFP and to make us a more reputable and recognisable project, the founding trustees of TFP have voted in a governing board to help us guide and govern the progress of the organization.  We would like to welcome our new members onto our board and to thank them for their involvement so far and their agreement to join us in seeing the work we do expand and evolve for the better of our children.  We are also in the process of finalising an advisory board and look forward to welcoming its members soon too.  All board members will have a chance to visit the site and provide their comments and suggestions as they guide us forward and hopefully help us expand over the next few years.  

We are very excited to announce the launch of our website (www.foundationsproject.org) and with this development, we hope to reach out to many more people to tell them about what we are doing and how, if they wish, they can get involved.  It is always so wonderful to receive the encouragement we get from outsiders as sometimes we get so caught up in the work that we lose sight of all the fun that is happening on the ground!  With our website, we hope to be able to showcase everything that our teachers and caregivers are doing to give our children a hope for a better future.

It is, in fact, our teachers and Martha who make the Caledonia Rose Centre what it is.  It is always so exciting to receive a photo of a child celebrating his or her birthday with their friends and teachers, or children having fun on the jungle gym, or videos of our kiddies doing their sport and learning so much with Auntie Sarah.  The love and joy that the staff on the ground bring to our little school is overwhelming and they deserve so much praise for all that they do.  Thank you Martha and our teachers – we couldn’t do this without you.
Teachers dress up to give the children a fun day


Our original class when all we had were our teachers and Memory's backyard


Dorcas loves and cares for each child, even well into her 70s

Our skills development programme participants have been working so hard to develop a portfolio of products that they will be taking to the Miracle Missions fair in October.  The ladies have not just been making goods to sell but they have also been helping us to resource our classrooms including our new book pouches that help us to keep our classrooms tiday and organized.  We had a wonderful visit from Alastair Geddes from Impact International and his enthusiastic, encouraging team who bought many of our ladies’ products to take with them back to America.  The International Child Resource Institute from San Francisco (ICRI) enabled TFP to buy our first sewing machine and with the help of Impact International and Anthony Haggie, we have been able to buy 7 further sewing machines so that we now have 8 machines and an overlocker that allows for many more participants in our skills development programme. 

New machines arrived and ready to be used! 


Ladies trying out the new machines when they arrived 
The TFP skills development programme ladies and the CRIZ SWAG girls have been selling their wares at the local fairs including cushions, aprons. hats, artwork and jewellery
We are also hoping to set up sessions in horticulture and crocheting and are getting ideas from our ladies as to what other skills they would like to learn and what other projects they believe that they could benefit from.  From there, we will work with them to support them in their projects and offer assistance in setting up any viable projects they might have.  We look forward to updating you on this and hope to be able to report on the inclusion of the men of the community in this programme!

Our feeding programme has been going very well and with thanks to Tammy from CRIZ and an anonymous donor, we have been able to provide the children with a piece of fruit each day.  They love the fruit and it adds a bit of variation to their ePap meal each day.  
Children love having a piece of fruit to go with their meal each day 
Delicious fresh fruit cut up and ready to eat 

With thanks to Captain Rainer Heufner and ICRI, we are currently carrying out home visits to identify the further 50 children that we are now able to include in our feeding programme.  We have welcomed 15 more children as of 1 September to enjoy a meal with us and we thank Vimbai, our new intern, for all the hard work that she is doing to ensure that we offer this service to the most needy in our community.  Vimbai has been instrumental in ensuring that all our records are up to date and that we can roll out this expansion and we welcome her onto the CRC and TFP team and are very grateful for her involvement.
Our feeding programme benches have been newly painted to cater for the increase of children taking part this term 
As we march on through the third term and to the end of the year, we are getting ready for our graduation ceremony and Christmas party in December.  This year, we have 250 children to throw a party for and to hopefully be able to buy a pair of shoes each.  If you would like to get involved in this, a pair of shoes costs approximately $10 and we have truly seen that this gift gives our children so much joy each year as they take off their old, tight shoes and put on new, shiny clean shoes!  If you would like more information or would like to contribute to this project. please do not hesitate to contact me on charlotte@foundationsproject.org or Martha on marthadamu@gmail.com or call her on 0772408795. 

A smart pair of new shoes for Christmas - to go with a pretty dress!!



Thursday, 26 May 2016

All sorts of fun at the Caledonia Rose Centre!


With all our new structures in place, we have been able to really concentrate on our services at the Caledonia Rose Centre this year.  
The first big excitement when coming back to school in May was that Auntie Sarah came back to teach us sport. The children have learnt jumping, ball sports, colours and so many other things from Auntie Sarah who has joined us in our new sports area.  She is very patient and is teaching all the children English as well as bringing into her sports lessons everything they are learning in the classroom.  She is also teaching our volunteer teachers how to do the sports activities so that they can do them when she is not there.  Thank you, Auntie Sarah, for all you do for us! 
Auntie Sarah lines up children to start a hurdle relay 

Dorcas has seen the first programme at our skills development centre roll out in full swing!  With thanks to The Child Resource Institute of Zimbabwe and with donations from Holly Hudson, Jess Stevens and Lee Sanderson, we were able to start our sewing project.  The ladies from the community have made cushions for the skills development centre so that they have somewhere to sit when they come and learn and spend time at the centre.  They have now started making cushions to sell and we hope to see some of these on sale at the Miracle Missions fair on Saturday.  This will bring in some income to buy further materials so that we can teach more ladies how to sew.  
Cushions for our skills development centre (and curtains make with extra fabric in the background!) 

Beautiful cushions to be sold for income generation for caregivers in the community 

Dorcas and Bianca have been looking after the children on the feeding programme so well.  There are many more children in the community that need feeding and we are hoping to be able to expand the feeding programme from 200 to 400 by the end of the year.  Dorcas also makes use of the packaging that the porridge comes in to make hats, aprons and clothes peg holders!  

Dorcas is so proud of her creations - all out of ePap bags!



The clean water that we have been given access to by Amanzi using the funds raised by its 'Dollar-a-Dinner' campaign for our water project have meant that we can cook the food for our children and give them a drink of water without worrying about contamination and illness.  Thank you, Amanzi, for giving us the opportunity to have a cool drink of clean water every day! The Amanzi water project has also allowed us to provide our children with flush toilets, a novelty in this community.  The teachers have taken time to teach the children how to use these loos and they are now used to going to the loo on their own and even washing their hands after they have finished in the ablutions.

Smart new ablutions with our very own water tank to flush the loos 

We now have four programmes running at The Caledonia Rose Centre, namely ECD (early childhood development or preschool), a feeding programme, a skills development programme, parenting and we are hoping to start up our new health programme in the next month.  We are looking for a nurse to come in and screen our children for any illnesses that we can help them with or to refer them to a clinic for those that we cannot.  It has been so wonderful to see the health of our children improving with the nutrition that they are receiving but now we have to focus on those illnesses that we have not yet tackled!  We will keep you update in the progress of this programme and look forward to sending more photos of happy children at school! 



Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A new year at Caledonia Rose Preschool and its been wonderful so far!

At the end of last year, we saw 40 children graduate from the Caledonia Rose Preschool with a wonderful performance of the Christmas story put on by the children and lots of dancing and celebration.
 
Children lining up to graduate in their smart gowns

Mary and Joseph are visited by the Angel Gabriel 

Father Christmas joined the party too! 

The children entertained their parents and guests with rhymes and songs 


This year, we have welcomed a further 40 children into our school, giving them the chance to learn and play and receive the love and care that our volunteers can provide.  We have seen children embrace this experience and can already recognize the change in these children as they become more confident, loving and so smiley and happy!

We have had the most fantastic donations made to us this year by Sue Janetti and her friends from the Zimbabwe Gecko Society in Canada.  For some of our youngest students, this is the first time they have received a new outfit and in and amongst the overwhelming emotions, there were many happy little kiddies going home in fun new outfits. 
Beautiful outfits for all our kiddies at school and on the feeding programme 



We carry on feeding our students as well as the 120 other children from the community.  We have seen the most amazing changes take place in the physical strength and ability of those who are on our feeding programme.  We are excited about the prospect of increasing the number of children on this programme as Zimbabwe is currently in crisis and many of the children in our area do not have access to even one meal a day.
 
Children eat in groups of 50 to allow us to feed all 200 by mid morning 

Some of the most needy in the community are the youngest.  Its great to see them growing so strong! 

Our ablutions are complete and the volunteers at the centre have been so patient with our children as they have slowly been training them in the use of a flush loo as well as sanitation including washing their hands after they have used the ablutions.  The children are getting more confident and are now able to use the loos without the assistance of a volunteer.
Baby loos for little children to learn on 

The outside of our completed ablutions - 3 for boys, 3 for girls and one in the middle for adults 

Our skills development centre has been painted and we have bought a carpet and are slowly resourcing it with books and other materials.  We have been having a most wonderful time meeting with the parents discussing and dealing with issues of parenting whilst also working with them to provide ideas for income generation and getting to know more and more people in the community.
 
Our new skills development centre where caregivers and other members of the community can come to talk and learn 
Our focus this year is on the soft side of our programmes.  Our volunteers, using their own time and money, have been on various training courses and are learning so much that they can bring back to their classrooms and use to teach their children at a higher standard than ever before.  We are so grateful to them for their time and energy that they put into the children and the impact of their work is more and more obvious every day.
 
Volunteers enjoy the music and festivities at the 2015 graduation - all dressed up! 
One of the ways we have seen the impact of Caledonia Rose is on those children who have graduated and gone on to 'big school'.  We have had numerous visits from many of our graduates and it has been fantastic to hear from them and their parents and the heads of their schools how they are progressing after having left our centre. 

Makanaka with her first toy in 2014 

Makanaka is 2nd from the left and is now a very grown up Grade 2 student 

Old boys visit their friends at the centre



We are finishing up the construction of our sports area that will allow the children to carry out their sporting activities in a shaded space, a space where they can run, throw a ball, play and enjoy getting strong and fit.  We are excited by this and look forward to seeing it used to the maximum by happy, healthy children!
 
Sports area under construction 
Our website is due to be up and running in the next few weeks and we are really looking forward to having a forum to illustrate all that is happening on the ground.  So keep your eyes open for the launch of this site and please, if you have had any experiences with us that you would like to share, feel free to send me photos/a little blurb on charlotte@foundationsproject.org.