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We have a very exciting venture to announce, one of several this year. Our most recent grant is towards the capital construction of pre-school classroom for Vhutshilo Mountain School in the Limpopo Province. Their innovative construction method, which uses sandbags as part of the building process, will create an eco-friendly building that cuts construction costs by thirty percent. After school, the building will serve as a community outreach and training center for caregivers. Many of the orphaned children at Vhutshilo Mountain School are being raised by their grandparents or siblings who live in extreme poverty. Thus the multi-purpose building will provide a significant community resource to all.

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The history of the organization is quite remarkable. Sue Cook, coincidentally my sister’s name, moved to this remote rural area of South Africa in 1984 from Scotland. She responded the community concerns about the growing number orphans by converting her mobile home into two classrooms. Using her truck as a school bus and gathering donations of furniture and toys from friends, Sue officially opened the doors of the Vhutshilo Mountain School in 2002. The school has now grown to provide food, services and education for 59 children during school hours. Its outreach program cares for 129 HIV+ children and their caregivers. With construction well underway, we will keep you posted with updates about the new classroom.

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