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“I am overjoyed! Really, I cannot put into words how grateful I am to have been given this opportunity to make a life-changing difference to my school. Thank you Focus on iThemba. My heart is happy!”

These are the words of Cynthia Cibane, owner and principal of Inkanyezi Pre-School, based in Madameni, just outside Hillcrest. Local non-profit, Focus on iThemba, welcomed Cynthia and her school into their Educare Programme at the start of 2020 as recipients of the organisation’s 4th transformation project.

“With the collaboration of forward-thinking donors, we aim to facilitate transformation of the school to ensure an environment conducive to growth, teaching and learning,” said Tayla-Anne Goss, Team Leader at Focus on iThemba.

Inkanyezi Pre-School, referred to as ‘Project Star’ has learning facilities that currently pose a health and safety concern.  Their ablutions consist of only one toilet and tap for staff and children, and among other concerns, out of the two wendy houses on the property, only one is being used as a classroom because the other is in a very dilapidated condition.

Focus on iThemba, together with the support and partnership of a number of donors, have successfully completed three transformation projects of a similar nature, the most recent being ‘Project Joy’ in 2019. The transformation model involves converting bright and colourful shipping containers into sturdy pieces of infrastructure, to not only enhance durability but provide the school with a safe and welcoming space.

The containers will accommodate space for 3 classrooms, ablutions for adult and children, a kitchen, office and storage. Among other exciting improvements the school will benefit from educational kits, an aesthetic outdoor turf, a sustainable vegetable garden, outdoor play equipment and 2 x Jo Jo Tanks.

“We are beyond grateful to have the partnership and support of amazing donors, who like us, believe in the value of investing in projects like Project Star. We are moved by such genuine generosity,” said Goss.

Current partners in the project include (listed in alphabetical order):

The Bagnoli Family, The Belgotex Foundation Trust NPC, Bonga Hardware, Container World Self Storage, Container World, Cotswold Downs Estate, Cretemix, EW Consulting, Fry’s Metals, The GMA Foundation, GROW with Educare Centres, JOJO Tanks, JL Clarkson Land Surveyor, Kerry Ingredients South Africa, Key Group, Lead Architects, Nu-Quip, Pesco, Shula-Group, South African Container Depot, Topia Water, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions, Warthog Plant Hire, Willie Construction, ZBR Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd.

The team are excited to have recommenced building post the December break and aim for phase 1 completion early 2021.

If you would like to know more about Project Star or feel moved to support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tayla on

Cynthia Cibane, Principal at Inkanyezi Pre-School (Project Star). Drawings prepared by Lead Architects.

3D Renders of Project Star prepared by Lead Architects.

Before images – 2019/2020