It was a jubilant day for Bonisiwe Gwala, Principal of Entokozweni Pre-School, on 19 February as after months of fundraising and planning the much-needed upgrade of her Pre-School commenced.

“This has been a project of incredible faith and collaboration,” explained Tayla-Anne Goss, Focus on iThemba’s Donor Relations Manager. “We would like to acknowledge our 29 forward-thinking partners for investing in this very worthy school. Special thanks are extended to our top 7 donors; Bidvest SACD, Container World, Kerry Ingredients, Belgotex, Cotswold Downs Estate, GROW with EduCare and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions. Warm thanks are also extended to the local heroes of hope who have contributed their time, wisdom and skills. The impact of these improvements will be immeasurable for the current pupils and for all the children who will follow,” said Goss.

Lead Architects designed the improvements for the Pre-School which is located just five minutes from the iThemba Campus. The design includes using six bright insulated shipping containers, three for classrooms, one for a kitchen, one for an office and one for toilets. For the first time the children will benefit from flushing toilets, floor coverings that promote hygiene, accessibility and a fun learning environment, sand pit and a much-needed jungle gym.

Focus on iThemba currently partners with ten Pre-Schools in the Valley of 1000 Hills and surrounds to facilitate elevated Early Childhood Development through quality teacher training, educational materials and mentorship.

“We have had the opportunity to work on structural revamps for two of our other partnering Pre-Schools so this will be our third revamp project,” explained Goss. “They are very rewarding projects as we see such immense positive change on many levels – from boosted teacher self-esteem, to school pride and most importantly an improved environment for boys and girls to learn and thrive.”

“I am so happy to be part of this exciting story and that the children we teach will be able to benefit from these wonderful facilities,” said Bonisiwe Gwala, Principal. “This will always be a day to remember.”

Project Joy commences! Mrs Bonisiwe Gwala, Principal and Owner, of the Pre-School pictured proudly holding the architectural plans by Lead Architects.