They say that “a picture tells a thousand stories” This picture had that impact for me today.

I have had a vision for more then 15 years of helping those over 50 to REFIRE. This means they work in their area of passion and continue to earn and make a difference. I belong to a strong community church called Community Ministries led by Craig Rowe. Craig and I share a similar vision. Craig also runs CDR Equipping.

About 8 years back I did a refirement talk for the over 50 group at the church. Linda and Sam Ngoma were in the audience. Linda planned after that session to become involved in the early childhood sector and in her words REFIRED by studying and receiving her ECD level 4 certificate. Linda started a pre-school called Thoriso.

Sam also became interested in this sector and works closely with another organisation connected to Community Ministries, Siyakholwa and is involved in building the ECD sector.

During lockdown, the community was deeply concerned for the children in the Muldersdrift Valley who had missed out on learning and basic concepts. Craig asked me to meet with him and a lady called Angie Pape, who also lived in the Hartbeepoort Dam area where I lived. Angie and I had met about 15 year back. Angie is a director of Open Schools Worldwide and their team have developed a program where young people are trained to teach young children concepts and skills critical for life.

Craig invited Angie to come and train some of the youth in Muldersdrift and the Saturday School Program was started and is now run in several areas around the Valley.

Dr Alison Bentley (Griffiths) is also a member of Community Ministries and runs an NPO called Adva Youth Development. One of the skills they teach is recycling and building structures that are useful for a community.

The photo here is of a classroom being built by the youth, managed by ADVA in MULDERSDRIFT at Thoriso Pre-School to run a Saturday school as well as be used for the pre-school.

The vision for 50plus-skills is to build a community of older, experienced, people who care about South Africa and to work with organisations to bring and build economic security for all. We love working with projects, involving youth, and working inter-generationally.

Most of the people mentioned in this article are members of 50plus-skills. Some as individuals and others as NPO members. I am grateful that this picture brings to life my vision. Rebuilding communities takes time, passion, and purpose. Some faith and hope are added into the mix. Most important is the value of people who care. Thank you for this picture today. It warmed my heart and gives me HOPE for the future.

It takes a village to rebuild our communities. See web-links for all organisations mentioned in this post.

https://www.refirementnetwork.com/     https://www.facebook.com/Thorisopreschool

https://www.commin.co.za/     https://siyakholwa.co.za/    https://www.facebook.com/advaYSD

http://www.cdrequipping.co.za/    https://openschoolsworldwide.org/en/