U.S. Board Member, Jane Philippi, Visits Masi

We’ve been happy to welcome Jane Philippi, from our U.S. Masicorp Board, for a recent two-week visit.  Jane, who has been involved with Masicorp since 2002, came to see her many friends here and also to view progress on various projects since she and John and Carol Thompson, Masicorp’s founders, visited in 2014.

Two highlights of the visit were the Masi Educare Pre-School and the new Maths Lab at the Ukhanyo Primary School.  Construction began the week Jane arrived with foundations being laid for the addition of 8 refurbished container classrooms to Masi Educare!  The old farmhouse building that was home to the existing school with its 60 children is also getting a further facelift, including a new roof that was installed during Jane’s visit.  The children have been moved to temporary quarters elsewhere in Masi.  When completed, the school will serve 160 young children!  Masi Educare is an important step toward Masicorp’s vision of quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) being available to ALL the children in Masi.  Jane also met with the Seedlings team managing all of Masicorp’s ECD initiatives including critically needed teacher training.

masi  edu

Masi Educare expansion underway!  Jane Philippi and Fiona Maitland, Program Director, Seedlings

The brand new Maths Lab in Ukhanyo Primary School was another stop.  The Maths Lab joins the English and Science Labs at the school.  These programs, structured to improve teaching skills, are transforming primary school education in Masi.  Maths skills have has been particularly weak link for our children.  Our last blog provided details on the Maths Lab, and the two American teachers, Scott and Laurie Smith, project leaders. They have made a minimum 3-year commitment to the children at Ukhanyo!

maths lab

Maths Lab at Ukhanyo School:  Scott and Laurie Smith with Michael Tyhali, Principal

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It works!!

Jane spent time with a few of Masicorp’s university bursary program students and recent graduates.  Busi Ngcwama is teaching at False Bay College where she also just started a netball program for girls.  Loyiso Tunce, who just completed his Master’s Degree from Witts University, is interviewing for positions in urban planning.  Thulisa Mayekiso is a cluster mentor at Nal’ibali, a reading club program for township children.  She manages the program throughout Masi.  Jane and a couple of other Masicorp volunteers also traveled to the University of the Western Cape (UWC) to meet with a few of our current bursary students there.

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Phumza Kibi, Phumlani Mtshawuli and Zodwa Bleki taking a break from first-term exams at UWC

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 Siviwe Makeleni studying Law at UWC

To quote Jane: “There’s so much visible progress in just one year.  It’s especially encouraging to see many new volunteers from the surrounding communities and among Masi residents as well – making a difference in the lives of the people in Masi.  Contrary to so much of what one reads and hears in the press, we are seeing children get an education and become young adults with good jobs!”

We were delighted to have Jane visit us and we thank her and all the incredibly generous U.S. donors she represents. Our world-wide donors and the many Masicorp volunteers, all working as a global team, make it possible for the people of Masiphumelele to build a better future for themselves.

Thanks again Jane – come back soon!

Andrew

President and MD

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