Tales of Turning would like to thank the SA Home Loans staff who donated to the project in support of vulnerable mothers in South Africa and their children. In this great initiative SA Home Loans staff members have taken the step to combine their donations every month and award it to a deserving NGO. Tales of Turning were the grateful recipients of these funds last year. This act of kindness is an example of how we can all make a difference by contributing to community upliftment. Small Acts Change the World!
As the year drew to a close it was time to celebrate and reflect. During our mothers support groups we held celebrations to honor our participants and the valuable contributions that mothers make to our society. Our mothers weren’t the only ones getting to celebrate as our volunteers hosted a Christmas party to conclude our children’s homework group. The children enjoyed face painting, singing, dancing and fun party games. In amongst the celebrations there was plenty of time to reflect on the progress that the Tales of Turning project has made over the past six months. We enjoyed hearing the mother’s feedback on how they felt “respected” and “honoured” during the groups. We also responded to the needs of the mothers by adding additional aspects to our program. Activities to develop family identity and share family stories were particularly successful. Our mothers also enjoyed learning how to make toys for their children and how they could facilitate development in their young kids. During our sessions the mothers shared their expert knowledge about their lives and different ways that they find to spend time with their children. The program built on these ideas and emphasised the importance of spending quality family time together. All in all it has been a year of growth, development and sharing.
The Tales of Turning mothers groups gathered to learn to make early childhood development toys for their children. The activities were all made from recyclable materials that can be found around the house. Donated fabric was also transformed into fun and educational toys. The mothers were enthusiastic about these activities as it gave them an opportunity to participate in their children’s education and play a role in their development. These activities also gave the mothers many opportunities to spend time with their children. In particular the mothers of blind and deaf children found it beneficial to learn how to make activities that would facilitate their children’s development. Educational activities included puzzles made from magazines and cardboard as well as threading activities made from pasta and string. These activities are vital for getting children ready for school as they develop fine and gross motor skills. Activities such as playing with homemade play dough and colouring in pictures are important for preparing children to write. If children start school without these capabilities, they are often at a disadvantage especially in large classes where teachers are not able to give them individual attention. In addition to this the mothers are given the skills to play a role in their children’s education which is empowering and strengthens the mother-child bond.