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Breadline Africa launches 45th Mandela Day Library sponsored by Volkswagen Community Trust

image 02imageCommemorating Nelson Mandela’s legacy of service to others, Breadline Africa, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory launched the 45th Mandela Day library sponsored by Volkswagen Community Trust. The launch took place just a day after Madiba’s birthday, a day celebrated as International Mandela Day, where South Africans and the international community are encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time to the upliftment of others.

image 3Volkswagen staff and their families arrived at Alfonso Arries Primary School early this Saturday morning, and despite the rain and cold weather, spent half a day showing their support in various ways. As part of their corporate social investment, Volkswagen initiated a “Show of Hands” campaign to get their employees actively involved in community development. This year, Alfonso Arries Primary School was selected as a beneficiary. The Volkswagen staff in their “Show of Hands”, planted trees, cleaned classrooms, and handed over a Mandela Day Library as well as a full rugby kits for the schools under 11 and 13 rugby teams. It certainly was a full day of activity, and Volkswagen staff certainly extended themselves beyond 67minutes for Mandela Day.Located between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, Mrs. Mkencele (principal) runs the only primary school in the areiBali and Volkswagen staff. image 4

The public sector partnership with Breadline Africa means that the Mandela Day Library placed at Alfonso Arries Primary School will now be supported and monitored by district level library and information services to assist Breadline Africa in ensuring impact and sustainability. The acknowledgement and support received by National, Provincial and District level representatives from the Department of Basic Education on the day was very encouraging as it showed the importance of a multi-sector approach needed in literacy development for the children of South Africa. Additionally, the school will be further supported by “Reading for Enjoyment” focused NGO, Praesa. Their Nal ‘iBali campaign representatives were also present on the day launching a reading club in support of the schools literacy development efforts.

 

HANDOVER OF THE TWO CONTAINERS AT THE WATERFRONT ON INTERNATIONAL MANDELA DAY

Today marks the first International Mandela Day since his death in December last year.  Breadline Africa displayed two containers, a classroom and a kitchen, at the Clock Tower precinct of the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town, from the 1st July until today.  This was a joint project with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Waterfront management, Macquarie securities and several other partners. 

Although the weather was not very cooperative, at least the rain held off for most of the morning in Cape Town, after torrential downpours on Thursday.  At 9.30 a.m. the children of the Masande Educare Centre in Khayelitsha arrived, bundled up against the cold but very excited to be the centre of attention. At 10.07 a.m. Archbishop Tutu and his daughter Rev Mpho Tutu made an appearance, pushing a trolley full of toys and books to be donated to the new centre.  Tim was the MC and introduced Puleng Phooko, our Programmes Manager, who thanked all the many partners, enumerating the individual contributions which they had made to the project.  The Archbishop then spoke and had everyone rolling with laughter by imagining Madiba in heaven looking down on earth, joking with St Peter and being pleased with what we were doing.  He then, together with Ryan Brunsdon of Macquarie secs Literacy Charter and a copy of the book

The Herdboy by Niki Daly.  Because of the cold wind the whole group then moved inside the Clock Tower mall, to the Mandela Art Exhibition on the second floor.   Here a reading of the book to the children was commenced by the Archbishop and his daughter and taken up by several members of the public, fulfilling the requirement of 67 minutes of service for Mandela Day.  People could help to finish the portrait of Madiba with their thumb-prints, and there was painting for the children.  Finally the children were fed by the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation. equipped centre of two classrooms, a kitchen and a toilet block.Mandela Day handover 18 July 2014 (6)

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67 Minute Mandela Day for Top Billing Cape Town staff

Image 1South Africans have embraced the chance to  celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life for the whole month of July. This gives people the occasion to heed the call to action and to recognise their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them. Yesterday (9th July 2014) was such a day for the Cape Town-based Top Billing production staff who took the challenge and spent their 67 minutes with children of the newly launched Little Bright Stars Educare Centre in Heideveld. They brought with them cupcakes in all flavours and a face painter who had an extraordinary time mystifying the little faces.  

The small team were pleasantly content to spend time with the children showing them how to decorate cupcakes. The fun part was watching the kids indulge in the delicacies. Many of these kids were just as excited to have their faces painted in the different characters that they love to watch on TV. Fun was had by all, including the teachers at the centre.  

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The Ward Councillor for Heideveld and Gugulethu and was also present to help the kids with decorating the cupcakes. He was just as happy to interact and play with the kids.  

The ECD centre owner, Grace Witbooi, was beyond herself to be hosting the event on her premises. She jokingly said that when Breadline Africa said they would be back, she had no idea it would be this soon, nor this big. As usual she had gone out of her way to make all the guest happy and as comfortable as possible. 

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ARCHBISHOP TUTU AT THE WATERFRONT

Image 3 The two Breadline Africa containers, a classroom and a kitchen,  have been on display at the Clock Tower precinct of the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town since 1st July.  This is a  joint venture with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation and the Waterfront management,  to display what a pre-school can look like and create interest. 

Yesterday, Wednesday 9th July, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his daughter Rev Mpho Tutu visited the site.  Children from the Gingerbread pre-school in Mowbray and a large contingent of media were present. The Archbishop and his daughter took turns to read to them from one of his own books.  The Archnbishop made instant contact with the children and punctuated the reading with his own infectious joy.  After this the children received lunch packs.  He and his daughter were then interviewed by the presenters of Top Billing, the popular SABC TV show, which was followed by an interview with Puleng Phooko, our BLA Programmes Manager, inside the classroom container. 

The sponsors of the containers, the Macquarie Group, were also present, and had their photos taken with the Archbishop.  The Top Billing team then visited the Little Bright Stars Educare centre in Heideveld, opened only last Friday, where they did their 67 minutes of Mandela Day service.  The programme will be broadcast on the evening of 17th July, before International Mandela Day on the 18th July 2014.

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OPENING OF LITTLE BRIGHT STARS EDUCARE CENTRE

On Friday 4th July 2014, the Little Bright Stars Educare centre in Heideveld, Western Cape, opened its new containers donated by Breadline Africa: two new classrooms, a kitchen and a toilet. A small crowd of guests attended. The Principal, Grace Witbooi, welcomed everyone and thanked them for having braved the cold weather to attend the official launch of her Educare Centre.

image3The children sang the National Anthem and recited a poem in appreciation to all those who made it possible for them to have such a beautiful container classroom, kitchen and toilets.

Despite the very cold and windy weather in Cape Town all the sponsors such as Breadline Africa, BDO South Africa and Nampak Packaging, and the guests such as the Ward Councillor of the City of Cape Town, Social Workers from Social Development Services, and the Governing Body of the school, the Parents, the Educators and various Clergy were in attendance.

The message conveyed was that we were blessed with life.  The centre forms the foundation of serving the poor who will be the pillars in our society, as this is where the seeds are being sown. Early childhood development is vitally important for children.  It will bear fruit in their lives for many years to come.

The Councillor congratulated the Principal of the educare centre who made it possible for the children to attend such a well-structured centre.  He said that the Principal is a trail blazer in her own right and she is seen as a driver in her community.  The councillor said that it is his job to make sure that proper legislation for ECD Centres is being applied as well as to make it appropriate for informal settlements.image1image4

 

The Principal thanked everyone for attending the function and said that she will remain focussed as she would strive to keep the candle of hope alive.

 

Written by Edna Titus

 

 

 

Press Release: Early Childhood Development – the stone which forms a step in building solid foundations

June 2014

Research in South Africa and internationally indicates that the early years in a child’s life are critical for learning and development, which starts in infancy long before formal education begins. Early Childhood Development (ECD) plays a fundamental role in assisting children in the process of acquiring concepts, skills and attitudes. To honour 21 years, as well as recognising that high quality childhood interventions have lifelong effects on learning and motivation, Breadline Africa will up the ante as it transforms the V&A Waterfront’s Clock Tower Precinct into an ECD hotspot.

Between the 1st and 18th July, Breadline Africa in collaboration with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, will erect a refurbished shipping container in the V&A Waterfront’s Clock Tower Precinct – apt timing as Mandela month is celebrated globally during July. Programme Director Puleng Phooko says, “The ‘pop-up’ ECD centre will serve as a means of raising awareness about Breadline Africa’s ECD Container Programme. It will also be an opportunity for members of the public to come and have a look at just how functional the refurbished containers are”. A 6 meter container classroom and a 6 meter container kitchen will host ECD learners from Joe Slovo for a 3 week period. “The children will get an opportunity to interact in the classroom and of course, no field trip is complete without a warm meal.” Additionally, the children will enjoy visits to the Aquarium and the Cape Wheel.

Masande, an educare centre located in Khayelitsha, will be the recipient of the ECD centre that will be on display at the Clock Tower Precinct. Masande, which means ‘we must grow’, reaches 42 ECD learners between 6 months and 6 years old. The centre has been in existence for several years and despite providing reliable ECD services to the community, the conditions of the centre are shocking to say the least – there are leaks throughout the facility, the toilets are placed outside in the open air, there is a limited number of educational and developmental materials, etc.  

Effective ECD depends on the synergy of a number of factors. The basic conditional requirements for an ECD centre include elements such as compliance with health, safety and structural requirements, at least one nutritious meal per day for each child, appropriate educational and developmental material including adequate play facilities, toys and a blanket. In impoverished communities, a large number of children that fall into the ECD age group are affected by poverty and as a result are unable to attend an ECD centre that meets these very basic conditional requirements. “As a society we cannot afford to postpone investing in children,” says Tim Smith, Director of Breadline Africa. “The very heart and soul of Breadline Africa is that of breaking the cycle of poverty – by helping communities help themselves”.

Breadline Africa would like to encourage members of the public and corporates to become involved by visiting the Clock Tower Precinct between the 1st and 18th July, where donations of educational and developmental materials such as books and toys as well as blankets for children that fall into the ECD age group of 0-6 years can be made. Share your donation with the Breadline Africa team by taking a photo and posting it on twitter or facebook, using the hashtag #Masande. Help Breadline Africa and the Desmond and Leah Legacy Foundation make a sustainable difference in the lives of little ones.

 

For more information on Breadline Africa please visit: http://breadlineafrica.org/

Alternatively, if you would like to make a donation to the container programme please click here: https://www.givengain.com/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=donate&cause_id=3060&project_id=14848

BREADLINE AFRICA OPENS A MEDIA BRAILLE CENTER

BREADLINE AFRICA OPENS MEDIA BRAILLE CENTRE FOR THE

ATHLONE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND, 16 MAY 2014

Bellville, Western Cape

Donated by MRS MARY RYAN,  IRELAND -  SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOL

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  The Athlone School for the Blind is a public school situated in Bellville-South, Cape Town, South Africa.  On 7 May 1927 the Earl of Athlone, then Governor-General of the Cape, (after which the school is named) officially opened the school in the suburb of Athlone. Seven blind pupils were registered and admitted on the first day of school. The school was established to provide education and residential care for blind and visually impaired children from disadvantaged communities and has a proud history spanning 87 years. Currently the school has 405 learners and 45 educators.

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The new media centre consisted of two 12-metre containers joined side by side, creating a large space 12 metres long by 4.8 metres wide.  The inside was sealed, insulated and doors and windows cut into the containers to create a light airy space.  The work was completed some time ago but the school waited for the right opportunity to open the new facility. This was on Friday 16th May.

Mr Fletcher Fisher, school Principal (below) welcomed all the guests in attendance as well as the Board Members of the school.  There were various representatives in attendance from the City of Cape Town, the Department of Public Libraries, members of the Education department of the Western Cape government  as well as members from the local church.

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The Deputy Principal, Mr Theodore Klink shared with the audience what words can create in a normal society, for eg. a picture can paint a thousand words.  But for the visually impaired learners this can be difficult if they have never seen anything.  The container will serve as a much needed multimedia room with all audio visual aids for partially sighted and blind learners.

The learners (above and below) use the Perkins Brailler and the more modern Apex Notereader to assist them with their work.

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Their primary goal is to meet the educational, vocational and therapeutic needs for the learners so as to ensure that they have the appropriate skills, education and competencies to effectively participate in the broader social and economic world. The visually impaired learner’s access to a school, a shop or a library or to read a book is very different to those in a normal school.

Athlone School for the Blind thanked Breadline Africa for the gesture of the container as it will bring significant change in the lives of the visually impaired learners.  The donation was made by Mrs Mary Ryan from Ireland, who asked that the funds be spent on the special needs of children.

 

Written by Edna Titus

Breadline Africa launches 43rd Mandela Day Library

Thabantsho Primary School – 13 May 2014

Senwabarwani, Limpopo

pic1In the heart of Limpopo farm lands, near the Botswana border, is the village of Senwabarwani. Desolate and dry, the 147 learners of Thabantsho Primary have little choice but to walk kilometers to school every day. When I was helping set up the library the day before the launch, the grade 7 learners helping me explained that they had never seen a library before and certainly never as many books in one place. Out of the 5 learners assisting me, only one could speak English.

Via Afrika Publishers, the sponsoring company, have not only given the learners and teachers access to books with their investment, they have provided access to the world wide web, computer-based interactive curriculum and 400 ebooks on 15 tablet computers. This is an incredible contribution to the school and the community, whose socio-economic status can only be described as highly impoverished.

Even in these circumstances, the sense of pride and community felt at the launch was mind blowing. Principals, parents, tribal authorities and the Student Governing Body was all in attendance and it was clearly understood that the library is considered a treasure and an opportunity to them.

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The resources provided by Via Afrika Publishers extends to teacher and learner support for grades 8 to 12 as well. This means that high school students in the community now also have access. This library will certainly be utilized by the greater community.

Breadline Africa’s budding partnership with the National Department of Basic Education has secured provincial level support for the entire Mandela Day Libraries project, and this was seen in the provincial library and information services attendance, serving as learning and resource support for the librarian, Mrs. Matsie. In addition to the Librarian training held in October this year by Breadline Africa, Via Afrika Publisher will also be embarking on a monthly visits to the school for a period of 6 month. This will ensure that the librarian will be equipped to train other teachers as well as learners on how to maximize the use of the tablet computers.

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Written by: Jade Orgill (Project Manager, Breadline Africa.)

LONDON TO PARIS IN FOUR DAYS

Congratulations to Geert Schep, brother of Marijke, Netherlands trustee and father of Charlotte, who worked as a volunteer in our South African office last year.

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Last week he completed the grueling 500km/300 mile London to Paris cycle race on behalf of Breadline Africa.  Geert says that the route took them from London through Kent and down to Dover where they boarded the ferry for France.  Starting again in Calais, they cycled for three days through the French countryside, before arriving last Sunday in Paris.  Geert says that the race was extremely well organised with lunch and overnight stops provided by the organisers.  He rode the race with his cousin and a friend.

Through his web page on the website  www.justgiving.com, Geert raised   ₤ 1,784.54, which was 23% over his target of ₤ 1,450.00   This will go to a container project in the Cape Town area which Geert has identified.

You can still donate by clkcing on his webpage at http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/LondontwoParisCycle

Congratulations to him and thank you for a great effort.  Next year maybe Geert will join us for the Argus race !

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Participate for Good and Breadline Africa launches 42nd Mandela Day Library

Bongane Primary Farm School – 24th April 2014

Endicott, Springs, Gauteng.

 Bongane Primary Farm School is a small school situated 18km from Springs town, next to an informal settlement called KwaZenzele at Endicott. It has approximately 460 learners, a principal, and 40 members of staff. The school is determined for their children to “grow in spite of poverty”.   This was beautifully reflected during the ceremony, where children big and small were able to stand up with confidence, reciting poetry about equality, recycling, the school and the meaning of Ubuntu. We were also treated to several traditional dance performances.

The ceremony was attended by Participate for Good 46664 representives – Mr Robert Coutts, Mr Raynolds Tshuma, and Mrs Angela Teague, a Soul Buddyz representive – Ms Thoko Budaza, the principal – Ms Gama, as well as all the school teachers and learners. In addition, we were honoured to have some of the school parents in attendence.

This container library was sponsored by 46664 bangles. It was also made possible by Charities Unlimited and a generous donation of approximately 800 books was sponsosred by Rotary International in Bedfordview. The ceremony was gracefully conducted by the principal and the teachers. Ms Gama gave an impassioned speech about how their little school had survived so many odds, and how the gift of the Container Library would help them as educators to enhance the learning experience for the children. To this end, one of the teachers had preprinted certificates for the children to be awarded to each child making use of the library for a project or simply to read a story book. This acknowledgement is aimed at boosting learner confidence and aspiration as books and leanring is built into a reward system.

Once the formalities were over, everyone had the opportunity to take a tour of the library; including teachers, students and parents. Then the music was pumped up, and the dancing began. The teachers were showing the children how it was done, and there was a great deal of fun and laughter to close off this special event.

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