At Masicorp we are always touched by the number of volunteers from around the world that want to get involved with our projects in Masiphumelele. Many of our international volunteers are travelling, studying or visiting friends in the Cape Town area. Recently we had a first when we were contacted by the Dutch crew of OneDLL who were participating in a worldwide Clipper race and offered to help out at the Masi Educare pre-school.
The volunteers were employees of De Lage Landen – a Dutch asset financing company. On a normal day the group would be improving the cash flow and unlocking the financial potential of their corporate partners, but this was no normal day. And this was no normal trip.
The crew are currently participating in a team building program that will raise the profile of their organisation as they travel forty thousand nautical miles, visiting fourteen ports on six continents. Starting out from London in September, Cape Town was their second port of call.
While on land they found time to help out in the vegetable garden at Masi Educare. In addition they also assisted with the ongoing renovation work that Masicorp has been charged to undertake by the City of Cape Town.
The group made swift work of cleaning and painting jobs and then found time to finish the day with a typical South African feast for the volunteers and staff at the pre-school.
Many thanks for all your help and good luck with the rest of the race.
You can follow the progress of the OneDLL around the world on their blog here
FACE celebrated the culmination of a year of fundraising events on Friday December 22 with a room full of Santas and other festive fancy dress characters at its Xmas Party.
The colourful celebration at the Roffen Club brought an extra Christmas present of funds for the school project with more than £2000 raised on the night and Gift Aid to come on top of that.
More than 90 tickets were sold and extra cash came from the raffle (£341), an auction of a Porsche race driving day (£300) and photos of fancy dress competition entrants (£170). Added to which the owners of the Roffen, Brian and Sara Henslow, generously donated the venue and buffet for free.
The entertainment was an excellent eight-piece band ‘The Chillbillies’ with their great brass section. Certainly the sight of a dance floor full of rocking Santas was somewhat bizarre and really something to behold.
The final event of 2013 was organised by FACE stalwarts Jacqui and Tony Mankelow. Jacqui said: “Everyone had a really good night and it ended our year of fundraising with a bang, which is what we wanted.’
Ukhanyo Primary School has recently received a visit from staff from HMS Richmond of the Royal Navy, who are on operations in False Bay at the moment. Twelve volunteers from the ship used their visit to South Africa to paint walls, clean and undertake basic maintenance at Ukhanyo Primary School.
Able Seaman Michaela Fell from Portsmouth, who is on her first deployment with the Royal Navy, was one of the group who went to the school. She said:
“It felt like such an achievement helping this disadvantaged community. The children who we were working with absolutely loved it. They got really involved with the painting.
At the end, we shared out our packed lunches. It seemed to make a real difference to the kids; just a small bit of chocolate and some crisps. It was a really great day.“
On behalf of everyone at the school and Masicorp, many thanks to the Royal Navy for their time in Masiphumelele.
You can see more details and an extended photo gallery on the M.O.D. news pages here.
A double fundraising effort by FACE founder members Stena and Steve Riches came to a combined climax at Medway Rugby Club on November 8th.
Several months work of organising the lottery with the top prize of a rugby shirt signed by legendary world cup winner Jonny Wilkinson and his British and Irish Lions team mates scored a great cash touchdown with £1017 for the project.
The draw of the lottery was also the highlight of a quiz night at the rugby club that was attended by 80 folks. Bangers and mash fuelled the grey cells of the teams as they tested their wits with Steve’s tricky questions. The quiz night and lottery raised a further £636 bringing the grand total of riches from the Riches hard work to £1653.
A rugby style ‘sing off’ was held between the top three scoring quiz teams and a case of beer donated by Shepherd Neame went to the final winners. The singing raised the rafters of the rugby club as all those present joined in and that was an appropriate finale to the evening as it coincides with the roof going on the new school building in Masiphumelele.
“A lot of hard work, but well worth it when you saw the results and know what a good cause it is all going to. Now we’re looking forward to a rest!’ said Stena.
Earlier this year we reported on Winnie Tsotso’s well-earned retirement as principal of Masi Educare. The pre-school is based in the old farmhouse at the northern end of Masiphumelele and as well as Winnie managed it, there are significant building issues that remain if it is to become registered with the state and receive a subsidy for each student. When Winnie left, the City of Cape Town gave Masicorp the remit to make the pre-school sustainable and to meet the criteria to receive the state subsidy.
An extensive redevelopment project is starting to take place that involves upgrades to the existing kitchen facility and the construction of new classrooms. Together with the fire safety, plumbing and other maintenance work required the total cost of the redevelopment is estimated to come out at ZAR 2.6 million. That makes the development one of Masicorp’s most significant projects and the team in South Africa has a considerable project management task on their hands.
Fortunately the majority of the funding is secured thanks to an incredible effort from our overseas funders. This particular project is financed by an international collaboration of which the vast majority of the money has been gathered from the United States. A huge sum of US$200,000 has been donated from personal contacts of Jane Phillipi and John and Carol Thompson, the founders of Masicorp who now reside back home in the United States. A smaller contribution of 13,000 pounds sterling has been collected from partners in the UK and a further sum of 30,000 Euro’s is arriving from fund raisers in the Netherlands. Clearly the United States team is leading the way on this project and we are all immensely grateful for their hugely impressive efforts.
At the moment Masicorp has a series of concept drawings for the new classrooms produced and approved by the City of Cape Town. Work is beginning on site with a view to Masi Educare becoming a fully sustainable pre-school in 2014.
For any resident of Masiphumelele wishing to improve their educational prospects the library is one of the most important buildings in the township. Under the leadership of Susan Alexander it is a vital source of free education and personal development for township residents. Masicorp and other NGO’s run many learning projects from the library. We recently reported on the most recent of these – a mother & toddler group – but Masicorp’s volunteers also offer 19 other programs in areas such as computer training and adult literacy.
Prior to 2003 there was no library in Masiphumelele. Masicorp was instrumental in building the existing facility and a later extension in 2010. For many years the library was run as a satellite of nearby Fish Hoek but gained full community library status in 2012. In addition to the educational programs there are now over 45,000 book loans a year made to members of the community.
Masicorp has about 50 active volunteers working on the various programs at the library, including many from the Masiphumelele community. To promote and share some of the many ongoing activities taking place at the library Susan Alexander and her team have now started their own blog. Please follow the link below to catch up with just some of the many initiatives happening now at Masiphumelele library.
Masiphumelele Library Blog