The grand opening of the newly renovated and expanded Masi Educare pre-school in Masiphumelele took place last Friday. The pre-school was due to be formally opened by the Mayco Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Cllr Suzette Little. Sadly Cllr little was unavailable on the date, but members of her team were on hand to join the assembled staff and children together with a host of guests, including the project’s architects, builders, representatives of overseas funders and many other volunteers and friends of both Masicorp and the pre-school.
In 2012, The City of Cape Town asked Masicorp to make the original pre-school sustainable and to bring it up to the DSD standards. The pre-school is based in the old farmhouse at the northern end of Masiphumelele on City of Cape Town land and was run for many years by Winnie Tsoto before she retired in 2013.
Regular readers of our blog will know that Masicorp has undertaken an extensive renovation of the farmhouse and the creation of an additional 8 classrooms and other facilities. The pre-school now has over 160 places for children including a Grade R class.
In addition, a new Principal, Lindi Hangana was appointed and over the past year she has been working with her teaching and support team to make the pre-school ready for the children. A clearly emotional Lindi introduced groups of children from each grade before a short series of speeches were given. This included an overview from Brian Ford, the Director of Special Projects at Social Development and Early Childhood Development.
While the speeches were well received most of the audience were even more delighted to receive an extended performance from the children. Each class had prepared a short dance routine for their guests. It started with an educational routine, involving identifying parts of the body and finished on a rousing note with a hugely enthusiastic routine of Waka Waka – the FIFA 2010 World Cup theme song.
It is estimated there are more than 4000 children in Masiphumelele between the age of 1 and 7 – very many of them do not have a place at pre-school and this joint initiative between Masicorp and City of Cape Town is a further step in the provision of essential education facilities for the township.
The whole project has cost R4.6 million of which R4.1 million was raised by Masicorp from generous donors in South Africa, USA, The Netherlands and UK. The City of Cape Town made a R500,000 contribution toward the development levy and will continue to support the pre-school with development and building maintenance costs.
With formalities completed it was finally left to the staff to cut the celebratory cakes and ensure each child and guest received a slice. Many thanks to Spar Vallyland and Platters at PnP Longbeach Mall for these wonderful branded cakes.
All photographs on this blog were taken by Stephen C Photography who kindly volunteered to assist with the grand opening.