05 Jul 2014 South Africa Trip – First Installment
We would just like to preface this post by saying how humbled and grateful we feel after our school visits. The teachers are all remarkable women who bring a selfless spirit and positive force to their schools. Joanne, our executive director, was fortunate to meet these special ladies today and is look forward to working with them and their continued success. We are so appreciative to be able to bring them the gift of water through the generous donations of Shelley Smith, Billy Ezzo, Martin Brody with Fort Lauderdale Rotary, Gail and Ed Koppen and Eliza Walbridge! Thank you all so much!
We visited four schools today. Michael, our driller, was available to divine at Xitenga Creche and Tsakelani Burlington Creche in preparation for the work to be done. Unfortunately, the children are on holiday until July 21st so we were able to meet with only a few learners at the creches.
Xitenga Creche, the first school we visited, is a sweet little creche with a great staff. Gailey and Nono run the creche and have 115 children attending. They have a very large garden during the summer months all of which is now dry due to the lack of water. They are very excited to begin gardening again once they have a borehole. We cannot wait to see their beautiful gardens next year!
Tsakelani Burlington Creche
Tsakelani is run by Phateni and has 57 children. As you can see from our photos, this creche needs a lot of help. They have finished a new building which needs a new roof and fortunately, we have a donor who will be helping with that cost. The school lacks all the basics but nonetheless is a safe haven for the very young children. Phateni is a Mom herself and many of the women who bring their children here are young mothers that have returned to school. We have every confidence that with a little help Phateni will continue to help the children at Tsakelani.
Amass Disabled Center
We then drove to the Amass Disabled Center in Acornhoek. Amass is headed by Maria, a very special teacher at the school. Maria has a wonderful staff helping her teach English to the learners as well as working with them and their individual disabilities. The have 2 buses that pick up the 87 learners from their homes and bring them back home after a day at the center. They recently received new classrooms from the national lottery system. They were so proud to show us the new buildings. Maria and her staff are extremely motivated to begin their permaculture training classes with our first school, Beretta Primary after their borehole is complete. They have a small garden now due to the lack of water.
Yellow Elephant School
Our last stop today was the Yellow Elephant School. We met Mesia, a delightful young woman who heads the school. YES has 50 students. They have 15 orphans that live on the property. We toured the school and met with some of the learners. Mesia is looking forward to planting her new gardens and showed us where the new larger vegetable garden will take place. She also has a very small garden now.
Next week we will head to the Oaks and visit The Hope School.