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“My heart could explode I am so happy!” These are the humble words of Project Star’s Principal, Cynthia Cibane at the official opening of her newly transformed School on Thursday the 18th of November 2021. Over 30 guests, including a member of the Kwa-Nqetho Chief’s office, came together in brightly coloured clothing to celebrate the true power of a collaborative dream.

Project Star was termed from the name Inkanyezi Pre-School, meaning ‘an abundance of stars’ in isiZulu. They first joined our iThemba Educare Programme in 2020 as a partner Pre-School and candidate for our 4th transformation project. The School’s former facilities comprised of two wendy houses as classrooms and two rusty containers as an office/storage and kitchen space. Only one toilet and tap were available for use by staff and children and the outdoor play equipment was in no condition to be used. Because flooring in the one wendy house was unsafe, Cibane had to accommodate all age groups in the other classroom resulting in age-appropriate learning not taking place.

“Through the collaborative effort of 25 Project partners, a team of awesome builders and professionals including a Project Manager, Engineer, Architect and Land Surveyor, Project Star now provides a space for children to grow, learn and thrive through the proper implementation of ECD,” said Tayla Goss, Focus on iThemba Team Leader. “Considering the quality of Cynthia’s previous facilities, this transformation is truly amazing and illustrates the power of partnership.”

Part of the opening included a cultural showcase of traditional Zulu dancing and singing of the National Anthem led by the little ones of Project Star. Heartwarming messages by Goss, Cibane, Tara Roseer from GROW with Educare Centres and Sandy Watt, CSI Manager of Container World, all touched on the importance of Early Childhood Development and the significance it has on positively shaping the futures of children. In a small appreciation ceremony, a certificate of thanks was issued to each donor and partner involved in this life-changing Project as recognition of their invaluable support.

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, ShulaGroup, South African Container Depot, Topia Water, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions, Warthog Plant Hire, Willie Construction, ZBR Consulting Engineers (Pty) LTD.

Potential partners for future transformation projects are encouraged to contact Tayla Goss on

Photos courtesy of Halfpint