This was a big week for the Ekhaya Lothando pre-school in Masiphumelele as work began on their new building. Known locally as the Home of Love the pre-school provides the first educational experience for 34 local children. Unfortunately the school currently does not meet the required standards for registration with the DSD [Department of Social Development]. Compliance with DSD standards would ensure the provision of a government subsidy for each child and secure the pre-school’s future.
Step forward the Friends of Africa Child Education (FACE) from the UK who have raised an incredible £30,000, in a little more than a year to refurbish the building. Classroom facilities will be expanded and crucially a functional toilet block will be provided. This is one of the core requirements of the DSD. After numerous fundraising activities, which have been well documented in blogs on these pages the work has finally begun.
Here we see Masicorp’s Colin Blaikie discussing the new build plans with local builder Percy Kindo on Monday morning – apologies about the sun glare from the low sun of a winter morning in the Cape.
Sadly that low sun was replaced by two days of heavy rain but that is to be expected at this time of year. Undeterred by the wet ground conditions, Colin and Percy have organised their team to start the first task of dismantling an existing room, which will then be rebuilt as the schools toilet block. For now the children are attending a temporary pre-school at the Maranatha Family Church – literally – right across the street from their Home of Love.
Here is the state of play on Thursday morning. Not much too look at right now but with the project scheduled to take four months hopefully this will start to look very different soon.