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The 16th of April 2021 is a date that marks the start of a new chapter in the life of Mrs Cynthia Cibane as she received the keys to her newly built Pre-School in Madimeni, just outside of Waterfall. Inkanyezi, meaning ‘star’ in isiZulu, supports 37 children with quality Early Childhood Development and is the 4th partner Pre-School of Focus on iThemba’s to undergo radical transformation. The Hillcrest based NPO, together with a group of 25 donors and partners, helped to reshape the future of this school by transforming their facility from being a poor and inadequate structure, to a bright and beautiful space that is conducive to quality learning and teaching.

After only breaking ground in November 2020, Project Star now stands as a brightly coloured ECD centre comprising 5 repurposed containers for the use of two classrooms, a kitchen, a sick-bay, an office, a storage unit and toilets for staff and children respectively. In addition, the children benefit from the installation of a large playground area to promote healthy gross-motor development and also have access to age-appropriate learning materials and equipment! A 5000l JOJO tank has also been installed on site as a means to promote water security and sustainability. Looking ahead, the School will see expansion through the introduction of a third classroom and a vegetable garden in 2022.

“The school’s former facilities weren’t conducive to learning at all and posed a big risk to the health and safety of the kids and teachers. They had access to only one toilet and tap and children of all ages were learning in one poorly ventilated wendy house,” said Tayla-Anne Goss, Team Leader at Focus on iThemba. “This transformation is truly remarkable and is testament to the power of partnership in making a real-world difference.”

Cibane expressed unreserved joy and said that the project had been an answer to prayer. “There are no words to express my gratitude except thank you to Focus on iThemba and every donor and partner who was involved in this upliftment project. Without you, I do not know where we would be as a school, you gave us hope when we needed it the most. God bless you!”

Partners in the project are (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.

Project Star  – 19 April 2021

Project Star Site Celebration  – 16 April 2021