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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

BREADLINE AFRICA’S ANNUAL TRIP TO THE SEASIDE … through the eyes of a child

“Thank you for the surprise, it was beyond our expectation.” These were the words echoed by all the children and their educators who attended our seaside programme.

2014 marked the fourteenth year of our seaside event, as we celebrate  21 years of serving the poor. To date, we have taken more than seventeen thousand children to Silverstreambeach, situated on the West Coast Road on the outskirts of Cape Town. (http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/SportRecreation/Pages/SilwerstroomBeach.aspx)

This year was no different, as we invited more than 1,000 children from as far afield as De Doorns, Touws River and Worcester. We also invited children from local townships  such as Bonteheuwel, Heideveld, Manenberg, Milnerton, Vrygrond, Lavender Hill, Philippi, Phumlani,  Mfuleni and Khayelitsha.

This event is one of our biggest treats for these children, who come from all walks of life, especially those who have never seen the sea. It has become an educational excursion, as the children have the opportunity to learn so much about the environment.

It was once said that it is so important for a child’s development to get in touch with nature; the feeling of the sand between their toes, the splashing in the sea water and the magnitude of the sea is something that these children have never experienced.  As one little girl said, “look at the snow on the water”.  She was referring to the waves that resemble snow on the surface of the sea, and for the children it was a sight to behold. Another girl tasted the water and said, why is the water so salty, who made the water salty? Did we make the water salty because we know that they were coming to the seaside?

This is the difference that a simple day-trip to the seaside makes – it can and will  broaden their knowledge and horizons, offering a glimpse of a life away from the circumstances that they know and, perhaps, inspiring them to a greater future.

Many of the parents are seasonal workers and struggle to make ends meet. An invitation like this is something that will never ordinarily come their way. This was truly a magical experience, as their eyes lit up in the wonderment at the prospect of the bus-ride to the seaside.

The staff of Signature of Hope Trust  brought special joy to the day when they brought along a variety of games to keep the children entertained. They played running potato games, the jumping castle, the hoola hoops, the ball games on the beach and, most of all, the children loved the face painting. (www.signatureofhope.org/)

 

A lovely surprise for any child is the appearance of Father Christmas, who handed out gifts to all the children. Their curiosity quickly got the better of them and they delved into the gift bags to see what treasures lay within.

This is our annual gift to the children who endure so much hardship and deprivation. For many of them, this will be the only Christmas gift that they will receive. We thank all our friends and supporters, especially Salfreds Bus Company, for their loyal support.

(http://www.salfreds.co.za/)

We would  also like to take this opportunity to thank the management, staff, security and the life savers of Silverstroom Beach, who assisted us in ensuring that this was a safe and enjoyable event for everyone who attended.

 

Breadline Africa launches the 52nd Mandela Day Library

Ineeleng Primary School – 04 December 2014

Lokaleng Village, Mothibistad, Northern Cape province.

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On the 4th December, the small community of Lokaleng village in the Mothibistad area of the Northern Cape Province joyfully gathered in a tent at Ineeleng Primary school. It was a joy for all to witness the launch of the 52nd Mandela Day Library. The day arrived with rays of hope for the better education of the children of this community.

The launch reminds us that it was this time last year, the 5th of December, when we sadly received the announcement about the loss of a great man, national hero Nelson Mandela. The launch of this library marked the first year of his departure from this earth, and was in celebration of his legacy.

mookhoIneeleng is offering primary education to 164 learners from grades 1-7. This was really a great day for the school and the entire community as people came from far to witness the opening doors of newly treasured library.  It was an exceptional day for the beneficiaries as the school had dreamed of having fully resourced library.

The principal of the school Mrs Moholoeng, a very passionate and determined person, expressed her joy over the library and with confidence said that it is in good hands. She also provided a long history of the school and the struggle she went through to make this happen. She acknowledged all the people and individuals for their contributions to make this a success. Sincere gratitude was directed to Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, and Breadline Africa.

The children also expressed their happiness in the form of song and dance. They really entertained the gathered crowd.   Their songs struck a chord; the atmosphere lifted and brought laughter.

Among the crowd of people gathered to witness the launch were representatives from the Department of Basic Education, Provincial District Library and Information Services, School Governing Board, the counsellor and ATNS team Mr Nesengani, Sphelele and Percy Morokane.  Mr Nesengani from ATNS presented a remarkable speech on behalf of the ATNS team in the office of the CEO. In his speech he expressed their great concern, passion and love in investing in the education of children in the poor communities of South Africa. He also thanked the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and Breadline Africa for coming up with the initiative.

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Breadline Africa Celebrates World Toilet Day At Inkwenkwezi Educare Centre, Mbekweni Paarl

It is reported that access to sanitation and proper ablution facilities is a global issue, with more than 2.5-billion people not having access to a clean toilet. According to a report prepared for World Toilet Day, 1.1-billion people have to defecate in the open due to lack of access to any ablution facilities.

BLA-Toilets2-NewIn light of this sanitation issue & Breadline Africa’s focus on children, we have provided Inkwenkwezi Educare Centre in Mbekweni, Paarl a  shipping container toilet.

The container was fitted out with two hand basins, three toilets for the boys and three toilets for the girls.
As part of World Toilet Day, we have been teaching the children how to use the flush toilets and most importantly why it is important to wash their hands regularly.

The occasion was attended by representatives from the Valcare Trust, Dr Lisa Louw, a supporter from Paarl and guests from Social Development as well as the educators and Principal, Joyce Kepe of the Educare Centre.  A generous donation of desks, chairs, and stack up beds were received from Rand Merchant Bank.

Inkwenkwezi Educare  (which means  Star of Hope) placed potties in an alleyway, to cater for the ablution needs of more than 50 children in their care, ranging from six months to six- year old.

Joyce Kepe and her staff thanked all the sponsors and supporters for the invaluable support that she had received.

 

Written by: Edna Titus