Nov 2017 Construction Team

This trip we had three goals: Build a new dining hall, paint a boys dorm and unpack a container of donated items from Australia.

Mission 1 and 2 complete.  Unfortunately the container didn’t progress past getting off the wharf and hence mission 2 was extended to involve painting the inside of the dorm.

Australian Team morning of day 2

Construction of the dining hall was a HUGE task to complete in such a short amount of time, every step of the way the team was thinking it’s not going to be complete. But at the end of the week we left New Life with walls up, roof on, lights sparkling and fans spreading joy in the heat.  Win (Our Burmese Engineer/Builder) and his team were left to finish the guttering and do a couple small paint jobs.

The kids enjoying the cool

The whole team feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to be involved in this project and to learn from the leaders and children at New Life Trust (thankyou Israel and Bella). A massive thank you to Frank and Janette Hemelaar for once again providing the opportunity and encouragement and David Bull for Project Managing the whole task.

David Bull was so proud of his team he gave them all nicknames. Here is his summary of everyone’s efforts for the week.

Crusty, JT and Hollywood  have been kicking goals with the structural steel and did an amazing job getting the roof on in two days.

– Crusty (aka Russell Alleway) for his 80% effort. (Unfortunately for Russell he took the 100% hit for the team being the man down with a horrid tummy bug taking him out for over 24hrs) Awesome team member and contributor. Love the chopper look.

– Hollywood (aka Jon Holliday) Maybe a self confessed weak gutted unit but Stunning debut and nominee for Draft pick no 1.

– JT. The machine. (Aka John Tenni)



The Big Unit, François (aka Frank) and Zak have concreted a new generator pad, repaired many holes in Dining Hall. They have also laid a new front landing for the Education Centre and started the pathway around the building and a new driveway for Hope.

The Big Unit  (aka Grant Alleway) Awesome effort as a member of the Team Concrete brotherhood.

Zak Bull for willingness to learn and have a red hot go.



Man Friday (aka Steve Bakker) moving between jobs as his skills have been in hot demand. He worked with Hollywood to rearrange Kangaroo Hall roof for the main entrance to the Dining Hall. Then he fixed the kitchen roof to vastly improve the ventilation. François then nicked him to assist with concreting.

The Executive Director of the Workshop and Tools Inventory, aka The Fan Man (Joko Du Plessis) has laid serious claim to the “Most Improved” award for his stellar welding work fixing all 110 of the brackets to the columns for the wall sheeting. He also assembled 10 fans with his apprentice fan mechanic Solomon. However he is on his first warning as Executive Director of workshop and inventory. The tool situation fiasco at job’s end has to rest on someone’s shoulders (preferably not the project manager).

The Dynamic duo of Dwayne and Ian have powered up the newlywed’s love shack, installed a new hot water unit in Bella’s house and installed the fan and lighting control panel for the Dining Hall.

Meanwhile the girl’s painting job kept expanding, first it was just the outside, then one room inside, then the whole house. Amazing effort by Janette Hemelaar, Colleen Alleway and Karen Du Plessis who painted for the full 5 days. Tiffany Tenni and Maria Bakker were pinched by the construction team on Thursday and Friday. Vi & Ian Deed left us on Thursday for travels, but not before they both put in an amazing effort keeping up with the  youngsters.

The following beautiful poem by Colleen Alleway sums up the girl’s experience.

The Perpetual Painters.

Tea break: left to right Karen, Janette, Vi, Bella, Colleen, Maria and Tiffany.

The Perpetual Painters begin with a plan
To paint the outside the best we possibly can.

Liquid oil with sun protection is the very best way,
To at least keep the intrusive white ants at bay.
As this weary building intensifies with its new black skin,
The newbie Perpetual Painters are beginning to grin!
Every brand new timber window frame
Thirstily soaks up all the white paint it has claimed.
Satisfaction is now filling the air but soon there’s a sigh sounding something like despair.
The interior looks so tired & dreary indeed
We must pop the lid off the next paint tin & see where it leads.
Together again this team dips their brush,
This time with satisfaction and confidence not to rush.
Grey, white & ivory are the new colours of splendour,
Transforming this abode with love so tender.

You see,
It’s for these little people who have lost everything they have ever known,
These walls now warmly echo “this is your new home”.
The Hope centre family brings love, kindness and care,
everything here is bathed daily in heartfelt prayer.