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Give 50 children a great start at Emmanuel Educare

by Starting Chance Trust
Give 50 children a great start at Emmanuel Educare
Give 50 children a great start at Emmanuel Educare
Give 50 children a great start at Emmanuel Educare
Give 50 children a great start at Emmanuel Educare
Give 50 children a great start at Emmanuel Educare
A new school
A new school

On 14th May 2019 at 10 am we opened Emmanuel educare for 50 children and 3 teachers. It was a beautiful end to 7 years of waiting and the beginning of a wonderful new era for Principal Elizabeth and her staff, parents and children. “Emmanuel” meaning “God with us” has been through a testing and sometimes turbulent journey.

We walked into the shiny, newly converted house with gleaming softly painted yellow walls, beautifully set out classrooms, excited teachers and children and a radiant Elizabeth with Victor, her husband. There was an air of joy and anticipation. We gathered in the front room, fellow principals, Margaret Fraser from Home Choice Development Trust, sponsors of the project, the Starting Chance educational team, trustees and friends. The principals burst into song at the top of their voices:

Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,
Like a little candle burning in the night,
In this world of darkness, we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

As I looked around the room I was struck by the truth of these words – these wonderful women were indeed shining in their township and bringing light to the children, parents and teachers of the community at large.

 As Principal Elizabeth recalled her memories she said, “I opened my crèche in 2008 because I loved children. I went to an ECD forum meeting at Teacher Sandra’s. Ali was there and she asked for volunteers to join the programme. I put my hand up but I didn’t know what this might mean. I put my hand up in faith.”  Through rain, flooded floors, family crises, children leaving due to the bad conditions in the shack crèche, Elizabeth and Victor her husband, held onto this faith. At the end of her speech, there was not a dry eye in the room. Other speeches echoed the journey, the miracle of support from Home Choice Development Trust and the impact the school would have on the community. The children came to sing wonderful songs and to participate in the transition to such a beautiful new learning environment.

It was a joyous occasion where hands were joined, different cultures and backgrounds merged and a common goal of giving our future generations an amazing start on their educational journey was cemented.

Thank you to Home Choice Development Trust, and to all the people who made this project a “beautiful build.” Together we can indeed shine in our small way and soon light will overshadow the darkness of poverty.

Children celebrate their new school
Children celebrate their new school
Kind words from a fellow principal
Kind words from a fellow principal
Children sleeping under blankets of joy
Children sleeping under blankets of joy

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Autumn is rapidly approaching here in Cape Town, and as we await what we hope will be a wet winter we will be pleased to be able to move Emmanuel Educare to its new home before the rains come!

Our team of local builders have worked hard to get the new school ready, and the project has provided much needed work opportunities.

All of the structural changes have been completed and the final touches are being made to the fitted kitchen ahead of the new Emmanuel Educare Centre being given a final clean in readiness for hand-over to Principal Elizabeth.

New furniture and educational equipment have been ordered for the classrooms, and it will be delivered in the coming month as the school begins to operate.

The new centre is bright, light and airy. It will provide a lovely learning environment for 50 children from the local community.

The outdoor play area is being finished this week. The new jungle gym is sure to be a favourite with learners.

Marianne, a graphic designer who supports Starting Chance, has created a fabulous new logo for Emmanuel and I have just placed the order for the new sign – it’s great to see another new school almost ready to go in Mfuleni!

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Shifting supplies for storage
Shifting supplies for storage

Emmanuel Educare Centre has to move from it's exisiting building into the new facility at the end of January 2019. It's a tight deadline and we really want to hit the target. Theoretically, building over the holidays is much easier for the principal, because many children and their families leave Cape Town and return to their homes in the Eastern Cape.

However, here in Cape Town construction sites traditionally close for the annual builder's holiday from mid-December to mid-January - and so do the suppliers. So if you want to build through the end of year holiday you have to be well organised.

Projects such as Emmanuel provide ideal opportunites to partner with local builders and suppliers who tend to be very flexible with their schedules when there is the prospect of work. This is important because it helps us to keep the money we invest in the Mfuleni community which broadens the benefit. Our partners in the community also recognise the benefit their work brings to the children and families who live there, so they do their utmost to make it work for everyone!

The site is small, so storage is challenging. Fortunately our neighbour came to our rescue and allowed us to use his yard. It's great to have the support of the local community members. Even then, phones were ringing as supplier's lorries had to navigate narrow streets and low-hanging electricity cables. Fortunately, with Nontando's help, we made it without any incidents. With hours to spare pallets of blocks arrived on site ready to start the external wall to secure the property - an essential first step in creating a safe environment for the children who will attend the educare.

So progress is on track - the wall is now up and we have moved forward to start with the changes to level the internal floor and move the internal walls to create space for a new ablutions and kitchen.

Watch out for our next report - by then we should have done the main structural changes to the existing walls ready for the building inspector to return from leave so that we can begin work on the new office.

Setting the wall foundation
Setting the wall foundation

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Organization Information

Starting Chance Trust

Location: Cape Town - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Ali Corbett
Cape Town, South Africa

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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