The Ukhanyo Primary School Makeover Project

Masicorp is extremely grateful to the many donors around the world that fund the programs we provide in Masiphumelele. One of the most rewarding parts of our work is to host our donors when they visit South Africa to see how their funds have been used on the ground. This week we had the opportunity to welcome Viv Daubenspeck, past president of Torquay Rotary Club in the UK and her partner Brian Gunn. They came to see the two wonderful projects that Torquay Rotary Club funded – first they went to Ukhanyo Primary School,  the Ukhanyo Classroom Makeover Project has made a huge impact.

handshakeThe project began in March 2013 with the aim of making the school’s classrooms a safe, clean and stimulating learning environment for all pupils. All 35 of the schools classrooms are involved and the makeover provides learning equipment (e.g. new modern whiteboards to replace blackboards), repairs to broken windows/roofing and painting the walls in bright stimulating colours. Importantly, the project has generated a sense of ownership in the school by its learners, their parents and the staff – as we recently reported with regard to the This is Our School project.

The improvement to the schools facilities has helped the teachers to teach more effectively and the pupils to learn more effectively. The school is a brighter and more welcoming space with many teachers taking a personal pride in their own classrooms and providing extra’s themselves such as brightly coloured lampshades. All this has been made possible by the fund raising efforts of the members of Torquay Rotary the The Rotary Club of Fredrikstad (Norway) who became an integration partner and Rotary International – we have much to thank Rotary for! Added to all this, St Mary the Virgin Parish Church in Torquay also worked hard to raise funds. Well over R100,000 raised across the far side of the world for Ukhanyo – what a great story!

Viv and Brian toured the school with Masicorp project leader, Fran Louden and her brother Paul Dibley – Paul is a craftsman who works as an unpaid volunteer for Ukhanyo where he has done much of the work himself and has been responsible for organising the rest

The project is scheduled to run through to June 2014 and is well on target. It is going so well that it was a struggle to find areas that still needed attention to show Viv and Brian. As Paul himself explained: “Before, you could stand in one spot and see so many problems, now you have to go looking for them!”

IMG_3579Here is Viv accepting on behalf of the literally hundreds of donors, a framed ‘thank you’ from the school at the end of their visit. (From left to right: Andrew Smith [Masicorp president], Fran Loudon [Masicorp project leader], Michael Thyali [Ukhanyo Primary School Principal], Paul Dibley [Masicorp craftsman volunteer] and Viv Daubenspeck [Torquay Rotary Club]). Not in the picture is Rotarian Warwick Whelan, also a past president of the club, who with Viv was the driving force behind the fund raising for both projects.

(Many thanks to Christine Adendorff Photography for the pictures on this blogpost)


  1. This was such a lovely surprise when looking at the web tonight and a lovely photo of Brian, thanks Christine.
    We had the most wonderful day with everyone on the 30th Jan and I will write too everyone eventually.
    You are all to be applauded for your achievements and I do hope we can return for another look. Visited the township today and the library, but our time in this beautiful country is coming to a close and we return to a very sodden UK. We have had wonderful time in the most magnificent scenery, just stunning. The warmth and the bright light has been a lovely experience and so many smiling faces.
    We had a superb visit to Ukhanyo School and we are taking away great memories not only of the school but the people.
    Thank you for your warmth and humanity and Paul Dibley is quite a star with his creative craftsmanship.
    Love and success to you all,
    Viv and Brian

  2. Thanks for your comment and huge contribution to our projects. It was also wonderful to meet you in person. We are so glad that you had the opportunity to see the results of your fundraising here on the ground in Masiphumelele. On behalf of everyone at Masicorp we wish you a safe trip home and look forward to seeing you again in the future.

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