Friday, 19 December 2008

The Darling Trust - holidays

Just a small note to let you know that we will close for the holidays on 19 December and will reopen again on 5 January.

Wishing you all the best for the season and the year ahead! See you in 2009!

All the best from all of us here at The Darling Trust.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

DARLING t-shirts!

In Bussum, at the Gooisch Lyceum, a group of students, parents and teachers have gotten together to raise funds for The Darling Trust, and they have found a really great way to do it - DARLING t-shirts!

They have set up a website and will be selling their t-shirts at the Christmas Market in Bussum on 16 December. So, if you are in the Netherlands, please support this dynamic group of stundents, parents and teachers!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A brief glance back at the year

Looking back can be a very enriching exercise, which results in seeing how far we have come and the lessons that we have learnt along the way. As 2008 slowly starts to draw to a close, we look back on the year that has been and study our progress.

A few projects stand out in my mind as giant leaps forward for The Darling Trust as an organisation.

The first one is the HIV/AIDS campaign that we ran on farms around Darling in August. The Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management put together a play called 'Lucky the Hero'. The play focused on the importance of knowing your HIV status. We travelled to farms around Darling with the play. After the play, the TB Care Association provided free testing for those who wanted to be tested. During the month, we reached approximately 700 people, of which 245 people were tested.
A number of crucial lessons were learnt during this exercise, not least of which is that there is still a desperate need for HIV/AIDS awareness, education and testing in our area. We look forward to finding new ways to reach those people in our area who are not exposed to the usual sources of information on HIV/AIDS.

A second project that was a major step forward for us was the evolution of the crafting group into an independent cooperative. Of all our achievements in 2008, this is definitely one of the most special ones. In 2006, The Darling Trust set up a crafting group, mainly as a training organisation - the initial idea being that people would be trained and then move on to other organisations. At the end of October this year, the crafters' group officially became an independent cooperative. They make their own decisions, design and develop their own products and ensure that their admin and financial records are kept up-to-date. The Darling Trust provides their workspace free of charge and acts as a mentor for the Cooperative. The crafters have taken genuine ownership of the cooperative and their work is of the highest quality. If you are ever in Darling, be sure to come and visit the Darling Craft Cooperative at Evita se Perron and you will be able to see for yourself the creative and exciting atmosphere that abounds!

These are only two of the bighlights in a year that has seen major changes and developments for our organisation. As we look back, we also start to plan our way forward. 2009 is looking bright!

Monday, 1 December 2008

World AIDS Day

Today is a special day - a chance for all of us to stand together against the epidemic which is ravaging both our country and world.

If you are in South Africa, please consider joining the minute of silence at midday today.

For more information on events around South Africa, please have a look at and

For information on events in other parts of the world, take a look at and

Together, we can make a difference.

Monday, 24 November 2008


At The Darling Trust, we have a great number of things that we are very thankful for, one of which is our volunteers! During the year, a number of volunteers help out in the office and with our projects. Their help is invaluable and always appreciated! At the moment, we have two volunteers helping us out in the office.

Arks Smith is a very talented woman from Cambridge in the United States. She arrived at the beginning of November and has been a huge help since her arrival! Arks has created a brilliant filing system for the office as well as helping Pieter-Dirk and Kotie with some of their projects. Arks has proved to be a real asset and has become part of the family here. What an amazing woman!

A recent arrival at The Darling Trust is Catherine Powell. She has recently graduated from Harvard University in the United States and is spending some of her gap year in South Africa. Although she is based in Cape Town, she will be volunteering for 2 two days each week here in Darling. So far, she has started to work on our newsletter and is currently redesigning it. She will also be involved in arranging and running theatre workshops during her time here.

We are very grateful for those people who give so generously of their time. Thank you!

If you are interested in volunteering at The Darling Trust, please let us know. There are always possibilities for people wanting to lend a hand!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Talent Show - Success!

The Talent Show on Friday night was an outstanding success! Wow! What a great night!
The atmosphere was electric - people were full of energy, enthusiasm and most of all - TALENT!

Omnia was a brilliant MC and kept the show going smoothly. The Perron staff were a great help and a big thank you must go to them and the Trust staff for all their hard work.

There were so many people taking part! A father and son duo played the piano and saxophone. A group of children did an amazing hip hop dance routine. Sol from Steve's Electrical told a story like only he can. He had everyone laughing! Another star from Steve's Electrical - Joanne - wowed us with her jazzy rendition of the classic, "Summertime". Such a beautiful voice!
I even took part! Wilferd and I performed Abba's "Waterloo". What fun!

The Talent Show was filmed and hopefully we will soon compile a DVD that will be available for those interested in remembering the very special night, or for those who want to see what they missed out on!

Monday, 10 November 2008

The Darling Trust's 9th Annual Talent Show!

This Friday evening sees the 9th Annual Talent Show organised by The Darling Trust! We are so excited about this special event!

As a teaser, allow me to share with you some of the people who will be performing...

First, we have Gloria. She is a weaver at the local basket factory and sings like an angel. She will be joined on stage by her very musical family! Brothers and cousins from as far afield as Tulbagh will be joining us on Friday night.

Then we have Joanne, the receptionist at our local electricians' shop. Her jazzy voice is pure velvet! She will be accompanied on piano by Owen, our resident quilt expert. Owen will also be playing the flute for us on Friday.

Guswill, a 16 year old boy from Darling, has a voice of gold. He is a classically trained opera singer and will be wowing us on Friday with an extract from one of his favourite operas.

Also, a very talented group of teenagers, calling themselves the Krump Masters, will be blowing us away with their rhythm and style.

These are only a few of the talented people who will be on stage on Friday. Hope to see you there!

Tickets cost R10 and are available from Evita se Perron (022) 492 2851

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Groot Wit Olifant Sale

What can I say! What a great weekend!

The Kitchen Kabinet (the fundraising arm of The Darling Trust) held their first Groot Wit Olifant Sale this past Saturday at the Rondebosch Craft Fair. It was a great success, and such fun!

Books, handbags and costume jewellery were very generously donated and all of these items were then put on sale on Saturday. The 6 best handbags (3 Louis Vuittons (one of which was donated by Judy Sexwale), a Gucci, a Bally and a Tod) were raffled off.
The stall caused quite a stir at the Fair! Although we still need to finalise the figures, provisionally we raised just over R14,000 at the sale! All of the proceeds will go towards the transportation of disabled children from Darling to Wilge Day Care Centre in Atlantis.

Special thanks to Jane Raphaely, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Paula Harker, Jenny le Roux, Omnia Grobler, Cheryl Holmes, Jean Raubenheimer, the Rondebosch Craft Fair and all those who donated items. Thanks also to Sandra, Lizette, Trevor and Ann for helping on the day. Also, a very big thank you to all those who donated items!

The few items not sold during the sale will be put on sale on 6 December at the Christmas Fair in Darling. The Christmas Fair is an annual event in Darling and a great opportunity to enjoy the Christmas spirit in a small village. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Special Events at The Darling Trust in November

Good afternoon!

November is just around the corner and it is filled to the brim with exciting events! Below please find a list of upcoming events...

On 1 November, the Kitchen Kabinet (the fundraising arm of The Darling Trust) will be holding "The Groot Wit Olifant Sale" at the Rondebosch Craft Fair. We are going to be selling secondhand designer handbags, costume jewellery and great books! Come and join us on Saturday morning (9am - 12pm) for a great bit of shopping.

On 14 November, we will be holding our 9th annual Talent Show. We can't wait! Omnia has been working hard lining up Darling's talent getting them ready for the big show in November. There are going to be pieces from all genres - dance, music, drama, everything! Tickets are available from our offices and cost R10.

On 26 November, we will be holding our first Music and Art Evening. Basically, we are giving the children who receive art and music lessons at The Darling Trust, a chance to show off what they have learnt throughout the year. Both the music recital and art exhibition promise to be a very special evening. The children are excited about sharing their talent with their parents and friends! For those who would like to watch the show and are not involved with the music and art lessons or have children in those classes tickets are available from our office and cost R10 each.

We look forward to seeing you in November!

Monday, 20 October 2008

What a week! Studying, playing music and making art!

It is from an overcast Darling, that I write this Monday morning. It has been such an incredibly busy (and sunny!)week with a number of exciting events.

Last week, we ran our first Study Week, in partnership with Darling Fokus. Volunteers gave their time to sit with children and help them with any scholastic problems that we might have. As with anything that runs for the first time, there were a great deal of surprises in store for us. First, we had anticipated that the study week would be more popular with high school learners. This was not the case, however, as it was the primary school learners that attended in numbers. Overall, it was an excellent exercise, both because children were helped and because of the lessons we learnt in running a study week.

Something that was very clear throughout the week was the need for extra input into the education of Darling's children. We are currently looking at ways to expand our educational projects. We already run a number of literacy-based projects, but there is such a great need in Darling for this kind of support, that we are looking at other possible projects and programmes that can be run. Keep an eye out in future for new developments!

I attended the West Coast Community Foundation (WCCF) Indaba for 2008. The WCCF have generously put money towards our percussion band. The percussion band has only been running for a few months, but they are growing in leaps and bounds. The classes are run by Judy Woods (a very experienced music teacher with endless patience!) and are enjoyed immensely by the children. We will be holding a Music and Art Evening on 26 November to celebrate the progress made by the music and art students. It promises to be a very special evening.

Speaking of special evenings, our much-anticipated annual talent show will take place on 14 November. We are currently in the planning phase and auditions will take place soon. Although it is still early in the process, this year's talent show promises to be an extra special one!

That is all for now from us at The Darling Trust. Take care and enjoy summer!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Welcome to The Darling Trust Blog!

The purpose of this weekly blog is to keep you up-to-date on the various happenings, events and developments at The Darling Trust. The Darling Trust is a relatively small NGO situated in the town of Darling in South Africa, but do not let our size fool you. We are pas-sionate about our work and play an active role in our community.

This week we have been busy preparing for the Study Week to take place next week. Be-tween 13 and 17 October, every afternoon from 14h00 to 18h00, at Darling Fokus, volun-teers will help any learners in need of extra assistance before exams start. It is the first time that we have coordinated such a programme and as such along the way we are learning a number of valuable lessons. Our future plans for The Darling Trust include ex-panding our educational projects - something that all of us at The Darling Trust are very passionate about. I will report back on the Study Week next week and fill you all in on the details!

Last week, the newly formed Rotary Club of Darling held a fundraiser in Cape Town. We were celebrating a truly magnificent occassion - Evita Bezuidenhout’s birthday! What a great event! Fun was had by all and we are very appreciative of the Darling Rotary Club’s hard work in putting the event together. A big thank you must also go to Pieter-Dirk Uys for so generously giving of his time.

Well, that is all for this week. Take care and remember to check back here next week for more news!