It has been an extremely busy month at Masi Educare. With all nine of the container classrooms now delivered and safely installed on site, thoughts have turned to promoting the new facility to the community. We recently held an open evening to showcase the new developments to the parents of the local community whose children currently attend the pre-school. They can be seen here gathering for a picture in front of the recently delivered containers.
This was an opportunity to thank the parents for their patience while the main building has been renovated. We must also thank the Salvation Army, who helped during the refurbishment by accommodating the children in a temporary classroom that was set up in their hall in Masiphumelele. The picture below shows the children making the most of their temporary home.
In addition to the new facilities we were pleased to introduce the parents to the new teaching team we have in place. From left to right in the picture below we have our Seedlings project manager, Fiona Maitland and the Masi Educare team of Lindi Hangana, Xolelwa Bbane, Nomethemba Ndziweni, Sanelisiwe Maqegu and Nosomi Boqwana.
Once the new container classrooms are fully refitted Masi Educare will be able to accommodate around 150 children – a significant expansion on the 50 young learners that currently attend. During the open evening several people asked for application forms for friends and relatives in the community who are interested in sending their children to Masi Educare once the project is fully completed. The level of interest in the community certainly bodes well for the future of the project and we will be running another open day for interested parents in the near future.
Back in November 2014 we were delighted to report on a formal partnership with AWOL Tours, who run bicycle based tours of Masiphumelele from the BEN bicycle shop in the township. AWOL generously agreed to donate R50 per paying guest on each of their tours, which is used to support early childhood development projects in the community. After a successful summer season we are pleased to report the donations received have exceeded R18,000.
The funds are used to support our Seedlings program that provides support to the pre-school children in the community, including the school visited on the cycle tour. In particular, the funds received so far have been used to support our “stay & play” initiative. The scheme is a mother & toddler club held at the Masiphumelele library. The funds from AWOL provide craft materials, equipment and the costs of support staff from the community.
As part of the tour, AWOL guests also visit some of Masicorp’s business entrepreneurs including Nonny’s bakery for refreshments and Ndileka Biyo at the Pink house for souvenirs.
Our relationship was further strengthened when AWOL recently employed Zizipho Silwana as a sales consultant at their office in the V&A Waterfront. Zizi is a graduate from our bursary program and recently completed her studies in HR Management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Zizi is seen here with her mother at her graduation ceremony in March of this year.
Hopefully it is a great help to have a resident of Masiphumelele to talk to potential clients at the offices. If you have not done the tour yourself yet why not call in for a chat with Zizi and book a place? There are more details on the cycle tour – and online availability checks – on the AWOL website HERE.
We look forward to continuing our partnership with AWOL and our thanks to all the tourists who take time to visit Masiphumelele on their travels through South Africa.