Masiphumelele Fire Fund – November 2015

A devastating fire has once again affected Masiphumelele. Sunday mornings fire is one of the largest that has affected the community in recent years, with over 1,000 structures destroyed and 4,500 people left homeless. Many of them have lost everything they own.

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Image: Chris Preen Photography

At such times of tragedy many of us want to help those affected, but are not sure of exactly how to get involved. We would therefore like to offer the following guidance.

The initial need is for emergency provisions, and this is being coordinated by Living Hope, whose headquarters on Kommetjie Road are the initial drop off point for donations. Please drop off at the security gate and all donations will be passed onto Disaster Management for distribution to those affected. The current needs are for clothing of all genders, sizes, ages (babies included). Please sort and label into girls/boys packages. Due to the large scale of the fire there is also a need for large boxes, packets and black bags for sorting. If you could spare a few hours of time to help sort and package donated items this would also be hugely appreciated.

Food items, including dried foods, baby formula and fruit are also important. Donation trolleys will also be in place in Pick n Pay stores in Long Beach, Tokai, Fish Hoek, and Constantia. Another need is for hygiene products (soap, facecloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant), buckets or hand washing basins, this will allow those affected to be able to wash.

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Image: Chris Preen Photography

In the days to come the City’s disaster risk management services will be helping the affected residents to rebuild their homes. Many families will require household items including furniture, clothes and linen. All gifts in kind can also be dropped off at Living Hope where they can be stored until the affected families are ready to receive them.

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Image: Sharkspotters

In the longer term we are concerned about the recipients of Masicorp’s educational projects and their families who may have lost possessions in the fire. Learners will have lost school uniforms and tracksuits, and university students that have returned home after an already difficult end to the academic term may have lost textbooks, laptops and other essential learning equipment. We are establishing a Fire Fund to help replace as much as we can for those affected in the hope that they can rebuild their lives as swiftly as possible.

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 FR000

Thank you for any help you can give.

A New Teacher Resource Room at Ukhanyo School

One year ago the teacher resource room at Ukhanyo School looked like this – more of a cluttered storeroom really.

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Masicorp volunteers Fran Louden and Paul Dibley put forward a proposal to refurbish the room and create a space that was practically useful for the teachers. We are enormously grateful to Astellas Pharmaceuticals who donated the funding that has enabled their vision to come to fruition. The new look Teacher Resource Room was formally opened on Thursday 19th November.

Fran and Paul designed the layout of the new room in consultation with the schools teaching staff and a special thanks must go to Paul for another fine job with the cabinetry. He also laid a new hard wearing, easy cleaning floor. The teachers now have a dedicated room in which to reliably access the internet and formulate, print and administer their numerous teaching and assessment tasks. The room is arranged in eight work stations, one for each grade, and each contains a desktop computer and cabling for personal laptops, all networking to the internet and a new printer as well.

Here is Tosi, one of the Ukhanyo teachers, sitting at her new desk.

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Dale and Ziane from Spy Computers in Longbeach Mall have also been very helpful and provided much of the installation as a donation. Mr Jilana, one of the school’s teachers and an electrician, has also assisted with the wiring and he will now assume responsibility for the operation and maintenance of this resource. This is all the more impressive because much of the project has physically been pulled together over the last few weeks, when access was not always possible due to the security problems in the community.

It is always very rewarding when donors can see the results of their funding on the ground and this was exactly what happened last Thursday. Forty-eight representatives from Astella were present in Masiphumelele after arranging a visit to Cape Town through local ‘destination managers’ Green Route. Green Route arranged for all of the visitors to tour Masiphumelele on bicycles as part of the AWOL township tour. The numbers involved were larger than a normal tour so the group split into three and visited various parts of Masiphumelele, including calling in to see the latest developments at Masi Educare. Thanks to Sally, Zwai and (former Masicorp bursary student) Zizi from AWOL for leading the three groups and coordinating a much larger tour than normal.

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Everyone from Astella finished by visiting the school where they were entertained and participated in some interactive fun with the learners. Some of the group stayed on to paint murals focused on school values, while the sportier types played soccer with the staff and learners.

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Our thanks to everyone involved in making this project a reality for the school.

Latest Updates from Masi Educare

We are delighted to show the latest developments made at Masi Educare.

Most of the external work is now completed on the new classrooms.

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Attention has switched to fitting out the interior. Many thanks to Masicorp volunteer Paul Dibley for his carpentry skills. Paul has also being helped by Vuyo – a young man from the community – to build this excellent furniture.

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We have also received materials to complete the outside play area – and provide a soft landing for the children around the climbing frames.

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20151105_12505720151105_124418Ultimately there will be an astro-turf surface to surround the play equipment.

Lots of jobs remain to complete the project – fire extinguishers to be installed, plumbing for sinks and toilets etc., but we are pleased to report everything remains on track for our planned opening early next year.