On a cold, wet morning, the sun appeared through the clouds and lit up the bright new kitchen/toilet container against the backdrop of a spectacular rainbow. The children ran through the muddy puddles playing with inflated balls which promptly had the Breadline team climbing up ladders armed with a mop to retrieve them, much to the delight of the children.
Parents, partner organisations and community members huddled in the small but brightly adorned classroom displaying handmade cards to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
Ms Ntombizodwa Songayi from Ikamva Labantu led the proceedings and Rev. Peter Makute opened in prayer. Mr Makute, who also runs a pre-school close by, used the analogy of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem as the education system in South Africa is broken. He encourages investors to invest in building children’s futures in the informal settlements by focussing on the foundation phase which is so critical in the journey of a child’s education. Ms Ambesiwe Nkange, the parent of one of the children, told the audience how her child comes home every day and recites everything she has learnt and she thanked the teachers for how they impart their knowledge. She said that this pre-school adds great value to the community and is proud of how the principal Nonzuzo has expanded from the small shack she started off with 12 years ago.
Ms Nonzuzo Mzinyathi, the principal, thanked the Old Mutual Two Oceans, the runners and cyclists and donors who helped make this new container a reality. She explained how difficult and unsafe it was to cook in the classroom so she would wake up at 04h00 to start preparing meals. She said that they day the container arrived; she was like a young child – beyond excited. She even got up on the first night to go and check if it was real and if it was still there. She said, “I will keep thanking you all until the sun goes down”.
Ms Marion Wagner, Breadline Africa director, said what a pleasure it was to be part of the handover and congratulated Nonzuzo and her four amazing teachers. She also thanked the Breadline Africa team, all the runners and cyclists and in particular, The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon organisers (TOMI) for giving Breadline Africa the opportunity to fundraise through the sale of the half marathon places. She congratulated Gail Dreyer (Breadline Africa’s team member) for being a participant and a fundraiser.