It was a very special Mandela Day for the children of Thopodi Primary School in Etwatwa (a township near Benoni in Gauteng) as they received their newly converted container library, thanks to the generosity of Breadline Africa’s individual donors and local company, G4 Mining and Civils who contributed R66,000 towards the books.

Previously, the school had transformed the tiny Head of Department’s office into a library. This meant that the office could not be utilised, nor was the library properly established but despite this, it continued to thrive. It was well stocked with books that were categorised, classified and levelled. There was also a group of senior learners who were responsible for managing the book loan system. When Breadline Africa was introduced to the school, one of the teachers, Ms Margaret Molefe, had committed her time to manage the library over and above her teaching responsibilities.

The current acting principal, Mr Ambrose Makena had visited a nearby container conversion company to investigate the cost of a container library – and he discovered that this was well beyond the school’s  means.  He was delighted to learn about Breadline Africa’s library programme and immediately applied.

The acting principal is partnered with Partners for Possibility (PfP). He inspires confidence in both the children and their teachers and campaigns and advocates on behalf of surrounding schools. His networks are far reaching and thanks to his PfP partner, successfully connected with G4 Mining Civils.

It was fitting that this library was launched on  Mandela Day – a day that celebrates individuals making every effort to transform their immediate surroundings. Mr Makena is clearly making an impact in his world, every day. To celebrate the launch, the children also went the extra mile and excelled in performances ranging from poetry recitals, a performance by the school choir and gum-boot dancing. Certainly a day to remember!