Eagle's Nest has been open since 2006. With great anticipation we enter our eighth year, knowing that God has great plans in store for the children, staff and community.
The best news of 2012 was the completion of 2 classrooms on our new land, and having raised nearly the full amount to pay for them. Woolworths SA and a donor from USA gave us money to order and buy desks and chairs. The order was too late for the start of 2013, so children doubled up for the first 2 weeks of school until the new furniture arrived.
A week before the school re-opened in January, the newly appointed teacher informed us she had found another job. With one teacher already away on maternity leave, I wondered what God was asking of me. I set to, planning Grade R and gr 4 work, knowing that God would give me the strength to teach 7:30-5:30! Almost as soon as I started working, the Grade R teacher phoned to say she would be at work on the first day of school Whew! I continued teaching the Grade 4 class in the afternoons until our new teacher arrived from Gauteng. I have had to learn to always trust God, no matter what I face! He is always faithful.
The board agreed to appoint a part-time administrator to assist me with that side of the work! What a blessing she has been to me. It is working very well, and once we have sufficient funds to connect our electricity, the office in the new classroom will be another new addition and asset to our buildings.
NEWS FROM THE TEACHERS:
Mr Jamakanga, grade 6, writes: Wow! God is so faithful, all the time. This is amazing and unbelievable to me. This year is an unforgettable year in my life. Eagle's Nest has a full complement of primary classes running from Grade R to Grade 7. On the first day of the term, we opened doors for our first Grade 7 class, our pioneers and pathfinders. When I joined the school in 2010, I was tasked to put the intermediate curriculum i.e. grade 4-7 in place. I thought we would not get there, but God carried us through. I am smiling today seeing a Grade 7 class. We met challenges and obstacles, but God carried us through. This year we will see our pioneers graduate to High School. Determination of the staff made it possible. To the parents of our pathfinders - I salute you for you said "no matter what, we trust God to provide for our children'. Surely what God starts, He will finish. Thank you Grade 7 learners for not looking back! Be focussed and leave a legacy for Eagle's Nest! ALL GLORY BE TO GOD.
The Deputy, Mrs Maqubela writes: We have a child in Grade 1, aged 8, who lost his father in 2011. Two weeks ago his mother died. His situation is very sad because there is no-one to look after him- only his two sisters who are also at school. What is so amazing is he loves being at school. He is a lively, sweet and well-mannered child. He loves to worship and is always happy. He needs our constant prayers for God's protection and provision.
Mrs Bongoza, grade 1 teacher:
In 2011 one of our children left school for two months, without any report to us. His teacher tried to make phone calls and visited his home, but in vain. One day, we found him waiting outside school, hungry and uncared for. Because we care for the children, I personally took him home to bath him and give him my child's clothes to wear. Since then he hasn't missed a day's school. Another child stays with his parents, in a totally unacceptable condition. I visited the house - there are no windows, no doors in front, only in the rooms. The house was full of empty beer bottles and cigarette filters. His mother works on the local farm and his father doesn't work. These stories apply to many of our children and God has called us to care for them. Their lives are so miserable, and with His help we can bring change and HOPE.
Coming and going:
It has been sad to see about 28 children leave the school at the end of 2012. The main reason is that parents struggle to make arrangements for childcare when their children have to attend in the afternoon shift. We wish this was not the case, but until we build a further 5 classrooms, we will have to continue running our higher grades in an afternoon school. Other children have left because their parents were no longer willing to pay the scmall amount of fees we ask. On the positive side, we enrolled 58 new children in Grade R. They are all settled and working hard already.
It has always been part of our school life and a way to show children they are unique and special, by celebrating their birthdays with a gift and cake. As the school grew bigger, we changed first to one celebration every week; then one cake per grade per week. This year, because we now have 282 children, we are trying a monthly celebration. While this means a lot of gifts once a month, it does cut down on the organisation of the cakes. We want to thank everyone who makes the children feel special by supporting our birthday efforts.
OUR BIGGEST, MOST DESPERATE NEED
For 3 years we have struggled to recruit enough sponsors that each child is supported and we receive sufficient funding to pay our salaries. We still need 180 people to take on a child and help with their education. Do you know of anyone who will take on this worthwhile task. We are talking about forming a generation of disadvantaged children who will change the face of their communities, as a result of receiving a good education. Please pass this newsletter to anyone you think will be interested. For details on supporting a child, go to support a child