Children designing murals for the inside walls
TO our donors: Your generosity and support have been remarkable and deeply appreciated. Thank you so so much.
The children are involved with their usual activities including soccer, art, dance, song, chess, and computer training. Every few weeks or so we take them to the site of our new center now under construction for cleanup day where teams win prizes for the most trash collected. They are also hard at work under the guidance of Shaka Ndlovu, an immensely talented local artist who donates his time to teach the children and is painting the front wall murals. He is working with our Elders (age 15-17) training them to develop and implement murals that they will paint on the interior of the security wall of our center that is under construction now.
The Zimkids building project is moving along swiftly now. All foundations are in; the sub floor (5” quarrystone/cement mixture) is in place for the Resource Center. The remaining sub floors for the bathrooms, gazebo, Tech Center and Office cottage will be poured in the next two weeks. The walls, windows and doors of the resource center are up. Once the sub floors are all in the walls of the Tech center will go up followed by the Bathrooms. A pump and piping have been installed in the well. The water tank stand is built. Following my return December 2 the roofs will be installed. Once the roofs are up then the final floor finish is poured and the walls are skim-coated inside and out. Our six Seniors (18,19 year old orphans) are working at the site and have learned how to plan, mix and build with cement. Two of them have become so proficient that they could easily be hired by construction companies now. They in turn will be training our Elders (age 15-17).
We have been chosen to be one of eight charities for the Barnert Temple Mitzvah Mall focusing on water projects. Our plan is to install drip irrigation and to have caregivers and our children participate in the planning, implementation and care of the market garden. Once the buildings are up we will enclose a space to raise broiler chickens and egg layers. Both the market Garden and Chicken project will both feed our kids and produce some income that will move us closer to self-sufficiency.
We have applied for a grant to purchase computers for our Tech Center which will be used to train our kids in the use of a computer and internet. When the children are in school the tech center will become an internet café for the greater Pumula neighborhood. Again, moving us closer to self-sufficiency.
Thanks to you all of this is happening. We are all very excited and are looking forward to the grand opening sometime in March, 2012 to which you are all invited!
One of the Murals by Shaka Ndlovu Front wall
Foster, 18, laying block for the Resource Center
Zimkids new Council of Elders ages 15-17