Masicorp volunteers from across all of our projects and many of the partners we work with in Masiphumelele gathered in the library yesterday for a well-earned ‘thank-you’ session. For several weeks now Masicorp’s founders John and Carol Thompson have been in Cape Town, together with Jane Philippi from the US funding team. Although John and Carol have ‘retired’ from active duty in South Africa they remain Directors and have a keen interest in all of our projects. In recent weeks they have once again become familiar faces around Masiphumelele.
In a few days they fly home the States so this was a final chance to them to say their thanks to everyone. John was generously given five minutes to sum up the history of Masicorp and did a fabulous job of keeping to time (well almost). Volunteers new and old in the audience all learned something new. For those of us living in the area, change sometimes seems to happen slowly in Masiphumelele but John summed up the progress made in his time by referring to the number of formal brick houses now visible on every street, whereas it was all wooden shacks when Masicorp began their work.
The venue, in the library, was symbolic as it was one of the first buildings that Masicorp built for the residents. Its success has seen it become administered by the City of Cape Town and yesterday also marked its reopening after a six week period of improvements by the city. Most notably the reception desk is now directly facing you as you enter the building allowing the staff to provide a genuine welcome as you arrive. It is much more than aesthetics of course with so many learning programs run form the library by Masicorp and other NGO’s. Sue Alexander, the head librarian, also took the time to say a few words and welcomed everyone back to the new look library. She was pleased to inform us that Masicorp’s projects remain the “icing on the cake” that the City of cape Town’s support provides.
As ever Nonny’s Bakery provided excellent cakes and thanks must go to all the volunteers who were left behind the counter pouring drinks. Most of all we thank John and Carol for establishing Masicorp and their ongoing support – and we wish them a safe trip back home.