Zandvlei Trust

This is a working relationship with the communtity of Village Heights,
the Zandvlei Trust, various other voluntary NPO's and the City of Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town has adopted Village Heights for a legacy community project,
as part of the World Design Capital 2014.


Village Heights Community Centre, Christmas Party 2014 for the Gift of Hope creche.
      Projects Abroad volunteers provided the presents and treats for the children.

December 2014.

18/12/2014 - The crochet classes were earlier today. 
There were 60 children in the VHCC play park waiting for a turn to go with the Project Abroad volunteers to the beach. Bernie had her hands full today.

Bernie with the bag she has made. She just needs to make 
a lining and make some button clasps.

Two caps made in the last week by Bernie and Gwen.

These are the older children of the group of 60 who wanted to go to the beach today.
They have been waiting since 08h30 this morning in the play park. The first group of
younger ones went off at about 10h30 and they have heard the van arrive at 13h30.
So they are chomping at the bit.

The Projects Abroad volunteers who take the children to the beach.

The first batch of children returned from the beach. The 2nd batch are being told only 15 of
them can go, as the traffic police are stopping all vehicles on the road and checking.
So, there were some very disappointed children who had waited since 08h30 this morning.

These children had found a large Cape Dwarf Chameleon in the tree at their house and picked 
up a board to take it to go and show their friends down the road. 
They are both from the Gift of Hope creche and have been taught about chameleons and how 
important they are in the natural environment.

The chameleon was not stressed at all. It seemed to enjoy being taken for a walk around the neighbourhood.
It had a last remaining piece of skin from the sloughing, hanging from its left back leg and they
were concerned that its leg maybe broken or damaged.
They were assured the chameleon was alright.

... and we put it back in the tree where it lives.

11/12/2014 - How to make a rocket stove was demonstrated, along with the cooking of an egg-in-a-hole.

Only a few sticks are required to generate enough heat to cook a meal on this stove.
The Projects Abroad team showed how it is done.

The crochet classes continued today with new comer Aunty Gwen.

Lil van Ryneveld explaining the differences in an American and English crochet pattern.

See more..... updated 16/12/2014.

05/12/2014 - Is the Christmas Party and closing of Gift of Hope for another year.

Hanging up the decorations and many excited children coming to see what is being done.

See what happened at the party..... updated 12/12/2014.

04/12/2014 - Is Graduation Day for the six Gift of Hope pupils. They take the next step up in their lives next year when they go to Junior School. So an important day for them and their parents to remember.

Five of the Gift of Hope children with their certificates and accompanied by their Mother or Grandmother.

See more....    updated 07/12/2014.

November 2014.

30/11/2014 - The weather was perfect and so the Table Mountain Cable Way trip was on. (See the prize winner section)
Stephen Granger and Jess Kavonic came to fetch the nominated prize winners as well as Edward and Bernie to take them up Table Mountain. The orginal prize winner Thillshaan Lakay, parents did not want to go up the mountain or let her go with the group.

On top of the world in Cape Town.

See more.....  updated 25/12/2014.

27/11/2014 - The Year End photo was taken today, as next week is busy with Graduation for some
 who will be going to Junior School next year, and the Christmas Party.

These are the children who have attended the Gift of Hope ECD programme through 2014. 
The twins were absent.

The tyre garden is doing well.

The vegetable garden is florishing, Artichokes, Cabbage, Cale, Spinach, Green Peppers, 
Red Lettuce, Fennel are all doing well.  See the garden below during September.

The soakaway sump is coming along and nearly ready to put the cover on.

...and so the vandalism and destruction of the False Bay Ecology Park fenceline continues.

One of the Projects Abroad volunteers playing with the children,
while waiting to take them to the beach.
His glasses have been highjacked.

14/11/2014 - Mayco Councillor van der Merwe and a group of Emvironmental Resource Management officials together with other invited guests came to lunch today, after doing a walkabout to see what
is being done at Village Heights this year and what is still planned to do.

The lunch was enjoyed and seconds were had which pleased Bernie, Tanya and Carmen.

See more....       updated 28/11/2014.

13/11/2014 - This week has been busy, planning, shopping and preparing for the City of Cape Town officials visit on Friday 14th. They are doing an tour inspection of the Village Heights area and having lunch too.
There has been plenty of action going on in the neighbourhood. And the end of the Creche year is fast approaching there is much to do for the year the childrens and parents function.

Tanya is preparing the chicken and the other vegetables have been prepared to start the cooking.
We hear it will be chicken curry in a rooti (a wrap for those who dont know what a rooti is) or served
with rice. A tomatoe salad will also be served. Juices to drink.

Koekie cleaning and deboning the chicken.

Mean while in the background the volunteers from Projects Abroad are busy building a soak away
for the drainage systen in the courtyard.

It is located at the bottom corner of the vegetable garden. Edward has to 
be patient while his vegatable gardening is interupted.

Terribly frustrating is the vandalism and deliberate destruction of the Rondevlei fence by the children
in the neighbourhood.
It is reported to the Reserve management as it takes place.

Later in the afternoon, a tent had been borrowed for tomorrows event in case it rains. We had to find 
out how to put it up. The children were back from school so there were extra hands to help.
Before this Carmen had spent some time cleaning all the chairs for tomorrow.

"Many hands make light work and sometimes confuse the issue too."

Finally it is starting to look like a tent.
Then back to the kitchen to start the cooking.


October 2014.

30/10/2014 - On the 24/10/2014 a workshop took place at the Seawinds Community Hall, to work through the processes which need to be adressed so all those interested can be involved. This is an exciting  project by the City of Cape Town and a number of other roll players.

Marijke Honig has set up a Facebook page for the Community Garden and it already has 120 likes.

Click on the photo for the link.

photograph by Marijke Honig.

Some of the participants in the workshop on the 24/10/2014.

23/10/2014 - There is always something happening at VHCC.

Some of the flowers Edward has planted in the new fenced off garden at the entrance to VHCC.

See more.....


New students to crochet, Robin and Terry in the centre, doing very well with encouragement from Lil.

See more.... 

06/10/2014 - The children who won the prize (from Mandela Day) to go sand boarding at Witsands,
were taken in the ZEEP bus to the sand dunes which are between Kommetjie and Misty Cliffs.
They had great fun and they have never seen such high sand dunes before.

photograph by Edwina Thomas.

Everyone ready to go, the ZEEP bus is here to fetch them.

photograph by Edwina Thomas.

"Here I go with a little push by my friends". The sea in the background.

photograph by Edwina Thomas.

It is a long way back up after sliding down to the bottom. Next one for a turn.


02/10/2014 - The crochet classes contintued today. There are some talented ladies in Village Heights!

Maureen working on her beautiful square, with guidence from Lil.

See more.... 

September 2014.

18/09/2014 - This is what one of the community gardens looks like after a transformation of the plot.

This is one of the Village Heights street gardens planted on Arbour Day. The community decided
when someone moves out, that those plots will remain empty and not be built on again.

Lil van Ryneveld brought a number of plants and a car full of wooden crates today.

See more of the garden and street plantings... 


11/09/2014 - This has been another very busy week at VHCC. Arbour Day has passed.
Then Bernie spent most days of the week running back and forth to Pep Stores to order, change
and exchange incorrectly supplied items ordered, not once but 3 times.

The crochet lessons continued today.

See more.....


School uniforms donated.

A group photo of most of the nominated children who received school uniforms from Jan Vathjunker.

See more about the story to this photo.... 


The vegetable garden after Arbour Day. Beds prepared, seedlings and a variety of vegetables planted. 
The screen has been put up as a wind break.

04/09/2014 - The week has been busy with activities for the Arbour Day tomorrow 05/09/2014.

This photo shows a view from VHCC of the Muizenberg Landfill site and the line of red municipal
trucks emptying the contents of the southern suburbs household refuse.

This sequence of photos is the wetland on 04/09/2014, the left hand side of VHCC...

...from the playground directly opposite VHCC....

...and to the right hand side of the VHCC playground. It is full of water, and has more water than
last year at this time of the year. The wetland vegetation is looking fantastic having regrown from seed stock in the ground.
This is the 2nd full year after the alien invasive jungle was removed by the City's Invasive Species Unit
from this area.

This week there has been plenty of background work identifying the plots in the local community with the street committee members, deciding and planning who is intersted, committed and who take responsibility and nurture what will be planted on Arbour Day. The City's Environmental Resource Management intern Aurelie has been co-ordinating this years project, with the help of Bernie and plenty of other VH residents. 

These are some of the last wooden boxes for vegetable seedlings being made by Claudette, 
Levi and his friend.

Many hands make light work.

There was plenty of measuring, sawing and hammering and a variety of sizes and shapes
made to fit the plots in the area.

01/09/2014 - Lil van Ryneveld held a workshop for some VH ladies to learn crotchet and later on they will learn to knit as well. 
Lil says "My aim is to teach them to be able to follow a pattern in order to crotchet any number of garments. At the moment they are being taught to crotchet squares which can be sewn up into any number of small and big blankets, shawls, cot blankets, bags etc.
I want to teach them all to make the most of their spare time. It seems there are quite a number of women who are keen to learn".

photograph supplied by Lil van Ryneveld.

We set up umbrellas and tables outside in the playground, out in the fresh air as it was
a lovely spring day.

photograph supplied by Lil van Ryneveld.

"We have done the first row, nearly." 

photograph supplied by Lil van Ryneveld.

"See, it goes under and through" says Lil.

August 2014.

15/08/2014 - The wall is going up. The Projects Abroad building team are nearly complete
with the wall.

Deen Singh supervising and plastering the sandbag wall, which has been growing taller every week.

"Look my hands are still clean".

Mixing and loading the cement for the plasterers.

Monique with Tania in the background watching the children enjoying their lunch. 

Monique was leaving to go home to Belgium and spoilt the children with a treat for lunch time today.

Found this newspaper article about The Community Chest donation clothes and toys for the 
Gift of Hope creche in February 2012.


07/08/2014 - The new matresses arrived today for the Gift of Hope creche. This is something VHCC decided to spend on, as it will improve daily conditions for the children.

Carmen unpacking the matresses, so that the children could go to sleep
on them straight away.

He was so happy he could not wait to go to sleep, even before the blankets were down.

The flash from the camera did not even bother them, they were in dreamland floating on "cloud nine".


05/08/2014 - August is celebrated as Woman's Month in South Africa. 
See this feature article about Bernadine Thomas one of Cape Towns fearless females on Cape Town Magazine.

  Bernie with some of the children at the Gift of Hope creche at Village Heights Community Centre.


July 2014.

18/07/2014 - Mandela Day at Village Heights.

photograph supplied by Bruce Sutherland.

The Rainbow stretched from Rondevlei Nature Reserve into Village Heights from the Other Side of the Fence or is it the other way round?

See what the children of Village Heights did.....


photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

Teddy Bears arrived at VHCC for all the children in the Gift of Hope creche. "Look at our Teddies".
That is Monique Vingehoed from Projects Abroad with the children.
The teddy bears were donated by VPUU  (Violence Protection through Urban Upgrading).

See what happened at the Gift of Hope..... 

15/07/2014 - Some of the children ready and waiting with all their things for the camp. This is the highlight of the whole school holidays and something they all worked towards and dreamt about for a long time.
The anticipation and excitment was almost too much to endure, while waiting for the taxis to fetch them.
This is a ZVT / CTEET Project funded by the Lotto.

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

We have got all our things are ready too go. When are they coming to fetch us? This is too much,
we cant wait we are so excited. We are going camping!

Day 1.    updated 19/08/2014.

Day 2.    updated 25/08/2014.

And on the third day they all returned at about midday having had a memorable and wonderful 
time together in the False Bay Ecology Park.                                         

10/07/2014 - The Camp programme has arrived, with the menu too. There are 40 children
from VHCC going on the camp and 5 adults to help supervise as well.

Look what we are going to do! This is exciting we cant wait for the 15th July 2014. 

This was the view on the 10/07/2014 overlooking the wetland. The mountains in the background
have snow on them from the weekend. This past Monday was one of the coldest days Cape Town experienced in many years.

 08/07/2014 - Wetland Cleanup Day, part 2, by the children wishing to go to the camp at the 
end of the school holiday.

photograph by Bernadine Thomas.

Towing the wheelie bin full of junk to the container.

See more.....

04/07/2014 - Sky Eleven Sports Club joins the VHCC.   Great news!
Now we have a Sports Club under the community umbrella. The club is made up of 
different age group soccer and netball teams. We are working on the design of our logo.

photograph by Christine.

Our netball team are in the yellow bibs. The girls in red are from Vrygrond. We are trying
to get a league going with the help of the City's Sports and Recreation Dept.
This photo was taken at the Italian Road Sports Fields in Grassy Park.

photograph by Christine.

See what we are doing for fund raising for the Sports Club.

03/07/2014 - Wetland Cleanup Day by the children wishing to go to the camp at the
end of the school holiday. They had to work to receive a reward, and then it was not guarenteed.

photograph by Bernadine Thomas.

The children pulling out more junk from our wetland. "Who are these people who throw 
this junk down here they keep asking? It must be the adults".

See more..... 

There are exciting plans for the July part of the holidays. If the children have done what they planned to do and it was well done, then they may go on a camp at the False Bay Ecology Park, Environmental Education Centre. This is a 2 1/2 day camp run by CTEET.

June 2014.

June continued with the "sagas", but things improved towards the school holidays.

26/06/2014 - The Projects Abroad Team - helped out with extra hands during the holidays as more children came to the Centre. 
There is a weekly itinerary for the children to go to the beach, they are taught to surf in the waves at Muizenberg, probably South Africa's prime learning venue for surfing. 
This is where surfing started in South Africa in 1917, nearly one hundred years ago.

photograph by Bernadine Thomas.

Projects Abroad student volunteers having fun showing the children how to blow bubbles
on a winters day.

See more.....

24/06/2014 - The Mayor's Portfolio of Urban Sustainablity 2014 publication was released and 
Village Heights features as a Gold Star project. The Other Side of the Fence is the project name. 
There are many other projects throughout Cape Town which feature as well.

Children from the Gift of Hope, the Village Heights Community Centre creche.

See more..... 

May 2014.

May was a difficult month. There were no photos taken unfortunately, and probably because those directly involved were too busy trying to keep the "ship afloat and sailing".

April 2014.

19/04/2014 - The Pride of Table Mountain hosted a group from Village Heights at Kirstenbosch Gardens. This was the first time many of the people had been to Kirstenbosch.

photograph by Sharon McCallum.

We have just arrived by bus at the Stone Cottage office.

See what they did......

17/04/2014 - Chantel has been busy sorting through the old damaged books and these are 
going to the paper recycling igloo.

Bernie and Chantel pointing to all the old books for disposal, which are about to be loaded up.
They are pleased as they now have more room to work in.

Note - while disposing of these books (instead of going into the Muizenberg Landfill Site) in the paper recycling igloos, a stranger going to the shops in Main Road Lakeside, asked if he could have some of the books going into the igloos. Of course he could!
His name is Peter and he took home a pile of books for his children, himself and his wife. They all love books! How wonderful!
Some banter exchanged was "you were going to the shops for food for the family, and you went home with a pile of books!

Another book went home in the opposite direction to Plumstead. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy for someone who would really appreciate this book.

17/04/2014 - The library roof was leaking badly and the roof sheeting had to be replaced.
A few extra sheets were bought and Edward was busy adding a room on to the house.                  

Edward busy enclosing the new room.

17/04/2014 - The creche children received a present from some Marina residents today. Tanya and Chantel made the envelopes which contained easter eggs for the children to take home before the long weekend.

Bernie handing out the Easter eggs to the children before they went home for the weekend.

See more....

16/04/2014 - the young ones went to Zandvlei Nature Reserve for an Environmental Education 
lesson in the classroom and outside in the Reserve. Mark Arendse and his staff spent a few hours with them. The transport costs were sponsored by ZVT.

photograph by Mark Arendse.

The children colouring in pictures being helped by Rose Mankayi, a Zandvlei Nature Reserve Environmental Education staff member.

 See more..... 

15/04/2014 - Jean Williams from Biblionef SA, Pinelands came to visit today and brought boxes with about 160 Afrikaans language books for the library. The request above for Afrikaans books has been answered.

Jean Williams has arrived with boxes of new books for the library.

Chantel and Bernie with some of the books they have unpacked.

Some examples of the books received. Wow!

Jean with Bernie unpacking the new books.

12/04/2014 - Our transport was sponsored today so we went on the Family Fun Walk at the False Bay Ecology Park. We went to last years event as well.

photograph by Bernadine Thomas.

This is us, we have arrived at Zeekoevlei.

See more....

09/04/2014 - We made lunch for a visiting group of local and international delegates from France, India and Argentina to a 3 day BiodiverCity Conference in Cape Town.
They were on a walk to and through the False Bay Ecology Park to learn more about this part of the world.

photograph by Bernadine Thomas.

The lunch time group photo at Village Heights Community Centre.

See more....

02/04/2014 - Thank you to Mrs Saville and the the Lions Club, Bergvliet, Cape Town
for all the clothes she brought for the little ones. Tomorrow they will be handed out to the children.

The clothes sorted and laid out for a photo, before being given to the chilfdren.

March 2014.

26/03/2014 - Chantel with the bag of old books. We recycle the damaged books by taking them to the paper recycling igloo. So that the paper can be reused to make packaging or other paper goods. Our old books do not land up in the Muizenberg Landfill Site.

photograph by Bernadine Thomas.                                             photograph by Bernadine Thomas.

Chantel with a few bags of old and damaged books which she has decided need to go for paper recycling.

12/03/2014 - A very happy senior citizen from Village Heights.

photograph by Chantel Wibooi.                                                   photograph by Chantel Wibooi.

The new donated books give him an opportunty to read more books. He had read all the Afrikaans language books available in the library.

06/03/2014 - We are going to the beach today. We have to stand here and wait our turn to be changed for the beach before we can go.

photograph by Chantel Wibooi.

We are waiting to go to the beach.
"Come on, hurry up we want to go to the beach. We are ready".

03/03/2014 - The new library books were out today. Chantel has captured the details in the register.
There is a new activity for the local children, they have formed a Reading Club. They will receive the latest books for reading and review. They can decide which books are what they want to read, based on their age catagory. They have agreed to give regular feedback of their impressions of the books to the publishers and authors.

photograph by Chantel Wibooi.

These are the books we have selected to read. We have commited to read them and fill in
the comment sheets for return to ATKV with our opinions on what we think of the books.

See more.....


February 2014.

27/02/2014 - The library is slowly changing into to a work space for reading and doing home work project research. Also we received more books from two sources.
A number of boxes arrived by courier from the ATKV and a box of books came from Vincent Marincowitz.  Wow! we have got some reading to do now.

The theme for this year went up on the wall in the library this last week.

See what else happened.....

03/02/2014 - The creche children start to use the books and colouring pens donated by
The Lions, Bergvliet chapter, Cape Town.

photograph by Edward Thomas.

What is Bernie doing on the floor in the library?

See more......

January 2014.

13/01/2014 - The class of 2014. First year school children now have to have a starter kit for the first day of school. Donations were received from the Marina da Gama community which enabled the required items to be bought for the 10 children off to big school this year.

photograph by Sharon McCallum.

"Check out our new school bags".

Read more....

09/01/2014 - The Waste Warriors were busy at Village Heights.

What are all these Waste Warriors doing next to this green container?

Read what they were doing on 09/01/2014.

02/01/2014 - Judith moved in to the Thomas home for a week.

Judith an interin with the City of Cape Town stayed with Edward, Bernie and their 
family for a week during the school holidays.

See more...

photograph by Judith Roth.

Village Heights Community Centre, Christmas party 2013 for the Gift of Hope, young ones.
With the children are Bernie and a volunteer from Australia with the Projects Abroad.
Thank you to Mrs Saville and the the Lions Club, Bergvliet, Cape Town for all the presents
which were donated for what was a great occasion.


See what happened in.

2013. 2012.


Top of page  Back  Home