The DCYCC Staff Development Camp which took place from the 8th to the 10th December gave our team the opportunity to kick off their child care shoes, sit back and reflect on the achievements of the past year. This of course gave rise to painting in broad brush strokes the landscape for what our programmes are going to look like in 2017…….and I can promise you it’s going to be colourful!
We left for Howick, just before midday on a sweltering Thursday. Two nights at the beautiful Umgeni Nature Reserve……. and for many of our staff the first ever experience of being in a Nature Reserve and on a staff development camp.
Leaving the few children remaining in our care over the holiday’s in the capable hands of our Deputy Chairperson and a team of volunteers, 34 of us set off. In the days leading up to Thursday, right up to the loading of the combi’s, the atmosphere was jubilant and the excitement tangible…..a little like seeing the world through the eyes of a child. At some point amidst the excitement it dawned on me that this was to be the first time this year that we would all be together without children around us.
And what a great time was had; the opportunity to discard our roles and positions, to just be a group of women and men sharing time together…... and through this learning things about each other that time and space at work does not allow for. The potjie cook off challenge, hiking, picnics at Midmar Dam, visit to the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Museum, frying 40 eggs on a 2-plate stove and the singing…..like God’s own choir of angels……I saw caring, acceptance, enthusiasm, creativeness, servitude, leadership, respect and sincere enjoyment of each other’scompany.
We left on Saturday with something we hadn’t taken……..TEAM SPIRIT!!! And the promise of starting 2017 off with a UNITY based on the shared experience of just being. This bodes well for the New Year which undoubtedly will throw a range of challenges at us. I have no uncertainty that together we will rise to and overcome these challenges as together we continue to champion for the rights of orphaned and vulnerable children.
As this year draws to an end, I would like to wish all our generous and faithful friends a blessed festive season and a wonderful New Year.
Here’s to the new adventures and thrilling challenges that come with 2017!