Monday, 2 November 2020 was a celebration to officially open 18 new brick and mortar classrooms (30ᵐ² each) in the Ugu District in KZN together with our partner, Impande. Due to the global pandemic, we held an online, virtual launch with the pre-school principals, our partners and the Breadline Africa team, all meeting online to celebrate.

What made this project so special is that this project was initiated during the national lockdown. After the announcement of a national lockdown at the end of March, the team of contractors made the decision to isolate on site and start building. By the end of October all 18 classrooms were completed. The building team were excited knowing that these would be ready in time for the children returning back to their pre-schools. Sphindile Gasa, Impande project manager, explained the problems the pre-schools faced with their old infrastructure. The teachers had insufficient space to divide the children into the correct age-groups to teach them their respective programmes. Sphindile was excited that each centre now has a new, spacious learning environment.

Diane Laugksch, Breadline Africa’s Strategic Partnerships Manager, introduced the Breadline Africa team to the online participants and thanked each principal and teacher for their tremendous commitment to changing these children’s lives. Diane recalled how in 2019, Breadline Africa and Impande built the first classroom at Zenzeleni Crèche in Port Shepstone. The success of this project inspired Breadline Africa to make the decision to place more
classrooms in the Ugu district. Diane explained how the building team had built the classroom in the first 10 days of the national lockdown, an incredible effort. Diane expressed how this project was one of hope and optimism. The project team could have sat back and waited for lockdown restrictions to be lifted but they continued to work, and
these 18 classrooms are a wonderful celebration of that. The Breadline Africa team are also very proud of the preschool centres who worked hard to become registered with the Department of Social Development.

The principal of Khulisa Crèche, Balungile Latha, thanked Breadline Africa for the support and said that not only will the children benefit from these structures, but the community as a whole, because these classrooms will serve many generations to come.

As the logo boards for each classroom were handed over, the children from Khulisa sang a wonderful song to celebrate their new classroom.

Marion Wagner, the Director of Breadline Africa, closed the virtual event with a big thank you to the principals and teachers for impacting the lives of so many children. She thanked all those involved in the building process for their dedication to the project and Impande for supporting these centres. We can truly celebrate the fact that 937 children, as well many more in the years ahead, will benefit from these beautiful safe spaces to learn and grow.

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