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PRESS RELEASE: Lettie De Klerk Primary School

Today, the children at Lettie De Klerk Primary School received a gift that will give them a lot more to look forward to when they come to school each day. They received a brand-new container kitchen from Breadline Africa, a non-profit organisation that provides converted shipping container infrastructures to educational projects across South Africa.

Some 60 km from Graaff-Reinet, you will find Nieu-Bethesda, a somewhat isolated town, with only two roads leading in and out, situated at the foot of the Sneeuberge.

Nieu-Bethesda lies in a narrow valley, it has no streetlights and is only about 1,6 kilometres wide and 3,2 kilometres long – home to a little more than a thousand people.  Lettie De Klerk is the only primary school in the area, and was started by a local farmer’s wife more than 100 years ago. Under the capable leadership of very enthusiastic and dynamic principal, Barbara Vaaltyn, the school is home to 250 children, ranging from Gr R to grade 7, in pre-fabricated classrooms. It is a dual medium school offering classes in Afrikaans and English. All of the learners’ families depend on social grants, as there are limited employment opportunities in the community.

The school provides one meal per day to all children, which is funded by the Department of Education. The school is well known in the area because of its excellent performance in sports – this teaches the children discipline, respect for rules, joint achievement and co-operation.  Dusty shoes are to be expected, because this is the Karoo, as the children take turns to line up with plates waiting to be filled with nutritious food, this could possibly be their only meal of the day.

The school did not have a kitchen and daily cooking took place in a cramped corner of a classroom. One can only imagine how difficult it was for the children to concentrate during teaching time!

Things changed for the better at Lettie De Klerk School today; together with the community, the children celebrated the handover of the brand new container kitchen. With Breadline Africa’s sponsorship of this much-needed kitchen facility, the school will be able to use the class for teaching purposes only and have a hygienic, safe place to prepare the children’s daily meals.

 

About Breadline Africa

Breadline Africa, one of the biggest suppliers of converted shipping containers for poverty relief in Southern Africa, has provided more than 250 containers to poverty-stricken communities since its establishment in 1993. The South African based NGO believes that every child has the capacity to do something phenomenal with his or her life. When a child’s imagination is unlocked, possibilities and options are opened up, allowing them to choose a path for their own future. Breadline Africa enables this journey by providing initiatives and infrastructure to support childhood development in Southern Africa. The renovated containers are used as early childhood development centres, school libraries, community kitchens and ablution blocks.

For more information, see www.breadlineafrica.org.za or contact Edna Titus: edna@breadlineafrica.org.za +27 (0) 21 418 0322

PRESS RELEASE Sicelokuhle Creche

Spreading some winter warmth just in time, Breadline Africa, a non-profit organisation that provides infrastructure solutions using repurposed shipping containers, a container kitchen facility will be opened at the Sicelokuhle Crèche in rural KwaZulu Natal on 21 May 2015.

Ladysmith lies in the heart of the commercial Uthukela farming District of KwaZulu-Natal. It serves as a major shopping hub for the smaller feeder towns, like Peace Town, which is situated 17km out of Ladysmith, on the banks of the Klip River. It is also the home of Sicelokuhle Crèche, the beneficiary of a new, hygienic kitchen facility to feed the 30 children in the care of founder, Nelisiwe Ngwenya.

In February 2007, Nelisiwe Ngwenya made the decision to gather all the toddlers who were left at home while their mothers sought work in Ladysmith and neighbouring towns. This is how Sicelokuhle (“we ask for good things” in Zulu) Créche came into being.  The aim of this early childhood development centre is to keep children safe and healthy; and to provide an enabling environment for the chidlren in their care to achieve the educational outcomes required for successful early childhood development.

Nelisiwe’s initiative gained the support of the men of the community, who helped Nelisiwe build a classroom where the children could be taught and looked after. A local councilor also took up the challenge and raised funds to put up a fence to be erected around the classroom, thus ensuring that the little ones were kept safe and secure.  This accelerated growth of the crèche created several challenges, including the provision of basic cooking facilities.  Meals were prepared and cooked at a home in the community, in a kitchen that was really only designed for a small household.

Nelisiwe wanted a better solution, as she had to walk a distance in scorching heat and in the cold of the harsh winter months to collect the prepared food each day.  She appealed to Breadline Africa for assistance, and today marks the culmination of her hard work, as she received a container soup kitchen where she can prepare hearty meals on the premises of the créche for the hungry little tummies.  The excitement of the opening is shared by parents, teachers, local citizens and government officials.

 

About Breadline Africa

Breadline Africa, one of the biggest suppliers of converted shipping containers for poverty relief in Southern Africa, has provided more than 250 containers to poverty-stricken communities since its establishment in 1993. The South African based NGO believes that every child has the capacity to do something phenomenal with his or her life. When a child’s imagination is unlocked, possibilities and options are opened up, allowing them to choose a path for their own future. Breadline Africa enables this journey by providing initiatives and infrastructure to support childhood development in Southern Africa. The renovated containers are used as early childhood development centres, school libraries, community kitchens and ablution blocks.

For more information, see www.breadlineafrica.org.za or contact Edna Titus: edna@breadlineafrica.org.za +27 (0) 21 418 0322

Breadline African Chairman attends the SA-UK Trust Network Meeting

Louise Seligman (Breadline Africa Chairman and trustee of the SA-UK Trust) attended the SA-UK Trust Meeting at the Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel in London on 20th April. Approximately 50 representatives of UK registered NGOs working in South Africa together with executives from corporates with an interest in South Africa and representatives of charitable trusts met to share ideas and experiences.

Louise is pictured with Bill Frankel (Chairman of the Claude Leon Foundation), Pumela Salela, (new UK country manager for Brand South Africa), Jill Ritchie (Chairman of the  SA-UK Trust) and Martha Ware (SA-UK Trust and School Aid trustee).

SA-Trust UK meeting

The objective of the Trust is to add value,  through networking and collaboration, to the work of the members seeking to improve the lives of many of the most deprived and marginalised members of society in South Africa.

Breadline Africa’s collaboration with School Aid and Room to Read is a direct result of these meetings which take place 3 times a year.

Each meeting consists of 3 or 4 talks from funders, professional experts and NGO’s offering advice on fundraising and relevant issues followed by a valuable opportunity to network.

The inspirational speakers on this occasion were Pumela Salela ,the new UK country manager for Brand South Africa. Phumela sits on a number of boards .She gained an MBA in the UK through a Nelson Mandela Scholarship. She worked for the World  Bank in Washington and is the only South African recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation’s inaugural Global Fellowship on Social  Innovation. She worked  for a number of years  in various marketing roles in FMCG multinationals  and media organisations in South Africa and the UK before joining the public sector.

Her role us to attract foreign investment into South Africa and to manage the brand reputation of South Africa.

Pumela asked everyone at the meeting to promote the many inspiring stories about South Africa coming out of people’s work on the ground and to work together to improve South Africa’s image in the UK.

Bill Frankel Chairman of the Claude Leon Foundation  was for over 25 years the secret  legal consultant to the Canon Collins Trust with prime responsibility for secretly channelling funds to South Africa to pay the legal costs for virtually every political trial during the Apartheid era.He was appointed OBE by the Queen in 2000 for services to human rights.

The Foundation gives to South African Universities and NGO’s focusing on education and human rights. Mr Frankel gave a fascinating insight into the “do’s” and “don’ts” of fundraising from a donor’s perspective .

Sonal Shenai Executive Director of the Funding Network, explained how this small but dynamic organisation has raised more than £4 mil for 590 initiatives globally promoting social change through live crowd funding. Sonal invited all present to join the network as individuals and encourage their supporters to do so and to nominate their chosen charities as one of 3 charities to present to potential donors at a live funding event. She emphasised that this is an enjoyable way of asking for funds and giving and that most events lead to further opportunities to raise funds.

Note to our Breadline Africa supporters: Are any of you a member of the network? If so, please nominate Breadline Africa!

BREADLINE AFRICA PARTICIPANTS IN THE CAPE TOWN CYCLE RACE

About 60 riders took part in the Cape Town Cycle Race on behalf of Breadline Africa this year.  Among these was a Trustee from the Netherlands , Marijke Schep, who decided to do the race at the last moment, and also SA Trustee Professor Eric Atmore, who is a frequent rider and normally rides on behalf of his own charity, the Centre for Early Childhood Development in Cape Town.  In addiiton there were a number of overseas riders, Marijke’s brother Geert and his friends Michiel Lap and Ivo van Haren together with Richard Brennan – below at the start of the race and in our office on Friday morning.

Because of the devastating fires which raged across the Cape peninsula last week, the race was reduced from the normal 108 km to 47 km, thereby missing out some of the more spectacular routes of the seaside race.   In addition, this race was especially dedicated to the firefighters and emergency personnel, who had shown such courage in the four days of the blaze which raged across the mountains. Our team of Breadline riders contributed to the race and we will know within a few days how much was raised, but many thanks to you all.  It was wonderful having you in Cape Town and we hope that you will be back next year !

Lukhanyiso Pre-School launches its Containers Motherwell, Eastern Cape

Lukhanyiso Pre-school, located in Motherwell, just 28 kilometres outside of Port Elizabeth CBD, is home to 60 children aged 2-6 years. For the better part of the day, the pre-school was bustling with esteemed guests, parents and Motherwell NU12 community members. What was to be a minor event was in no time transformed into a massive ceremony.

The pre-school was not only celebrating the four newly donated containers, but the astounding partnerships that have developed over the years. Represented today was the Department of Social Development, Rural Development, the local Councillor, a teacher from the nearby primary school, representatives from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), and the School Governing Body of the pre-school.

Not so long ago, the pre-school used a shack as a classroom and a dilapidated 6 meter container for the very young children. Increased enrolment forced the Pre-school owner, Ms Zodwa Plaatjie, to look for an alternative and larger facility to run the school. It is at this point that she made contact with Breadline Africa, approximately two years ago.

Zodwa’s can-do attitude, her commitment, her resilience, and selflessness have resulted in the advancements and achievements in her immediate neighbourhood. This sentiment was recognised and reiterated by the Reverend who opened the session with prayer, the Master of Ceremonies and Mr Sandile Mpepo from the NMMU.   Through the Social Development Department at NMMU, several students have raised funds for a 12 meter container that is currently being used by the Grade R learners; in addition, they raised funds for a fence that now secures the property where all 5 containers are placed.

In this community where unemployment is high, crime is the order of the day and hopes and dreams are non-existing, it was the wish of all guest speakers that Lukhanyiso, which means “brightness” in Xhosa, will live up to its name – become the beaming light of hope for the community.

It was truly astonishing to see the level of appreciation and support the pre-school received from the community. It is the wish of Breadline Africa that the very same community will take further  responsibility for ensuring a sustainable and worthy foundation of knowledge of the children towards a  brighter future.

Press Release: A brighter start for Lukhanyiso Pre-school on World NGO Day

27 February 2015

Although townships are an intrinsic part of the history and current-day culture of South African society, due to their location – the outskirts of cities’ commercial and suburban centres – they continue to experience challenges, from unemployment and poverty, to a lack of access to basic resources and amenities. Motherwell, in Port Elizabeth, is no different. Laced with RDP (Reconstruction and Development Programme) houses, which are continually being built, the need for resources is never sufficient. This has not prevented Zodwa Plaatjie, who owns and runs an early childhood development centre for up to 60 children.

Today, being World NGO Day, could not have been a better day to launch the Lukhanyiso Pre-school containers with Zodwa. The day signifies an opportunity where NGOs celebrate their achievements while ensuring that small grassroots organisations gain the recognition they deserve – and Zodwa Plaatjie is one who deserves to be praised.

In 2010, Breadline Africa was introduced to Zodwa. At the time, she had made a plea for support for the work she was doing. She was running a pre-school for 60 children between the ages of one and six years, feeding them daily from her small make-shift shack she was using as a kitchen, and running a soup kitchen for the elderly from her meagre earnings. The pre-school operated from a 6,5-metre by 4,6metre shack, with a rusty roof that leaked whenever it rained, and the toilet facilities for the children were no better. The facilities lacked ventilation, and were not fire-proof. To top it off, there was hardly any space for a play area for the little children.

Amid these constant challenges, Zodwa has not only persevered and pushed on, she continues to inspire the general public to become more involved; she encourages and welcomes collaboration with other sectors. Most importantly, she has dedicated her life to others.

The newly refurbished containers: two classrooms, a kitchen and an ablution block, donated by Breadline Africa and co-sponsored by the Marthe van Rijswich Foundation, the Stanley Smith Fund and Containers4Life, have provided not only bigger, safer and securer space for the centre, but also an inviting, child-friendly structure.

The aptly named pre-school – Lukhanyiso – which means ‘brightness’ in Xhosa, kick-started 2015 with the new facilities. It is hoped that the new facilities will provide a healthy learning environment that is inspiring to children and serve as an encouragement to the community, helping them realise their own potential.

Breadline Africa focuses its energies on the upliftment of early childhood development and their surrounding communities. “Offering early childhood development facilities to create healthy environments for children to develop holistically, especially in poorly resourced areas, is critical to offering a foundation of knowledge, maturity and independence,” said Puleng Phooko of Breadline Africa. “We are proud to be supporting Zodwa, who has shown that despite the odds, she strongly believes in the need to nurture and grow South Africa’s children.

Literacy Quiz: International Kid Lit Quiz founder donates 2 000 books

For the past four years, collaborating with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Cape Town based NGO Breadline Africa, has provided 52 container libraries to schools across the country.

The libraries help foster a love of reading and provide an opportunity to children, many of whom hardly ever see a reading book, to come into contact with picture and story books.

Through the generosity of companies and donors, Breadline Africa has reached public primary school going children in nine provinces, many of whom are entering the world of reading for the first time.

25 February: The Mandela Day Libraries Project received a real treat today as 2 000 children’s books were donated. Donor, Wayne Mills started the Kids Lit Quiz, a literature quiz for primary school children based on the last 2 000 years of children’s books – over 20 years ago. The books form part of Mills’ personal collection – he is the international quizmaster of the Kids Lit Quiz and past lecturer in children’s literature at the School of Education at the University of Auckland. Mills has read every book he bases his questions on. Now that he has retired from the University, has decided to downscale and decided to donate the collection of books to needy schools in South Africa. He wanted the books to form two collections and be donated to two schools. The University of Auckland and Breadline Africa funded the cost of transporting and packaging and importing of the books.

Alpine Primary School in the Western Cape and Magudu Primary School in Mpumalanga were selected as recipients because they are doing an incredible job of integrating their libraries into the school. Breadline Africa believes in rewarding those schools that are making an effort to develop learners in different ways. Literacy has reached critically low levels in South African schools, with the Annual National Assessment results for English First Additional Language at Grade 6 being 45%, which is a 1% drop on the previous year.

Mills is in SA now to run the Kids Lit Quiz and is very supportive of its sister quiz, the Phendulani Literacy Quiz in SA, of which BLA is a partner. He started the Kids Lit Quiz as a champion of reading and in 2008 he was awarded the Margaret Mahy Medal for services to children’s literature.

In 2011 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Mills promotes the concept of a literature quiz because:

•             It offers reading challenges;

•             It broadens literary awareness;

•             It fosters positive attitudes towards reading;

•             It motivates students to read;

•             It provides a literary focus for schools to extend their students reading mileage and knowledge of literature;

•             It’s highly motivating; and

•             It promotes tolerance through learning about other cultures.

Breadline Africa commends Wayne Mills for his lifetime contribution to children’s literacy. We value the donation and know that his incredible collection will be appreciated by our school educators and learners.

#literacy #BreadlineAfrica #Projects

Elim Creche Container Handover – 20 February 2015

Elim Crèche is located in Vlakteplaas, just outside De Rust, in the Oudtshoorn municipality. Oudtshoorn is nestled at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains in the heart of the Little Karoo region of the Western Cape. Vlakteplaas is serviced land that is rapidly growing, and just as rapidly, in need of basic services.

It was with great excitement that community members and the parents of the youngsters from Elim Crèche launched their newly refurbished kitchen cum dining container today, Friday 20th February.   The 12-metre container, which was sponsored by Tiger Brands, was painted and decorated by a team from Purity in January this year. Purity (a department of Tiger Brands) have taken the facility under their wing. The container is a far cry from the shack that was previously used to provide meals for almost 50 children.

Due to the heat of the Karoo, an entire team from Tiger Brands and Purity arrived at Elim Crèche very early in the morning. By 08h30 the programme had started. Parents who predominantly work in the surrounding Ostrich and Olive farms had gathered and were ready to kick-start the day’s proceedings. The visiting teams thoroughly enjoyed handing out goodie bags to each child along with a variety of treats.  

Amanda Ewan from Purity spoke of how proud she was of Annalise who runs the centre. She encouraged her to continue doing a great job with the children. She further encouraged the parents and the community at large to look after the centre for it is for the benefit of all children, considering that the future of the children is determined by their foundation. 

A common thread between Breadline Africa and Tiger Brands is the conviction that meaningful interventions are required to realize the future potential of children. Quality early childhood interventions have the greatest impact on children most at risk, offering an unparalleled opportunity to alleviate the effects of social disadvantage and to break the cycles of poverty and inequality.

 

Written by Puleng Phooko

 

CYCLE FOR CHILDREN: CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR 2015

Dennemere Primary School is in desperate need of proper kitchen facilities. It is situated in Blackheath, on the outskirts of Cape Town in the Western Cape.  The school currently has 1,248 learners and is a classified as a no-fee school. Most of the learners are from the surrounding impoverished areas of Eerste River, Blue Downs and Dennemere .

The school is desperately in need of a kitchen where daily nutritious meals for the learners can be prepared. For many of the learners this is the only meal that they receive. Breadline Africa seeks to support the school’s feeding programme by providing a refurbished shipping container to serve as a kitchen.

The current facilities:

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One of the classrooms is being used as a kitchen and the principal is very concerned, as this is in contravention of the Western Cape Education Department’s guidelines regarding cooking on school premises.

Recognising that you cannot teach a hungry child, we are raising funds to provide a much-needed kitchen where meals can be prepared in a safer and more hygienic environment.

With your help, we will be able to help to feed hundreds of children daily!

Entry packages start at R999 and several options are available.

Contact Debbie on  021-4180322 or email  debbie@breadlineafrica.org.za

 

Entries close   :    TUESDAY,   27 JANUARY 2015, so call now!

BREADLINE AFRICA LAUNCHES CONTAINER KITCHEN FOR MACEDONIAN FEEDING SCHEME

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It would seem that even the sun approved of our efforts, as it shone brightly on the opening of a new community kitchen in Heideveld on the Cape Flats on Monday, 15 December 2014. Local residents came out in force to celebrate the provison of this much-needed kitchen, which will offer meals to the poorest members of the community.

The new kitchen, which was made possible by Breadline Africa’s generous donors, operates twice a week and serves more than 750 meals to adults and children in and around the poverty-stricken areas of Heideveld, Cathkin, Valhalla Park and Manenberg.

One of the custodians of this exciting project is Pastor Isaac de Jongh, a local church leader, and during the opening event, he happily reminisced about his own childhood. He was one of ten children and he explained that although things were tough in his family, his mom always cooked extra portions when making family meals, to ensure that the children in the neighbourhood whose families were not able to feed them properly did not go hungry. He added that she would also regularly bake bread, making sure that all the children in the neighbourhood received a slice.

Pastor de Jongh’s mother was the driving force in their community and also helped to establish a much-needed clinic, bringing primary healthcare into a community that did not have the resources to travel to access health services. It is easy to see where Pastor de Jongh got his inspiration from – he greatly admired his mother for her hard work and dedication, and aspired to emulate her one day.

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He was proud to follow in his mother’s footsteps and spent many hours in his kitchen at home, cooking pots of food, and with the help of his friends and community, he would serve the vulnerable homeless people who lived on the streets.  He would also go into many informal settlements where poverty is rife and shared with those who do not have a meal – especially the children. Now, he  and his team of community-based volunteers have a beautiful new kitchen with everything that they need to make nutritious meals for those in need.

A highlight of this happy day was when Ola arrived with Paddle  Pop ice lollies to hand out to the children.  A firm favourite with the youngsters, especially in the heat, they were welcomed and devoured in no time!

Pastor de Jongh could not find the words to express his gratitude for this great gift. He described it as an unbelievable, unimaginable experience, because something of this magnitude has never happened in this area and thanked Breadline Africa – and their generous donors – for bringing Christmas a bit earlier this year!

 

Written by Edna Titus