Horses for Causes

Masicorp is one of 14 NGO’s participating in Horses for Causes in 2017. The Horses for Causes Charity Race Day is hosted by the Riverside Estates Education & Upliftment Trust and consists of several events, culminating in the race day itself, which will take place on 11th February 2017 at Kenilworth racecourse in Cape Town.

The primary community upliftment activity of the Trust is currently the organising and hosting of the Horses for Causes charity race day.  The other main activity, over the past five years, has been providing bursaries and financial support to the children of employees in the hospitality industry. Attendees of the race day will be able to view the work of Masicorp and the other participating NGO’s. In particular, we will be featuring the excellent work undertaken in the Maths Lab at Ukhanyo School in Masiphumelele.

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Many of our volunteers and project staff will be present on the race day and would love to meet you. Attendence is free.

There are also a number of ways in which you can support the event and the participating NGO’s.

Horses for Causes 2017 takes place over 3 days, from 9th to 11th February 2017.

Day 1 Golf and ladies boule tournament at Mowbray Golf Course – 084 522 5223 or preventssa@gmail.com

Day 2  Evening concert at Hillcrest Quarry, Durbanville  featuring Watershed and Blackbyrd – please book via Webtickets

Day 3 Saturday 11th February, the Horses for Causes Charity Race Day will be held at Kenilworth Racecourse. Celebrities, fashion and fine dining mixed with an opportunity to participate in raising funds for charity. It will be a day to remember with fun kids activities, live entertainment, an auction, and a marque where all the charities will showcase the wonderful work they do. All this whilst enjoying horse racic0rigqdwiaqqucxng on a summers day in beautiful Cape Town. What a wonderful way to spoil clients. The event can be supported by purchasing golf day four balls, entering the boule tournament, attending the Friday night concert or purchasing corporate hospitality tables.

Full details on the Horses for Causes website HERE.

We look forward to seeing you at the race day on February 11th.

Songezo Jim’s Cycling Academy

chasmay-8We recently met up with one of Masiphumelele’s most famous residents, professional cyclist, Songezo Jim. Songezo has established a cycling academy in Masiphumelele and we are pleased to be able to help out by providing space for his bicycles at our premises at Chasmay Road campus. A couple of years ago Songezo was lucky enough to have received a donation of fifteen bicycles from a Dutch organisation and that has kick started his academy. You may have seen him leading groups of Masiphumelele youths out on the roads of the peninsula during the summer weekends.

Songezo has had an interesting journey to where he is at the moment, and provides an excellent role model to the youngsters of his home town. He was born in Umtata, Eastern Cape, where he had dreams of being the next Lucas Radebe (former Bafana Bafana captain) rather than a professional cyclist. It was when he moved to Masiphumelele in 2005 that he first developed an interest in cycling after he watched the Cape Argus as the racers passed the township on the way back into Cape Town. He could not ride a bicycle at the time, but he joined the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy, a non-profit cw6zawexeaa8jzsorganisation that uses cycling to provide young people from disadvantaged communities with the opportunities they need to turn their lives around. A few years later and he was riding the Argus himself. He turned professional in 2013, moved up country to Johannesburg and went on to make history by being the first black South African to compete in a World Tour event. As a rider for MTN-Qhubeka (now Dimension Data) he finished the Vuelta a Espana in 2015.

Sadly he was later released by Dimension Data and finds himself ending 2016 without a team to ride for. The upside is that he has been able to return to Masi and focus on the development of his academy. With around 40 youngsters keen to participate he is having to take groups out in shifts using the 15 bicycles we currently have stored at the campus. While he is working on finding a new team to race his current need is for more bicycles, more helmets, and more spare parts. If you can help Songezo please contact him via facebook or twitter. Alternatively please visit his Back-a-Buddy campaign page to leave a donation.

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Elize Reaches the End of the Trail

Many blog readers will be aware of Masicorp volunteer Elize Taylor’s efforts to raise funds for sports facilities at Ukhanyo School by trail running this year. We are pleased to report that she has just completed her final event on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. After the challenges of the mountains in the Cape Winelands and the arid conditions of the Northern Cape / Namibia, this was a very different challenge. The Wild Coast provides sandy beaches and coastal forests, but also many rivers to wade and even swim through. Elize ran from 35 to 44 km per day to complete the 112 km trail in the three days. She has now completed her series of three trail runs for the year – although we have the mention she still found time to run the Cape Town Marathon in between these events!

Elize used Backabuddy to collect funds for Masicorp. The fund raising platform is used by many runners/swimmers/cyclists who can become a “champion” and raise funds for their preferred causes. Typically champions raise around R2000-5000. The final total raised by Elize was a hugely impressive R11,938.16, which will be gratefully received by Masicorp on behalf of the school.

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Her Backabuddy page is still open and further donations can be made if you missed the earlier opportunities. Many thanks to everyone that has donated so far and of course huge thanks to Elize herself, who we hope is now getting some much earned rest.

Maintaining the New Ukhanyo School Running Track

The new sports court and sprint track are up and running at Ukhanyo School. If you missed the video of the first set of sprints on the new surface you can catch up with the action HERE.

trackTo ensure that the surface is kept in perfect condition the suppliers informed the school that a high-powered blower or mechanical sweeper should be used to remove abrasive sand and grit from the surface. In the dusty environment of the school’s sports area such maintenance would help extend the useful life of the new surface. This is not something that the school (or Masicorp) had access to so we would like to extend a big thank you to Tool Hire and Sales Solutions (Sun Valley) MD Marc De Rooy who stepped in to provide a suitable machine. After visiting the site to check what was needed, they were able to provide a top notch Stihl BG56 hand held re-chargeable leaf blower, which Stihl and Tool Hire and Sales Solutions are sponsoring.  Marc has also kindly offered to give Melvin the school caretaker a lesson in how to operate it.

Carol Hanks and Penny Ramahloko from Masicorp called in yesterday to collect the new leaf blower. Penny is seen here collecting the equipment from Leigh Ann Burger, marketing director at Tool Hire and Sales Solutions. Our thanks to everyone at Tool Hire and Sales Solutions and Stihl for their generosity and help with making sports provision at Ukhanyo School possible.

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Elize’s Challenge for Ukhanyo Sports Field

After completing a number of long distance running events in recent years, including the Comrades Marathon on a number of occasions, this year Masicorp fundraiser Elize Taylor is tackling trail running. Elize has set herself a sponsorship target of R25,000 and is well on the way to reaching her goal.

24061056_22361Although still very much a novice she has been in training for several months and recently completed the first of three major events this year – AfricanX, which is held annually in the mountains around Elgin. The event was split into three stages, with Stage 1 covering a total distance of 36km and reaching a total ascent of 900m. Stage 2 covered 34km, but the total ascent on this leg of the race was 1100m, while Stage 3 saw the athletes covering a total distance of 22km with a total ascent of 800m. It sounds daunting but Elize completed it all with a time of 16 hours, 29 minutes and 12 seconds over the three days.

Next up (June 13th) is the Transfrontier Richtersveld trail run, which sounds even more daunting at 200km over 5 days. This race extends from South Africa to Namibia through the ancient arid landscape of the Ai Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

24059770_22363All funds raised are going towards Masicorp’s project to upgrade Ukhanyo Primary School’s sports field, which we discussed in our previous blog.  Masicorp has an excellent relationship with Ukhanyo Primary School, which takes all 1,600 of the township’s children aged 6 to 14. With Masicorp’s assistance the school has developed teaching facilities that are a benchmark for township schools, but their sports facilities remain limited. Masicorp have been successful in providing sports equipment and kits for the soccer, netball and cricket teams. However, the school sports field is in a terrible condition, and in places it is an uneven sandpit filled with rubble and broken glass. Masicorp have drawn up plans for a complete renovation. The first stage is to level the field, remove the rubble and prepare it for the construction of a multi-purpose sports field that can be used for netball, soccer and cricket. This is now complete but funds are urgently need to complete phase II, which involves the laying of turn and completion of a running track.

You can help Elize by contributing toward her project HERE.

Improving the Sports Facilities at Ukhanyo Primary School

Masicorp has had a sports programme in place at Ukhanyo Primary School for many years. Physical education is a crucial part of every child’s learning experience and we recognise that involvement in sport develops skills such as discipline, commitment, punctuality and loyalty, as well the health benefits. Our assistance has part funded the salary of Nceba Jonas, the local community coach, provided training equipment and transport to inter-schools competitions on a regular basis. Each child now receives two physical education (PE) lessons each week.

fieldThere is one very serious obstacle preventing the further expansion of sporting activity at Ukhanyo – the physical space available for sports is small and of poor quality. We have therefore started an ambitious plan to improve the situation by refurbishing existing facilities and seeking funding to develop the unoccupied land within the school boundary that is currently used as a playing field. The land was originally backfilled with builder’s rubble and covered with sand making it unsuitable for playing sports.

The first phase of the project – the refurbishment and remarking of existing facilities – is almost complete. We are currently undergoing fundraising for the next phase, which will see the development of the new multi-purpose sports courts and the laying of a new turf surface to the sports field.

A significant sum was recently raised by our UK team in an event that appropriately13010813_10154766652309167_6414238460217946362_n involved some well-known sportsmen from the rugby world. Our thanks go to UK fundraiser Alan McKelvey for recently hosting an evening with Ruan Pienaar (Ulster and South Africa international rugby scrum half) and Robbie Diack (Ulster and Ireland international rugby forward), who talked about life in South Africa and Ulster. The event was held at Belfast Harlequins Rugby Club and organised by Lisburn Rotary Club. Alan was the interviewer for an evening that saw over 100 people attend.

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As can be seen from the above picture of the meal time entertainment – the Lagan Sea Horses Male Voice Choir, the event was very much South African themed. The meal was complemented with South African wine and the diners enjoyed either an African stew or Cape Malay cuisine. Our thanks to everyone who attended and helped raise funds that will now go toward the second phase of the Ukhanyo sports field project – and of course our thanks to Ruan and Robbie seen here during the event.

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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.