Community Newsletter – June 2021

by | Jun 30, 2021 | Community Blog

As we step into our Savanna winter and the change of seasons, we bring you a brief update of what we have been busy with in the community during the past six months. With constant changes due to Covid, we have had to adapt and change many of the ways in which we used to do things. But change brings many good things, too, and we have grown and learnt and built stronger relationships along the way.

Tiyimiseleni Home-Based Care Centre

This wonderful project in the heart of Mabarhule is always a hub of activity, with the children arriving to enjoy their meals and get help with their homework. Each grade is split up into different time slots, so that we do not have any gatherings of too many children in the hall at any one time. Through the generosity of one of our sponsors,we were able to provide all the children with new uniforms mid-February when the schools finally reopened.
It is the time of year again when the new furrows are harrowed, and the new seedlings planted. The ladies at the centre had a very successful crop growth last season and they were able to provide their own supply of tomatoes, spinach, pumpkin, corn, papaya and lots of chillies for the children’s daily meals.

Hlayisekani Nursing Home

In the light of the Covid rules and regulations, and with 70 live-in residents, the Home is very strict on visitors, but a few of our Savanna maintenance team have spent time at the centre over the past 6 months, focusing on the general maintenance and upkeep of the home. The Savanna team have enjoyed this very much, as it has given them a chance to get to know the residents better. Many of the residents enjoy and help in the vegetable garden at the home. We are grateful for the donation of new mattresses which were received in April. The residents are coping well and are staying safe.
Nursing Home Mattress

Hlayisekani Disability Centre

The Disability Centre is coming on well. The showers and toilets are almost complete, and the veranda too is virtually finished. These changes have made a vast improvement in the quality of the patients’ lives and it is great to see the impact these changes have made. We were also donated the most beautiful Zakkie Eloff prints which will be framed and hung in each of the patients’ rooms.
Hlayisekani Disability Centre
Hlayisekani Disability Centre
Hlayisekani Disability Centre

Mabarhule Youth Choir Centre

The beautiful voices of the Mabarhule Youth Choir that so many of you have enjoyed at Savanna have not been heard for many months, but we continue to support this project which was started by Julius, one of our trackers, to keep the youth focused and out of trouble. The Youth in Action Choir Hall was built to enable the youngsters who had finished school, but did not yet have further education or jobs, a place to come to for support and help from the community elders. It is an opportunity for them to learn and develop their skills, from training and performing their music to having a business opportunity to rent out the hall for weddings and functions.

Mabarhule Youth Choir

This year we have put in a borehole at the centre and have gradually started to fix up the centre with the help of the choir members. We are supporting them by trying to provide the materials for the centre and the youth members are doing the labour and learning new skills from the builders. We have also managed to provide them with food parcels to keep them going.

Mabarhule Youth Choir
Mabarhule Youth Choir

Extra Community Projects

Each June, we support a lady called Lydia from a church in the village of Huntington, who puts together a function to help those in need in their village. She manages to raise funds to cook a meal for these people and then sends them home with food parcels. With grateful thanks to some of our sponsors, we were able to donate 40 packages for the people, which included a 12.5kg bag of maize meal and a bag of mixed tinned goodies. It was a wonderful day enjoyed by all and a very special way of bringing the community together.

Khumba Ncila – Touching Tails

Our community animal welfare project continues to help and support the communities’ animals and has been a huge success in the villages. Although we help all animals, our two main focuses are cattle and dogs. Cattle are such an important part of the community’s culture and they have found it difficult to have veterinary care available. The focus with the dogs is to have as many vaccinated for rabies as possible in the surrounding Sabi Sand communities and to help with all other ailments too.
Khumba Ncila - Touching Tails
Khumba Ncila - Touching TailsKhumba Ncila - Touching Tails
Our statistics from May 2020 to May 2021 are as follows:
Ruminants (cattle, goats and pigs):
2051 cases treated for illness and injury

Dogs and Cats:
1043 Vaccinated for rabies
580 vaccinated for parvo, distemper, hepatitis
1540 dogs dewormed and treated for ectoparasites
1119 cases treated for illness or injury
100 dogs sterilised

Khumba Ncila - Touching Tails

None of the above would be possible without the generous support of individual  people and sponsors who donate to the above causes. We are so grateful that through you, we have been able to achieve the above and continue to be able to help and make a difference in the communities where many of our staff and their families live. It is, however, an ongoing need and we are always grateful for any sponsorship or funding that can help make ‘just a little difference’. 

If you would like to become a sponsor for one of our particular projects, please contact Sandile on or Natasha on for further info.

Mandela Day

July is an important month in South Africa, as we honour the legacy of South Africa’s former President, Nelson Mandela, and his values. This is celebrated on 18th July, which was his birthday.  The purpose of the day is to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s 67-year fight for human rights and social justice. It is a tradition to volunteer and do community service for ’67 minutes’ on this day or throughout the month. We have a special function set up for each of our projects, as follows:

Hlayisekani Nursing Home and Disabled Centre – tea and cake day, which our kitchen and housekeeping staff are making especially for them!

Tiyimiseleni Home-based Care Centre – Ice cream truck day and each child will receive a blanket for the cold winter nights. If you would be interested in supporting this cause, blankets cost R250 each.

Mketsi Primary School – garden makeover with our gardening team, as requested by the school children who will come and help!

Khumba Ncila Touching Tails – two-day sterilisation campaign. If you are interested in supporting this cause, it costs R400 to sterilize one dog or a cat.

If you would like to donate to any of the these special functions for Mandela Day, please click on this link (or the below button) or contact Sandile on or Natasha on for further info.

With warm wishes

Sandile and The Savanna Trust Team