School and water safety for South African kids

by Love to Langa
Vetted
Swim School Construction
Swim School Construction

My husband, Jon, and I were thrilled to travel from Philadelphia to Cape Town last week to check on the progress of the Love to Langa Swimming Academy at Philippi Children's Centre. Despite the rainy winter in Cape Town stalling work for quite some time, construction is now in full swing and the walls have started going up.

On a beautiful, sunny day, we gathered with the Philippi Children's Centre Committee and Viv, who will be running the swim school initially. The plan is to professionally run the school for up to two years, while training members of the community to take over so that it will become a sustainable resource for the school and community. With construction going on in the background, we unveiled a temporary sign recognizing the major donors to this project, which will be the first learn-to-swim pool of it's kind in the Townships near Cape Town.

It was very gratifying, as well, to see the beautiful, completed Love to Langa classroom, sponsored by our donors. This kindergarten classroom is equipped to a high standard and principal Sweleni proudly showed us around. 

Weather cooperating, we look to see the swim school completed in the next couple of months and the plan is for the official opening to occur in November on the school's parent visiting day.

Endless thanks to you, our generous donors, for helping to make this dream a reality. We are anxiously awaiting the first sponsored swimming lessons and with the Olympic Games currently occurring, Viv told us her own dream is to identify and train a future triathlete from the Townships.

Please see the link to visit our Facebook page for more photos!

Swim School Construction
Swim School Construction
Reviewing the plans
Reviewing the plans
With Philippi Children
With Philippi Children's Centre Committee
Temporary Sign
Temporary Sign
Students in front of Love to Langa Classroom
Students in front of Love to Langa Classroom

Links:

Swimming Academy Groundbreakers Ryan and Noah
Swimming Academy Groundbreakers Ryan and Noah
We were so thrilled and gratified to be able to tell you that construction of the Love to Langa Swimming Academy is beginning THIS WEEK!
A family from Philadelphia was instrumental in organizing a swimathon at the Radnor Aquatic Club last year which raised over $10,000 for our project. We were fortunate that they were visiting Cape Town recently and were able to be present for the official groundbreaking. Their children, swimmers Noah and Ryan, had the honor of putting the first shovel into the ground. The family put together a terrific video, which can be seen on the link below.
The swimming academy contractors are currently clearing the ground and getting everything ready to start to build and we are looking forward to sharing photos of the completed or nearly completed structure in our next report.
Many thanks for all of your support, we certainly couldn't have done it without you!

Links:

Pool drawing
Pool drawing

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you to this project, we were able to fund a new classroom Philippi Children's Centre (PCC) a couple years ago and we continue to fund scholarships for children to attend school. We wanted to provide you with the latest update for the Love to Langa Swimming Academy, which will not only benefit children at PCC, but the larger community as well. 

BPAS, an architectural company was hired to design the pool plans.  After each draft, the PCC management committee and Love to Langa had to approve.  When the drawings were completed in September 2015, the PCC committee gave its final approval and requested parking spaces be reduced in order to make the footprint smaller.

In October 2016, the plans were submitted to the planning offices in Athlone, Cape Town.  

The procedure was as follows:

Submission of plans and all documentation:

  • Plans
  • Property Deed
  • Rates and Water Account
  • Architect application
  • SANS Documentation
  • Power of Attorney

This followed a visit from planning to PCC in December to ensure that the architect took the correct measurements and all the structures on the plans were on site.  This was completed and the application was moved to Land Use Management (LUM.)

LUM requested the following:

  • Plans
  • Rates and Water Account (not older than 3 months)
  • Property Deed
  • Conveyancing Certificate (not older than 3 months)
  • Swimming Pool Motivation Report
  • Power of Attorney

After submission of the LUM documentation, a fee was paid.  This fee was for the request to decrease parking and for Advertising.  "Advertising" means visiting the neighbors to ensure there are not any objections to the build.  We are currently at this stage.  This is the longest stage.  Due to December and January being holidays, there is South African legislation that no advertising would take place from 12 December to 12 January.  We were informed that Advertising for the pool started on January 15, 2016.Once the LUM application has been passed, a scrutiny fee will be paid.  The application will then move to BDM (Building Development Management).  An engineer’s letter will be requested.  Once that has been approved, planning approval will be given to start the build.

We anticipate that if all goes according to plan and taking into consideration planning’s rules and regulations, we should be starting the build in the beginning of March 2016. Whew! It's been a long and complicated process, but we are so thrilled that the Love to Langa Swimming Academy is in our sights! 

Thanks again for your incredible support and we look forward to showing you photos of the building process shortly! 

Pool drawing
Pool drawing
Melody
Melody

Dear Donors:

Many thanks for all of your support over the past year! We are so excited that things are really coming together with our Swimming Academy project at Philippi Children’s Centre.

Our project manager in South Africa, Kissmea Adams, is hard at work getting all of the plans together with the vendors and contractors. She has done an amazing job in getting materials free or at reduced costs and is confident that we will be within our budget. 

We are now looking to pour concrete in January and once that happens, things will move very quickly and we are on track for our March opening. They are going to start clearing the site this month, using local labor to dig the pool. We will be posting photos of our progress on our Facebook page and that is the best place to keep abreast of the latest.

In the meantime, please enjoy this short video of Marian's swimming lesson. She is one of the children we are currently sponsoring for swim lessons and we are thrilled to be able to soon offer many more children this opportunity!

We are happy to report that our regular scholarship students at Philippi Children's Centre are all doing wonderfully, thanks to you, our generous donors! Here is an update on their progress from their teachers.

Teacher Denise says, "Tyron, age 4, is a very happy child and is interacting well with his peers in class. He knows his colors and shapes. Tyron likes to work with the knobbed cylinders and broad stair. He is able to build a 30-piece puzzle on his own. He likes drawing and painting. He is able to communicate well with the teachers in his class. His attendance is good. He likes outside time, he likes playing on the jungle gym and playing with a ball with his friends." You may recall that Tyron is a child that we were concerned about as he showed signs of fetal alcohol syndrome when we first met him a few years ago, so we are thrilled with his progress!

Three year old Nadine’s teacher Patronella says her attendance is very good. "Nadine is a very quiet child in class but can communicate well with her friends. Nadine enjoys working in the practical life area with wet pouring. She can count up to 10 without any assistance. Nadine was introduced to metal insets and she loves working with them. She loves outside time where she plays with her friends in the sand pit." 

Juanicka, age 3, is also in Teacher Patronella's class. "She is very happy to be at school and loves to communicate with the teachers and her friends. She can count to 10 without assistance from the teachers. She loves to work in the practical life area with the spooning. Juanicka was introduced to the sandpaper numbers in the Maths area and she loves working and tracing on them. She loves outside time and playing on the jungle gym. Her health is good and she is a pleasure to have in class."

Teacher Leah says of Melody, age 2, "she is very quiet in class. She is progressing in class but still needs lots of assistance.  Her potty training is going well and she has started saying when she needs to go to the toilet. She likes to play with dolls and likes sing-a-long time. We are happy with her overall progress."

Jamie-Lee, age 5, is graduating in December and will be moving on to primary school. His teacher, Elizabeth, says "he has a pleasant disposition. He speaks with confidence to the group and responds well. He works well in groups, planning and carrying out activities. He enjoys doing neat careful work. He can work with numbers up to 20 with understanding. He knows primary colors as well as the basic shapes." We will miss Jamie-Lee and wish him well in his future education. Starting in January, we will have a new scholarship student, Rafael.

Best wishes for the holidays!

 

 

Rafael
Rafael
Nadine
Nadine
Junicka
Junicka
Tyron
Tyron
Jamie-Lee
Jamie-Lee

Links:

Ilan
Ilan

Our next big project is the Love to Langa Swimming Academy at Philippi Children's Centre. Things are moving along and we are looking to break ground in October. We still have quite a bit of fundraising to do and will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in the near future to help us meet our goal.

Love to Langa board member, Kissmea Adams, is acting as the project manager and shares, "Visiting Philippi Children's Centre this week was amazing. There is a buzz of excitement at the school surrounding the indoor pool. Teachers are excited as well as parents. It has been agreed by Philippi Children's Centre and Headstart Swim School that the pool size would be 10 by 5m to ensure it can accommodate teaching adults as well. The size will also allow more than one coach to teach at the same time. Two coaches have been assigned to teach beginning in March 2016."

We also wanted to share an update on Ilan, one of the children Love to Langa donors are sponsoring for swimming lessons. His teacher, Michelle, says, " Thanks to you guys he is an absolute joy to teach! Born to swim! Fish in water. It's unbelievable, such an easy child, water safe, jumps, swims, loves his face in the water, lots of bubbles, no fear! Great body position. Blessed to have him!"

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Love to Langa

Location: Gladwyne, PA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.lovetolanga.org
Project Leader:
Amy Ostroff
Gladwyne, PA United States

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