In July 2014, Volkswagen SA launched their first Mandela Day Library in the Eastern Cape and just 2 months later we celebrated the second in Alexandra Township. Right in the middle of National Literacy Week, we are proud to be a part of placing the 49th Mandela Day Library.
Once again, Volkswagen staff and their families arrived at Skeen Primary School early this Saturday morning, and spent half a day showing their support in various ways. As part of their corporate social investment, Volkswagen’s “Show of Hands” campaign gets their employees actively involved in community development. This time Food and Trees for Africa led a team of volunteers in planting trees in front of the library and a vegetable garden. Another team was responsible for painting the library and another painted palisade fencing around the library. It was a full day of activity for all the volunteers. In the library the children helped to clean shelves, label books and put up posters, while their moms helped classify and level the books. The library looked great in the end with an opening stock of 1 100 books.
The school once used a classroom as a library facility, but had to change it back to a classroom due an increase in the number enrolments which is a common occurrence in South African schools. There are 1 337 students attending Skeen Primary from grades R to 7 and classrooms are filled with an average of 55 learners per class. Headed by Mr Mashishi, Skeen Primary is vibrant with activity. Through his leadership the learners are now exposed to a variety to sports, winning awards in them and travelling to places they would not normally be exposed to coming from the socio-economic environments that they do. He and his staff have a “can do” attitude and it is without a doubt that we have placed this library in the care of those poised to make a difference.
The public sector partnership with Breadline Africa means that the Mandela Day Library placed at Skeen Primary School will now be supported and monitored by district level Library and Information Services to assist Breadline Africa in ensuring impact and sustainability. We look forward to working with the school and welcome Gloria, the designated librarian, to the upcoming training in October this year.