Masiphumelele Fire Aftermath

After several days of hard work, in which the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management used 30 trucks to remove the rubble and debris from last week’s fire in Masiphumelele, the scale of the tragedy has become even clearer. With the burnt remains removed and the ground levelled, Masicorp volunteer Sophie Billington was on hand to help the children of Masincedisane Pre-school find an alternative location for their immediate future. It has not been easy with 35 children currently crammed into the small shacks left available for them – but at least we have ensured they have something.

MPSSophie’s pictures show the extent of the damage. Here you can see the remains of the building next to Masincedisane Pre-school. The molten television set amongst the rubble is a testimony to the intense heat of the blaze.

next doorThe school owner, Mandisa, has sadly also lost her home. Her shack used to stand in the mud square in the foreground of this picture.

mandisa shackThe city has prepared the ground for rebuilding and provided starter kits for those who have lost everything in the blaze. The picture below shows the area affected and also highlights the poor quality of the land. The water table is so close to the surface that homes and businesses are regularly flooded at this time of year.

wetlands areaAfter finding temporary accommodation for the children, Masicorp’s longer term intentions are to rebuild the pre-school with a more sound structure such as waterproofing the floor either with cement flooring, raising the floor level, or installing a waterproof membrane to prevent the annual flooding. In an ideal world we would like to raise enough for a breeze block structure that would survive future potential fire damage and provide a good school. The only building standing in this picture of the affected area is the only one that was built from robust breeze blocks.

last building standingWe need your assistance to help these children and their families; any amount, however modest is welcome and is most appreciated.

You can donate in South Africa by EFT:

Bank name:                        Standard Bank

Account:                              Masicorp

Account No:                        374202176

Bank Code:                         036009

SWIFT:                                SBZAZAJJ

Address:                             Main Road, Fish Hoek, 7975 Cape Town, South Africa

In the USA through our secure website HERE

In the UK through our secure website HERE

PLEASE MARK YOUR DONATION – FIRE FUND

Thank you for any help you can give.

Fire Appeal for Masincedinsane Pre-School

Last Friday tragedy struck when a large fire broke out in the wetlands area of Masiphumelele. Over 200 shacks were completely engulfed by flames with a huge smoke plume visible across the region.

01 FIREFortunately there were no casualties but many residents have lost all of their possessions. It is estimated that at least 800 people have been made homeless at a time when the first storms of the winter have arrived.

Amongst the buildings affected was Masincedinsane Pre-School, where Masicorp volunteer Dr Sophie Billington was working at the time. Sophie was able to help evacuate the 35 children but sadly the school building has been completely destroyed.

02 FIREThe City of Cape Town disaster management team and specialist NGO’s such as MERCYNET are working very hard to alleviate the immediate problems. Masicorp has established a fire fund appeal to help Masincedinsane Pre-School and ensure the children and their families can be helped in the weeks to come.

With your assistance, Masicorp will provide second-phase support in two ways:

We are committed to put Masincedinsane Pre-School back together: in the short term by finding them temporary accommodation; in the medium term by rebuilding their school and the home of the owner Mandisa, which was also lost , and in the long term, by moving them to a fire-safe brick-built building. Rebuilding work is being undertaken by our partner NGO Project Ubuntu.

We have already started – our volunteer team will have a temporary place for them to relocate on Monday and parents will be free to go to work or, if they too have lost their homes, to make a start on rebuilding their shack.

We will also provide all the children affected by the fire from Ukhanyo primary school with a warm-for-winter track suit made by the Sewing Café – one of our partner NGO’s in the township.

We need your assistance to help these children and their families; any amount, however modest is welcome and is most appreciated.

You can donate in South Africa by EFT:

Bank name:                        Standard Bank

Account:                              Masicorp

Account No:                       374202176

Bank Code:                         036009

SWIFT:                                  SBZAZAJJ

Address:                              Main Road, Fish Hoek, 7975 Cape Town, South Africa

In the USA through our secure website HERE

In the UK through our secure website HERE

PLEASE MARK YOUR DONATION – FIRE FUND

Thank you for any help you can give.

More Track Suits for the Children of Ukhanyo Primary School

With the weather starting to get noticeably colder in Masiphumelele we were delighted to be able to distribute more tracksuits to the children on Ukhnayo Primary School this week. Back in March we began to hand out track suits thanks to a donation from Will Bennett, James Williams, and Chris Norqual – three of the five founding members of American clothing company, SOMB, (SHIRT OFF MY BACK). This week a further 180 track suits were delivered to the school following financial support from Linda Dobbs, who has been a long-time supporter of our work.

track suits1tracksuits2Once again the Sewing Café have produced the tracksuits and the project is continuing to provide regular work the ladies. This batch was only small and medium track-suits with the large versions due to be completed next week. Yesterday saw a steady stream of grade 1 pupils arriving to be sized-up and kitted out with their new outfits.

Another of Masicorp’s long-time supporters was present to witness the tracksuit handover. Lord David Hacking has been a very generous supporter of Masicorp’s work and was visiting Masiphumelele to view progress on various projects before returning to the UK later this week. He also enjoyed seeing the happy faces of the students as they were collected between classes to pick-up their track suits. Looking ahead at the weather forecast and feeling the chill in the air around the school this week the delivery could not have come at a better time.

hacking