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SOS Africa Completes Construction of New Porta Romana Education Centre

26 Jun 2019

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It was the culmination of 2 years of fundraising, planning, designing and building as last week, the construction SOS Africa’s brand new “Porta Romana Education Centre” was officially completed. The very definition of teamwork, this project has involved the collaboration of sponsors, designers and builders from across the UK and South Africa.

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First discussed during a meeting at their headquarters in Farnham in 2017, project sponsors Porta Romana mentioned to SOS Africa’s Matt and Claudia that they wished to be involved in an interactive and transformational education project to celebrate their 30 anniversary. What began as a discussion soon grew into an exciting project wholeheartedly supported by their staff and customers.

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Right from the outset, Principal Rehard Smith and his staff from St Michael's embraced our vision to build a new education centre to provide holistic educational support to underprivileged children from the local communities. In partnership with the school our centre will provide essential services including reading workshops and learning support, after-school care, counselling and staff training. Our greatest appreciation goes to the farm owners for allowing Claudia Titley and Byron Russell to design a timber frame building overlooking the beautiful Elgin Valley.

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And of course, these grand plans would still be theoretical if not for the skill and craftsmanship of Carpenter Jorrie and his team; Charles, Stephen, Advance, Blessing and Albert. It was nothing short of a privilege to watch them construct the centre. Right from milling the timber through to the framing of the windows and doors; thanks to their dedication, the finished article has vastly surpassed all our expectations.

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Testament to their commitment to the project, Porta Romana Director Ali Milam and a team of colleagues flew out to assist with the decoration of the facility before its official opening. It was special moment when they met some of the wonderful children who will benefit from their incredible support.

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It brings goose bumps to all our arms to think that thanks to this exciting new facility, a few years from now, children from St Michael’s School might graduate to High School and beyond, for the very first time. We wish Anna, Abigail and Nita all the best with the furnishing and resourcing of the centre in preparation for the start of term 3!

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