Monday, 16 November 2009

Finally getting round to the blog. A lot has happened. On Friday evening we said goodbye to our wonderful friend Lara. Wishing her all of the best and once again a big thank you for the wonderful work you've done at The Darling Trust, Laratjie. We have a competition running at the moment where you can win 6 bottles of Darling's finest wine by joining our debit order club. for as litlle as R50 you can make a huge difference in someone else's life. On Thursday evening we have the Music and Art evening. Can't wait to see what the student have prepared for us. Had a sneak preview at some of the paintings and they are definitely masters in the making. Will post the photos on Friday. Till then.

Friday, 11 September 2009

A few pics of the new Centre...

Hi there!

Below are a few pics of the new Centre. We're making such fantastic progress! We're still fundraising though for the final section. For more information on the Centre, please see The Darling Trust website and for info on how to donate, please click here.

Thank you!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Our Spring Newsletter

Yes! Here is our Spring Newsletter.
Click above to read more about the latest developments at The Darling Trust and what's in store for Spring 2009!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Yes we can, if you do!

NGOs around the world, including The Darling Trust, are being hit hard by the current economy as their sources of funding continue to dry up. As Pieter-Dirk Uys, our patron says, "A difficult economy demands a more creative approach. Instead of just giving up, we’re rising to the challenge and having fun as we go! We need to ensure that Darling and The Darling Trust are able to continue the good work.”

Part of this more diverse and creative approach to fundraising at The Darling Trust is our fundraising website launched in August 2009. The website is specifically geared towards raising funds for the Darling Health and Sport Centre. This Centre will include, a quarter-size Olympic swimming pool with necessary infrastructure including secure fencing, a multi-purpose Activities Centre and an Early Childhood Development Centre. Thus far R1,5 million has been raised, with a further R1million required.

Please consider supporting this fantastic Centre! Online donations can be made via our website

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

September in Darling is fantastic!

Hi everyone,

Sorry things have been so quiet on the blog lately. It is high season in Darling and some VERY exciting projects are in the pipeline.

Every year when Voorkamerfest rolls around there's a real buzz in the air and this year is no different. There are two fantastic workshops taking place at the moment in the run up to Voorkamerfest next weekend. One of the workshops is a dance workshop run by CrossTown DH. What an amazing group of people, and wow, they can dance! The other workshop being run is a film workshop. Stefan Hurter is training kids in Darling how to film a live event. The kids will then form a film crew (The No1 Film Crew) and film Voorkamerfest. We have some great plans in the pipeline for the film crew!

New Newsletter format
After careful consideration and talking to you, our supporters, we've decided to change the format of our newsletter. It will still be sent out via email and available on our website, but it will only be sent out on a quarterly basis. The newsletter will also be longer, and include more photos and video! The first of the 'new' newsletters will be launched at the start of September, so check back soon!

Darling Children's Book Fair
The Darling Children's Book Fair is just around the corner. Children can attend the festival for free, but the entry fees paid by adults will be given to The Darling Trust to put towards our education and literacy projects.

That's all the news I can give you for now. To hear more, check back soon and read our Spring Newsletter!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Our new fundraiser!

We've just launched a new website to raise funds for the Darling Health and Sport Centre.
Check it out below! More info coming soon :)

The Darling Health & Sports Center

Monday, 27 July 2009

Decorex 2009

Above: One of our products going up to Decorex this year!

For the second year in a row, The Darling Trust will be taking part in Decorex in Johannesburg from 6-10 August. We are SO excited!

Veyonne Solomon will be going as a representative of the Darling Craft Cooperative, which is a project of The Darling Trust. The products must be delivered to Cape Town on Thursday as they will be taken up by truck in advance. Veyonne will be flying up to Johannesburg next week Wednesday and will be there for a week. It is a very big responsibility to represent the cooperative, but Veyonne is very much up for the challenge. She points out the seriousness of her role - she's representing not only the 5 other women in the cooperative, but also their families who depend on them.

We're working hard to ensure that the Darling Craft Cooperative is fully prepared for this event. And judging by the enthusiasm and hard work, we're going to do brilliantly at Decorex!

For more information on the Darling Craft Cooperative, please click here. For more details on Decorex, please see their website. We exhibit as part of the CCDI Western Province Pavilion and the South African Handmade Collection. More details here.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

A message from Tannie Evita for Mandela Day

A message from Tannie Evita inviting local Darlingers to mark Mandela Day. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

Darling darlings,

Nelson Mandela has asked everyone to spend 67 minutes doing something uplifting in their community on his birthday.

If you haven't yet committed yourself to painting the clinic, feeding babies, taking old people to the doctor, planting trees, reading the Bible to prisoners, feeding animals at the SPCA or helping the Groeneweide inmates to use the internet, why don't you meet us at the Perron on 12h00 noon sharp on Saturday 18th July.

Bring rubber gloves and some garbage bags and let's spend our 67 minutes cleaning the main road of our town.

Happy Birthday Madiba!

- Tannie Evita

For more information on Mandela Day, please see their website

Friday, 10 July 2009

Would you like a Xmas present from Tannie Evita?

Every year at Evita se Perron, Evita Bezuidenhout puts on a season of Xmas in July. The event is in Evita's inimitable style and is one of the most popular shows at the Perron. In fact, many of the shows are already sold out! For more information on the shows, please see the Evita se Perron website.

This year, we are launching a fun little fundraiser to run alongside the season of Xmas in July. It's a raffle and the prize is a present from Evita Bezuidenhout herself! Tickets are being sold in our Craft Centre and are R10 each. Although the raffle is aimed at people coming to watch the show, I thought I'd let you all know about it in case you'd like to enter from afar!

You can buy as many tickets as you'd like! Just send us your name, email address and telephone number and fax it (along with proof of payment) to +27 22 492 2851 or email it to us. Our banking details are available here.

Good luck! Here's hoping that you are one of the lucky ones to receive a present from Mrs Evita Bezuidenhout!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Our July Newsletter

I've just uploaded our July Newsletter up on our website. Take a look! And as always, feedback is very much appreciated.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Darling Children's Book Fair

Darling is certainly a dynamic village! We will now have our own Children's Book Fair!

On 24, 25 and 26 September, the Darling Children's Book Fair will take place here in our village. The Fair will include book launches, workshops, talks and other fun events. For more information on the Fair, please see their website. The website is not yet fully up to date, but they are working on it

We are truly happy to be taking part in the Fair. It is a great way to let people know about the three educational projects that we run and how we are expanding these projects. We will also be able to share the dreams of just how fantastic these projects will become in the years to come!

We hope to see you all here in Darling then!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Dates for Darling Paediatric Clinic confirmed!

The dates for the Darling Paediatric Clinic have been confirmed! From 20 - 30 October 2009, Dr Vinola Naidoo will be running a Paediatric Clinic here in Darling. We are incredibly excited about this new venture! We had the first meeting today and from here on out we'll be sorting out the logistics, etc. Just had to share this great news with you!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

A few photos from our Music and Art Evening - May 2009

A few photos from our Music and Art Evening held on 27 May 2009. What a great evening!

Friday, 5 June 2009

June Newsletter

Our June newsletter has just been uploaded to the website! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

And more photos!

What a fantastic day!

The sod-turning on Saturday was a fantastic success! I've included a few photos below. More info will be available soon.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Blogging for a cause

Good morning friends!

If you have a blog of your own, please consider supporting The Darling Trust by blogging about us? All the necessary info can be found here.

Thanks and have a great week!

PS Only 5 days until the sod-turning ceremony!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A sneak peek!

The first visuals of what the new Centre will look like!
For more info see this webpage

Meet the team... Ivy Johnson

Ivy Johnson joined The Darling Trust in 2008 and has quickly become a leading light! Her passion and enthusiasm are contagious, and her dedication to her village is something that inspires us all.

Ivy was born in Darling and has lived here all her life. She worked for many years at the local clinic. Since retiring, she has been involved in a number of different projects. Her most recent has been as part of the iAfrica Drama Queens. This dynamic group of women write and produce their own material. They have performed at Voorkamerfest to great acclaim.

It is an honour and a privilege to work with Ivy!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

an update!

Just wanted to give you a brief update on our new Centre!

So far we have raised R1.5 million, that means that we only have to raise another R395,000!!

Also, there are only 11 more days to go until our launch on the 30th May! So exciting!!

For more info, see this webpage.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

You're invited!

It is that time of year again when we celebrate our children's talent with the Music and Art Evening. You are, of course, all invited. If you'd like to book a place, please send us an email.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

May Newsletter

Our May Newsletter is now available for download. And as an added feature on our blog, we have included an archive of all our previous newsletters.

Enjoy! And as always, please feel free to contact us with any suggestions or questions!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Meet the team... Pieter-Dirk Uys

Pieter-Dirk Uys is the founder, former trustee and present patron of The Darling Trust. We are blessed to have such a passionate, dedicated individual supporting and fighting for The Darling Trust. For more information on Pieter-Dirk Uys, please see his website or the website for the world-famous Evita se Perron

Music and Art Evening - 27 May 2009

This year, instead of holding only one Music and Art Evening (music recital and art exhibition), we have decided to hold two: one mid-year and one at the end of the year. Our first Music and Art Evening for 2009 will be held on 27 May 2009 at Evita se Perron, at 19h00. Everyone is invited! Each art and music student receives two free tickets, but extra tickets are available at a cost of R5 each.

The Music and Art Evenings are a chance for the music and art students to show their family and friends just how much they have learnt. A number of our music students are doing very well, and the art students (as usual!) continue to make the most spectacular art. I've included a few photos of the art from last year to give you an idea of what to expect at the end of this month. We're so excited!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Meet the Team.... Riaan Neethling

Riaan Neethling is the chairman of our board of Trustees. Riaan spent a great deal of time in Darling as a child, but moved on to the bigger world of Johannesburg and Cape Town (and abroad) for his career. He worked for Eskom for 27 years in a number of capacities, and locations! He is semi-retired and serves as a management consultant for companies around South Africa.

Riaan is dedicated to The Darling Trust and works tirelessly to ensure the continuation and sustainability of our good work. He is very involved in the Darling Health and Sport Centre. Riaan's passion, hard work and enthusiasm make a significant contribution to the team. It is great having him on board!

Friday, 24 April 2009


As part of the holiday programme that was run in the beginning of April, we organised a highly successful theatre workshop. The children absolutely loved it! At the end of the workshop they performed the pieces that they had created, on stage at Evita se Perron. Today we will begin the planning for offering free drama lessons throughout the year. We are so excited, and we'll keep you posted of all developments! Below are a few photos from their workshop performances...

Above: the audience!

Above: Frits van Ryneveld, the workshop facilitator and soon-to-be drama teacher!

Friday, 17 April 2009

The Darling Trust is on Twitter!

Yes, we are taking the next step forward in sharing with you our latest news. For daily updates, follow us on Twitter!

Remember to vote on 22 April 2009!

Our democracy is precious, and your vote is crucial in nurturing our young democracy. Regardless of which political party you support, remember to vote next Wednesday!

For more information on the elections, go the Independent Electoral Commission webpage.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

April Newsletter

Our April newsletter has just been uploaded to our website. Take a look!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

The Darling Trust is on Facebook!

The Darling Trust has just landed on Facebook! We've just started a group on Facebook and everyone is welcome to join us. Take a look at The Darling Trust Facebook Group!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Goodbye Will

On 31 March 2009, we bade a fond farewell to one of our most treasured staff members, our CEO Will van der Merwe. Will has been involved with The Darling Trust in various capacities since the early days when the Trust was still operated as the Perron Outreach Programme.

As of the 1 April 2009, Will will no longer serve in the position of CEO. Lara van Lelyveld, the current Operations Manager, will take over Will's responsibilities with the assistance of the Trustees. Although Will will no longer be serving as the CEO, he will continue as the Project Manager for the Darling Health and Sport Centre – a very exciting project which will be launched on 9 May 2009.

Will has certainly left very big shoes to fill and his passion, insight and endless energy will certainly be missed. We wish him all the best for the future.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

April Holiday Programme - Dance Competition!

Just a few photos from the dance competition yesterday!

Our three judges: Chris, Carmelita and Julian

One of the competitors giving it his all!

Carmelita and Julian announce the winners!

A very big thank you to everyone for their hard work yesterday. It was a great morning!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Darling Tourism - a community that cares

Darling Tourism have recently expanded their website to include a section on the Darling community. The aim of this section is to share information on community and development projects with people interested in finding out more about Darling. We think it is great the Darling Tourism are so supportive of the local community!

The section has only just started so there are still organisations that need to be listed, but for now, take a look at The Darling Trust's profile on the Darling Tourism website.

Friday, 3 April 2009

April Holiday Programme

School holidays are here again, and it is time for another holiday programme! The Darling Trust, in collaboration with Darling Fokus, will be running a holiday programme from 6 to 9 April. This programme is a bit different to other ones we have organised in the past. The schedule is as follows...

Monday - Dance competition! Individuals and groups are invited to come show off their skills at the Darling Fokus building. The competition is open to everyone, with the winner getting a prize at the end of the day.

Tuesday - Outing to Yzerfontein. The outing to Yzerfontein will include a talk on environmental issues affecting our area and the unique fauna and flora we have. The children will also have a chance to relax and have fun on the beach!

Wednesday - Theatre workshop. A qualified volunteer will run a general theatre workshop with children, at Evita se Perron.

Thursday - Sport Day. The culmination of the week will be a Sport Day organised on our local sports field. Children will play rugby, soccer, volleyball and cricket. We'll also have a chance to play the more relaxed games, like egg-and-spoon race, and the all-time favorite, the three-legged race.

We are looking forward to a great week with the kids! Check back soon for photos!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

March Events

We have a few big events heading our way this week...

On Thursday 26 March at 11h00 we will be hosting farmers' wives from the Darling area for an information session on our Darling Parenting Project. This project focuses on nurturing skills that parents need to help their children grow and develop to their full potential. This project ran very successfully on Morningstar Farm last year and this year we are hoping to expand the project to other farms in the area.

This afternoon, we are hosting some of the TB patients from our local clinic, for a tea at Evita se Perron. We are all looking forward to a very special outing!

With the school holidays just around the corner, we have started planning our holiday programme, in collaboration with Darling Fokus. The programme will run from 6-9 April and will include a theatre workshop, an outing to Yzerfontein and more!

March Newsletter

Good morning!

My most sincere apologies for not updating the blog sooner, but we have been experiencing a few problems with our computers. But, everything is running perfectly now.

First, I must share with you our March Newsletter ! Take a look and let me know what you think.

Monday, 2 March 2009


Last week Tuesday, I had the great privilege of attending a fundraising workshop run by Jill Ritchie. She has been working as a fundraiser in the NGO field for many years with great success. The fundraising workshop covered all the bases and really gave great insight into how fundraising works. The timing could not have been better, as we are currently putting together our fundraising strategy for 2009/10. In the past we have been very generously supported by individuals and organisations. If you are interested in partnering with us on a project, or event, please do not hesitate to contact us. In the coming weeks, I will be contacting existing partners to set up plans. I am very much looking forward to this exciting chapter in the life of The Darling Trust!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Meet the Darling Craft Cooperative!

As a way to get to know all of us at The Darling Trust a little better, we'd like to share with you a few photos of us... This week, I have included photos of the six wonderful women who make up the Darling Craft Cooperative...

Above: Veyonne Solomon

Above: Tilla Phillips

Above: Jemaine October

Above: Desiree Adams

Above: Cathrin Loubser

Above: Sylvia Mateyise

Monday, 16 February 2009

Our reading scholars get started!

On Tuesday 10 February, I attended the official launch of the Stellenbosch Scholarship offered by BlendEd, and in Darling's case, generously supported by Peter Groenen, with the facilitation of Tonja Verheul and Claudia Crijnen.

Two teachers in Darling, Abraham Lewis and Madeleine van der Westhuizen, have been identified to take part in the Stellenbosch Scholarship facilitated by BlendEd. The training lasts one year and includes both theoretical and practical components. At the conclusion of the course, the teachers will be qualified as reading specialists. The training covers all aspects of reading, and all ages, from emergent literacy through to adult education. The course is fully accredited by Stellenbosch University.

The teachers from Darling being trained will also be part of the Darling AHA-Read project and will thus allow us to reach even more children in desperate need of remedial reading.

We look forward to a very productive and exciting year ahead for our Darling AHA-Read project and the scholars themselves!

Above, from left: Lara van Lelyveld, Madeleine van der Westhuizen, Rita Uys, Abraham Lewis

Friday, 13 February 2009

The Community Garden

For those interested in finding out a bit more about the Community Garden take a look at the info sheet which we've just posted on our website.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Valentine's Day with the Darling Craft Cooperative

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! Why not treat the special people in your life with a gift from the Darling Craft Cooperative? We have designed and made a range of small gifts specially for the occasion. Below, are photos of a few of the items available.

For more information on the Darling Craft Cooperative, please have a look at their webpage

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Our latest newsletter!

I am very pleased to share with you our latest newsletter !

We are currently looking at new ways of communicating with you and this newsletter is our first trial. If you have a moment, please drop us an email and let us know what you think of the new format?

Thank you!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Our new jungle gym!

Over the Christmas holidays there was a very exciting addition to our Community Garden - a jungle gym! The jungle gym has been very popular with the children and has added an extra special something to the garden!

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