We are always grateful to the many volunteers that give their time to support our educational projects. Recently we were pleased to receive assistance from Kate Meeser from the Department of Sport Science at Stellenbosch University. Kate gave her time to provide movement lessons to the learners at Masi Educare. You can view her photographs and report on the day below.
On the 26th of August, I was warmly welcomed by Masi Educare to host a small movement lesson for the age five to six-year-old age group. We started off the lesson with a musical dance warm-up and some stretches. The children were divided into four groups that rotated activity stations, spending ten minutes at each station. The activities included a hand-eye throwing task with various aiming skills, a station dedicated to balance and midline crossing, an agility task and target task. All stations included an element of gross and fine motor skills. The children were disciplined and obedient. After the first two rotations they were all working up a sweat while seeming to have a fun time. It was such a privilege being able to have a willing and keen group of children and even more so an involved and interested group of staff members. The session ended with a stretch and song. Hopefully in the future similar event can be held and the children continue to receive the movement education they require at the age.
Sport Science Stellenbosch
We are delighted to show the latest developments made at Masi Educare.
Most of the external work is now completed on the new classrooms.
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.
We have also received materials to complete the outside play area – and provide a soft landing for the children around the climbing frames.
Ultimately 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.
Last Wednesday we held a parents evening at Masi Educare and were delighted at the strong turnout from the community. Around 60 parents attended and were given a tour of the new facilities and an update on the likely completion date for the new pre-school.
This was an opportunity to promote the new facilities to the parents with a view to filling the classes for 2016 and fortunately it does not look like there will be any shortage of new applicants. We were also able to update parents on the forthcoming Christmas events and the graduation for the existing Grade R class as well as informing them of future community open days.
A crucial aspect of the evening was the setting up of a parent involvement team. To ensure the future sustainability of the pre-school we have requested that parents, volunteer their help and support. This group will be mentored, supported and upskilled to become the SGB (school governing body) who will in time be responsible for the running of the school.
Building work on the new classrooms continues, with flooring going down in the first of the new classrooms and the final roofing work in progress. We recently successfully hosted the City of Cape Town’s building inspector and hope to be issued with the certificate of occupation at the end of November. Despite the difficult times in Masiphumelele of late there remains plenty to smile about at Masi Educare.
Steady progress is being made at Masi Educare pre-school. We last reported on the preparatory work for the delivery of new classrooms back in May. It is pleasing to see how much has been achieved in the months since then as shown by the photographs below.
As can be seen in the pictures above the walkways between the new classrooms and the main building are about two-thirds complete. Nearly all roof trusses are in place, with roof panels to be delivered by the end of this week.
Everything remains in place for the main construction to be completed by the end of October, with internal work continuing until the end of the year. Our thanks to the team on site led by Masicorp volunteer Colin Blaikie.
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.
Since we last reported on the developments at Masi Educare four new container classrooms have arrived on site. It has not been an easy experience – as these pictures show. Not only is the space restricted but the soft ground took a lot of preparatory work before it was ready to accommodate the 3.5 tonne containers. The lorry they arrived on weighed an additional 8 tonnes.
Although autumn has been very dry so far, it was a rare wet day when the lorries arrived with the containers. Fortunately we had an expert crew, who were able to safely get the containers in place using a separate crane.
The 12 m long containers will be refitted to make extra space available to the learners and allow the pre-school to accommodate its target of 150 children – up from the current 50. Check back here for further reports as we continue to work on the site.
It has been some time since we last reported on Masi Educare – the pre-school in the old farmhouse at the center of Masiphumelele. Regular readers of this blog will know that the City of Cape Town has given Masicorp the remit to make the facility a sustainable resource for the community. We are delighted to report that both building work and the practical training of staff are going well.
Pictured below is our builder Clarence on site with his sister Sharon.
During the building work the children were relocated to the nearby Salvation Hall, where they adapted well and a high standard of teaching continued. The staff pulled together and worked hard to make the best of the temporary situation. Now they are ready to return to the school, with all the foundations, ground work, water, drainage and electrical supply in place. We hope you agree the new stoop looks wonderful.
The project is not just about building work of course. The supervision of the children must be undertaken by qualified staff, which requires the upskilling of the principal and their assistants. With Masicorp support, the staff are undertaking a Level 4 National Certificate in ECD at the Center for Creative Education. The principal Lindi and her staff (seen below) have completed the theory side of the course. They have now started their practical training, with the tutors coming regularly to Masiphumelele to monitor their progress.
The good news has spread through the community and we are now receiving enquires from parents looking for a place for their children. At the moment there are 50 pupils, but when the building is complete, and new container classrooms have arrived, there will be space for over 150.
On behalf of all the children our thanks go out to all the local builders, volunteers and our generous overseas funders that have made this project to happen.