08 January 2008

US mentors helping SA kids

An American mentoring programme is helping disadvantaged or troubled teenagers in South Africa, all through the Internet. Infinite Family connects Americans who donate $40 per month and commit to at least a year of weekly conversations with disadvantaged young people in South Africa. The donations keep the programme going and also help with community projects, buying birthday and Christmas presents for the children, and building a savings account for the child for tertiary education or to open a business. Two pilot programmes were launched at Nkosi's Haven, an NGO that supports Aids orphans, and Refilwe, an NGO that supports disadvantaged children and local communities in need. Through sponsors such as Internet Solutions, Investec and Bombardier, the New York-based Infinite Family provides video- conferencing equipment and upgrades computers so that young people - many using a computer for the first time - can access their mentor with the help of a video camera, headphones, a microphone and instant messaging.

Amy Conrad Stokes, founder of Infinite Family, adopted her son from South Africa in 2003. With a background in working with teens in gang-infested areas in the US, she started the programme and today more than 100 South African children are involved with 55 American families.

Summerstrand is top suburb

A recent survey, the Quality of Life survey by Finweek financial magazine and market researcher Ask Afrika, found that the Port Elizabeth beachfront suburb of Summerstrand is the best suburb in South Africa. Cape Town‘s Goodwood was second, Durban‘s Hillcrest and Kloof third and fourth, and Cape Town‘s Constantia fifth. The least desirable place to live was the southern suburbs of Polokwane in Limpopo. The survey polled more than 1 200 residents. The survey measured perceptions on issues affecting the overall well-being of communities, such as pollution, the standard of roads and pavements, access to parks, shopping centres, schools, sport and medical facilities. Safety and crime and the extent to which residents felt a sense of community and whether or not suburbs offered value for money were also measured.

Saffer in CSI: Miami

Adrian Wilson (38), a model with Boss Models in Cape Town, recently finished filming a small role in CSI: Miami. The former Hoërskool Swartland student also had a role in the US soapie, Passions, as Christopher Booth. In the seventh season of CSI: Miami he plays the role of a fashion designer who smuggles drugs in his clothing range. Adrian worked as a model in London and New York before moving to Los Angeles for acting work.

Africa in Scottsdale

Rosa Rozell has brought pieces of Africa to a home furnishing and décor store at the Borgata in Scottsdale, Arizona. After being a stay-at-home mother for years, she opened the store in February 2007. Her sister, Henda, and brother-in-law Don Wilson, owned a similar store in Cape Town and were her mentors. The sisters and their three siblings grew up in Stellenbosh, where their mother still lives.

Tune in to Afrikaans

Miss hearing the sounds of Afrikaans? Raymond Greenberg has come to your rescue with his Uitsaaines Live radio station.

Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak?

Is it Just Me or is Everything Kak?: The Whingers' Guide to South Africa, was written by Grant Schreiber and Tim Richman. This 144 page book follows the international success of Is it just me or is everything shit?, a Brit-centric rant against everything shit. As any true Saffer knows, we have our very own collection of especially shit things to moan about BUT here we call them kak. Funny and satirical, this book spares no-one and nothing. From car guards, bank fees, ATM queues, quotas, floor crossing, crime, corruption, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Telkom, Eskom, the Vodacom meerkat, to Jacob Zuma - they are all fair game.

New South African newsletter

A new South African newsletter, Bygones & Byways, is now available. Bygones & Byways is an independent, privately published publication which has something for everyone, whether you are just starting to trace your family tree or have been doing so for many years. Find out about the hidden history of little-known places and people, what is available in old records and more amongst the feature articles, advice tips and news. The newsletter was launched in January 2008 is a must for all who are interested in South African family history / genealogy, heritage, history and travel.

CONTENTS OF BYGONES & BYWAYS Issue 1, January 2008:
History Matters: news & notes about heritage:
- Dolphin Hotel demolished
- Kimberley church centenary
- Regimental move
- Oral History Institute launched
- Housing estate on Anglo Boer War site
- Name changes
Century Club: celebrating long lives
On The Bookshelf: reviews & announcements:
- Die geskiedenis van boerekos
- Sailor’s wartime memoirs
- Van der Merwe book
- The Hottentot Venus
Past Lives: Helen Martins
Old Jail Becomes Guesthouse
Research Tips For Better Results
Family History Centres: world-wide records near you
Green & Gold: Our Rugby Colours
The Heatlie family
The Rugby Museum
The Springbok designer
S.S. Ceramic: WWII drama at sea
Bush Telegraph: South Africa-related queries from readers

The first issue is free, in pdf format, at http://www.rupert.net/~lkool/page4.html The pdf file is 3.3 MB so may take time to download, depending on your Internet connection.