Program started by Sr. Mary Paule Tacke continues
A visit to the classrooms showed the dedication to education. Children are aware of how lucky they are to be receiving an education, and supplies are respected. In one classroom, the pencils that they were using were no bigger than a stub. There were 3 tiny erasers used by 15 children. Of course, you immediately want to run out and buy new pencils and erasers until you realize, by talking to the teachers, that they are teaching the children values by using the pencil and erasers as long as possible.  
A dramatic change was the exciting new rental of a house located next to Thembelihle Home (the home for children ages 6 to 16). The social department continues to ask Thembelihle Home to house more and more children, and the extra space has helped alleviate the overcrowding. A neighbor to the home donated new beds and now the children each have a bed of their own. In addition, this house allows the children to all dine at one table.  Thembelihle Home would not have been able to expand without your generous support. It is always amazing to see the positive, loving impact that Pumeza, director of Thembelihle Home, has on these young children and teenagers. As the school day finishes, they are each eager to share with Pumeza what they have learned that day. She greets and listens to each one attentively. 
Ikhwezi Lokusa (training center for young adults) is run by Sister Maria Corda.  She is always smiling and enthusiastic. Her energy and devotion to the trainees is endless. It is inspiring to witness the education these young people receive that prepares them to go out and support themselves. They have so much pride in the crafts, sewing, pottery, and leatherwork they create. Along with learning a trade, they also learn math, reading, and writing skills.  Some of them come back as teachers and others make a life that takes them to the city or back to the rural areas with vital skills for starting a small business with their learned skills. 
One of the most poignant images was seeing many of the same staff members who have worked for years and years at the projects. Salaries are extremely low for the caretakers and teaching staff, and yet these good people return day after day, year after year to provide a safe and caring environment for children and young adults in need. It was a joy to be able to thank them for their great commitment in person.  
We wish to convey to all of you in Sisterís home communities the gratitude expressed by the children, trainees, staff, and directors for your support. It is you who make it possible for them to continue.  Thank you!
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, please send a check to SMC, PO Box 369, Craigmont, ID 83523 or visit sistermaryschildren.org to make a donation online. 

Brenna Riggers, originally from Craigmont, with one of the youngsters at Bethany in South Africa, one of the homes started by Sr. Mary Paule Tacke. 

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522
 

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