Immediately after leaving Ukhanyo Primary School our recent visitors from the UK, Viv Daubenspeck from Torquay Rotary Club and her partner Brian Gunn, were on their way to Masi Educare. The City of Cape Town has given Masicorp the remit to make the pre-school in the old farmhouse at the center of Masiphumelele into a sustainable facility. Again this is a task that would not be possible without our generous overseas funders and once again Torquay Rotary Club has been heavily involved. Masi Educare is actually supported by a significant international collaboration of funders, as previously reported on these pages.
The first thing our guests saw on arrival was a short welcome dance and song from the children and the staff at the pre-school. On a warm summers day this all took place on the front lawn and only when it was over did the full extent of the changes to the building sink in. Gone is the faded pink colouring, now replaced with a fresh coat of a more modest coloured paint (that was still being applied just around the corner). We must thank Duram paints whose kind donation of an extensive supply of paint has made this possible, both here and at Ukhanyo Primary School.
Not long ago the building had wooden window frames that were so badly worn many could not be opened without the fear of the glass falling out. Now each one has been replaced with a stainless steel frame that will withstand the rigours of the wet Cape winter. An important consideration that took some explaining to guests from the UK, under the blue skies of a scorching hot summer day. Inside the floors have all been replaced and a smooth and clean surface leads through to the kitchen at the back of the building.
There were gasps of awe as the visitors took in the bright and shiny surfaces of the recently delivered stainless steel kitchen. With extensive storage space, work surfaces and a brand new gas cooker the kitchen is a world away from the facilities that were previously in place.
Before leaving the site, Viv and Brian were shown the future plans for the pre-school. The initial work has involved refurbishing the old farmhouse to act as a central core for the finished project. Currently activities take place within the farmhouse but ultimately a series of classrooms will be constructed around the building in an area that is currently vacant. It is an exciting project where there has been rapid development, and we were delighted that our guests could see just how effectively their funds have been used. More than R220,000 raised for this project is something about which all the Rotarians involved can be very proud and we are also pleased to acknowledge to contribution that two Cape Town clubs have made: Noon Gun Club at Ukhanyo and Newlands Club at Masi Educare.
After the excitement of the day it was back to work for everyone at Masi Educare but from here Viv and Brian head onto Hermanus and the Western Cape coastline for a well-earned holiday. We wish them well on their travels and thank them for their support.
(Many thanks to Christine Adendorff Photography for some of the pictures on this blogpost)